The Full Ministry of the Scriptures
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16, ESV)
The scripture is God’s breath in writing to us. God, in His infinite wisdom, has carefully preserved His words to us. He goes on to give us the practical utility of the scriptures: for teaching, reproof, correction, and training. We have to be trained and schooled on how to properly handle and apply the Word.
One of the problems we will all face is to the temptation of failing to receive the full ministry of the scriptures. Take a look at the scripture above again. It says the scriptures will teach, reprove, correct and train us. 1 Corinthians 14:3 tells us that the prophetic word will “edify, encourage and comfort us.” All these are different facets of activities of the scriptures in our lives. The challenge many Christian circles are facing today is believers who only want a particular ministry arm of the scriptures. They may just want to be encouraged, comforted or inspired. Correction, reprove, and rebuke will be deeply offensive to them. If all you hear from a pulpit is inspirational or encouraging sermons, there will be a major part of the Word that will be missing in your life. Correction is never pleasant, as the scripture says( Heb. 12:11), but are the way to life and rescue from death and potential griefs and sorrows from our own wrong choices( Prov 6:23).
The scripture calls this attitude “itching ears”: “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions” (2 Timothy 4:3, ESV). These are believers who are looking for preachers who tell them what they want to hear. If a preacher rebukes them for their sin, they stop attending that Church and look for another ministry. Many preachers are falling into this snare of teaching the Word to please the audience. The Lord says if a preacher fails to warn the wicked and that wicked man dies in his sin, that preacher will be held responsible( Eze 3:18). Of course, the rebuke or correction must be done in wisdom and love.
The Word of God is one whole. We need all of it. It will often teach us and encourage us. It will sometimes rebuke us when we are going off track. In those few moments that it corrects us, we must be careful not to reject its correction, though it will not be pleasant. No correction is ever pleasant at the moment ( Heb. 12:11) but will be the road to life and keep you from death.
How did God give the scriptures from the verse above?
APPLY THE WORD
Be careful not to take offense when the Lord corrects you. The only thing that is worse than sin, though it is a sin itself, is pride in sin. It is justifying sin, and defending it, in defiance of God’s word. This pride in sin is increasing exponentially right now on the earth. It is part of the end times as 2 Tim. 4:3 says. Be careful with this spirit. Maintain a healthy and softened heart toward God. When you read the Bible and a verse clearly teaches you that what you are doing is wrong, do not fight that scripture. If it was the sermon, don’t take offense at the preacher. It is not the scripture or the preacher. It is the Lord speaking to you. Receive His Word, even when it comes as correction or rebuke. Thankfully, this is not the majority of the Word!
Ask the Lord to help you maintain a healthy and soft heart to receive all of His Word.
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