God’s Word is powerful. Through it we come to know Him more and are transformed into who He created us to be: beloved daughters who reflect their Father.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 describes the powerful working of God’s Word in our hearts and lives:
In Genesis 2, we read of God creating man. Verse 7 says God “formed man out of the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Emphasis added)
God’s breath is the breath of life, and it brought man to life. All Scripture is God-breathed. And so, “The Word of God is living and active.” (Hebrews 4:12)
God’s Word is not a map we blindly follow. It is not events and stories we simply read about. It is God’s breath, His life, His very self, interacting with us, that we may live in relationship with Him. It’s that Divine interaction we talked about.
Even though it was written in a different time and culture, penned by the hands of men we will only meet the other side of eternity, God’s Word is still the truth for us today. Still the lamp for our feet and the light that enables us to stay on the path of purity (Psalm 119:9, 105). For “the Word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8) It stands not only in its written form, but in its truth, validity, and power.
Because of this divine interaction, this God-breathing, all Scripture is useful. God’s Word teaches, rebukes, corrects, trains and equips.
The Word teaches us who God is and who we are in Him. From Genesis to Revelation His character is revealed to us. His will is made known to us. His covenant with His people and the Gospel of Christ are told, and we are invited to join in. We are taught how we can live in this convent and in the power of the Gospel. We are shown our true identity, purpose and destiny, and how to live out this truth in our actions and attitudes.
When there are actions, attitudes, priorities or perspectives in our life that are not in line with God’s character, His Word rebukes. We read and there is a cutting to the heart, a convicting of something that needs to change. We see that which hinders our relationship with Jesus, keeping us from living out who we are in Him.
And through God’s Word, we learn how these misalignments may be corrected. The new attitude we must put on, the new action we must carry out, a rearranging of the priorities, a transforming of our perspectives. There are definitely times in reading the Bible that we find encouragement and are uplifted, but there should also be times of conviction. Times of growth and transformation. This change can be hard, but “God disciplines us for our good, so we may share in His holiness (Hebrews12:10).”
This discipline has a reward, for the Word trains in righteousness. Righteousness of God, that is our true identity (2 Corinthians 5:21). This is not just a new name or title, but by the sacrifice of Jesus, by His purifying blood, this is who we are. And we learn from His Word how to continually live in this identity, how to be clothed in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and love.
And through all this, we are equipped. Thoroughly equipped. Thoroughly equipped for every good work. Enabled to do the good He destined for us to do. Enabled to hold out the Word of life, shining like stars, filling the darkness with light. During the times of being in God’s Word when it seems like you’re not getting much out it, when nothing is jumping off the page or stirring your heart, keep going, because in this, you’re being equipped. There are good works Christ has prepared in advance for you to do, and through His Word, He is preparing you to carry them out and reflect His character. Each chapter read, each encouraging verse hidden in the heart, each time of teaching, rebuking and correcting, is a time of transformation and preparation.
Something else I’ve found helpful in studying Scripture and seeing how the teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training work together to equip, is to remember the “rights” of 2 Timothy 3:16:
As you read a passage from God’s Word, you can ask the following questions to dig in:
What is God teaching me about His character and will, and my identity and purpose?
Are there any areas in my life that are not in line with this truth?
How are they to be corrected?
How can I continue to live in this truth?