• Carolyn Elson

The B-I-B-L-E Is The Only Book We Need

This fall, I will be part of a new ministry at my church, and I am really excited about it. We are starting a mentoring ministry. I will be coming alongside women who have been through counseling to encourage them as they begin a fresh start. I am excited and recently went through some training material to get ready.

What struck me the most going through this training was how specific Scripture is. The Bible is all we need for life. It covers so many subjects and situations. The market is saturated with self-help books when really all we need is a book most of us already have, the Bible. This led me to think about a verse in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 in the New International Version, it says this, All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

All Scripture. Every part of Scripture, from the law all the way to narrative, is two things, God-breathed and useful.

God-breathed means it’s inspired by God; its origins start with God through the Holy Spirit and is not made-up words of man. 2 Peter claims this in verse twenty-one of the first chapter, For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. We can include all parts of Scripture in this verse.



God’s word is also useful, and this verse names four ways how it is useful. They all have their own unique meaning. For instance:

Teaching – the word translated here means instruction. Instruction is detailed information telling how something should be done. We see instruction all over the Bible. We see it in the law, the epistles, and especially in Jesus’ ministry as he spoke to the crowds as well as his disciples.

Rebuke – Some of your translations may say reproof, but both refer to criticism of a fault or “calling out” of something in today's terms. It’s exposing sin, and Scripture does this very well along with the Holy Spirit. We have all felt that nudge during a sermon or devotions convicting us about sin in our own lives.

Correcting – The translation for this word in Greek means to set right again. We see this in Scripture quite clearly. Here is one example. Philippians 4:6, (a pretty well-known verse), says this, Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Notice that the first part of the verse tells us what not to do; it tells us not to be anxious. The following part then tells us what we need to do; instead, pray about our anxious thoughts. This is Scripture setting us right again.

Lastly, we have training in righteousness. Training is instruction by doing. An excellent example of this would be learning to cook. You could watch the Food Network all day long, but until you finally try a recipe, you haven’t learned how to cook completely. It’s a lot like on-the-job training. James 1:22 reminds us of this, Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. We aren’t going to live righteously if we don’t practice and do what we are taught.

We can’t forget why we allow God’s word to penetrate our souls to correct us and train us. It is to be thoroughly equipped for every good work. Spending time in God’s word gives us those necessary skills, tools, and capability to do good works.

Let’s be in the word, let it correct us and train us, and then let’s do what it says.





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