All Scripture is God-Breathed

Posted: October 29, 2008 in Uncategorized
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Last week in my Friday morning Trigonometry class, we were learning about trigonmetric identities and how to use them in fairly complex formulas. After a long series of steps, one girl asked what many frustrated students have thought in these types of math classes. “No offense or anything, but are we ever going to use this stuff in real life?” Thankfully, we have a sympathetic professor who understands that many are only in there because they need the credit to move on in their academic endeavor.

Fast forward to earlier this week. I was working, and I overheard a nearby conversation about prophetic teaching, Revelation, eschatology (study of the end times), and topics of that nature. After the man went on about his eschatological beliefs, the woman casually asked, “And just to understand, how is a belief one way or the other really going to affect my life?”

These questions caused me to realize that every time we set out to learn something, we want to have a purpose in view. Behind every search for knowledge is a yearning for relevance for that knowledge. Few people want to learn facts just so they can store it away for that inevitable game of Trivial Pursuit. “How can this new-found understanding be applied to real life situations?” is the question on almost everyone’s mind. That’s absolutely understandable. Without a desire for relevance in learning, we’d be hopelessly trivial creatures chafing at the bit for any possible debate (even more so than we already are).

But I soon saw how quickly it can becomes problematic when we transfer this mindset over to reading our Bibles. Certainly we ought to search for relevance, but I think we often forget that everything in Scripture is relevant and pertinent to our Christian lives because God has said that’s the case. 2 Timothy 3:16 says that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” So many times I’ve only glanced over genealogies, rushed through historical accounts, or altogether skipped over passages in the Bible I’ve deemed ignorable. In this way, I’ve been like Thomas Jefferson, who cut out portions of God’s word he that he disagreed with or didn’t like, I may not literally cut out pages, but too frequently I’ve seen myself take my metaphorical scissors to the paper with my negligence of heart. (Credit goes to C.J. Mahaney for the Thomas Jefferson analogy. He uses it in the book Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World, which I can highly recommend.)

What I’m proposing, then, is that we as Christians should see more difficult parts of the Bible as a challenge, an invitation to delve deeper into the contents of Holy Scripture. We ought to do this rather than promote ourselves to the level of Judge, deciding on what pieces we think are imperative when, in fact, God has said all of it is.

So let’s pull out our study bibles, commentaries, concordances, and maps, and let’s get serious about knowing what we can about what God’s chosen to include in His Book. I can assure you, with full confidence in God’s promises, that doing so will not be a fruitless drudgery but rather an eye-opening adventure.

Thank you, Father, that you’ve not left us without means of knowing You. We are grateful that You’ve given us your Scriptures, which “are able to make [us] wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim 3:15). Through the Bible we’ve learned of your plan of salvation, which causes us to bow down before you and worship you. Forgive me for proudly asserting some pretended authority over your infinitely superior Word. Help us to glorify you by seeking to learn and obey every word you’ve blessed us with. Amen.

  1. beyondtheoutside says:

    Nice post! I was just thinking about this as well because in history we are studying the ancient times. We read all of Genesis last week. In our class discussion, our teacher was pointing out all the little things, all the word choices, and how this part of the Bible relates to our lives currently. It made me think and so does this. . .

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