Mark & Beth Brownson
Monday, February 17, 2020
To know Christ and to make Him known

How To Study the Bible: Part D

We are continuing to deal with 2 Timothy 3:16, 17. We need to expand our view to the surrounding Verses. This is called “context”. There is immediate context, which we will be looking at this time, and there is larger context, which would take in the entire Book and the writings of Paul, and even the cultural setting, if that can be ascertained. The immediate context around 2 Timothy 3:16, 17 can help us better understand exactly what the Word of God is useful for. Starting in Verse 10, Paul reminds Timothy that he knows what Paul taught and how he lived. This holds significance, because Paul's teaching and a large portion of his life ended up as part of Scripture. Here he particularly instructs Timothy to remember his “faith”, “patience”, “love” and “endurance”. As he focuses in on “endurance”, he remembers the persecution he faced. He says God rescued him from all of it, but not before he suffered. In Verse 12, he applies his life directly to Timothy, and says that “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution”. This is in contrast with Verse 13, where evil people and false believers will have success and they will fool themselves and others (Mark Brownson paraphrase). The purpose of the Scriptures cannot be to make life easy, to remove difficulties or to make us wealthy, which leads us to what they are for. In Verse 15, Paul tells Timothy that he has been taught the Scriptures from childhood and that they have given him wisdom to receive the salvation or rescue that comes from trusting in Christ Jesus. One of the primary purposes of the Scriptures is to lead us into dependence upon Jesus for our salvation. Where there is no need, there is no need of rescue. The Scriptures lead us to Christ at least partially by showing us our sin and our need of a Savior. This salvation comes only from faith or dependence upon Christ Jesus alone. In this, we see the Scriptures functioning both as Law and Gospel. Law, in showing us our failures and sins, and Gospel, in rescuing us both from the penalty and power of sin through the death of Jesus Christ. Next time we will look at the purpose the Scriptures are to serve in the life of the believer.

 

How To Study the Bible: Part D