Four Lessons About God's Word From Chapter Three, Verse Sixteen


(Adapted from an article that appeared in “Knowing the Scriptures”, Jan.– Feb. 1936)


1. The Authorship of the Scriptures - All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16). The Scriptures are Divine. Here it is stated that they are given by the in-breathing of God. God breathed (Gen. 2:7) and there came a living soul. Here He breathes again, and there comes the living word. As none can improve upon the human body, so none can improve upon the Bible. Both are indestructible by virtue of the breath of the Almighty.


2. The Ability of the Scriptures  - As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to be understood; which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. (2 Pet. 3:16)  The Scriptures are deep. We must recognize the fact that there are things “hard to be understood” — things beyond us. This is what we must expect, because they are divine, and because they are designed to engage the keenest minds in all ages. A single verse of Scripture has provoked volumes of literature.


3. The Accuracy of the Scriptures  - Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ.  (Gal. 3:16)  The Scriptures are dependable. Paul’s argument turns upon the fact that the singular, and not the plural is used. The Bible is accurate in its number. In the following chapter Paul changes from the active to the passive voice, because it is the proper one to use. The Bible is accurate in its voices. The Lord Jesus confounded His foes by stressing the present tense, “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” (Matt. 22:32) The Bible is accurate in its tenses. These three verses tell us, therefore, that the Scriptures are profitable, profound, and precise.


4. The Attitude Towards the Scriptures  - Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Col. 3:16)  The Scriptures teach us our duty. Someone has said that we should shun the books we want to buy, and buy the books we want to shun. If a book does not appeal to us, it is because we are woefully and culpably ignorant of the subject with which it deals. If this is true, some of us ought to read some of these books in the Bible which we have neglected for a long time.