The Word of God is profitable because of the purpose for which it was given. This purpose is seven-fold.
(1) To make us wise unto salvation (2 Tim. 3:15): “Able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” Man, in his natural state, has no desire for or capacity to understand spiritual things. He is ignorant of eternal realities, and is described as being “Alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their hearts” (Eph. 4:18). Though man may pride himself on his possession of secular wisdom, and his great advance in scientific knowledge and his prowess in invention, yet he remains in abysmal ignorance of the true, eternal and spiritual realities that God has revealed in His word. Moreover he is described as being incapable of “receiving the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14).
God’s commentary on the boasted wisdom of this world is not calculated to inflate its ego, for we read: “Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that, in the wisdom of God, the world by (its) wisdom knew not God, it pleased God, by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe” (1 Cor. 1:20-21).
The age-long question of Job: “Where shall wisdom be found?” (Job 28:12), has its complete answer in the statement: “The holy Scriptures which are able to make thee wise unto salvation.” Within the pages of this Book, the believing reader may be made wise as to his true condition as a guilty, lost, helpless and hell-deserving sinner in the sight of a holy God (Rom. 3: 1-23). He will be made wise as to God’s wonderful provision for his lost condition in the gift of His beloved Son, whose incarnation, substitutionary sacrifice, death, resurrection and glorification have made possible a full, free and eternal salvation for all who will own their need and receive Him as Saviour and own Him as Lord (Rom. 10:6-17). He will be made wise as to the true and eternal blessedness of all who have been born again by the Spirit of God (Eph. 1:3-14).
Well may we lift our voices in grateful praise to God for this inspired revelation of His Word, by which we are granted divine wisdom and enabled to understand these things which make for our eternal profit!
(2) To reveal doctrine: By doctrine is meant teaching. The great foundation truths of Christianity are found within its pages, and are woven into the warp and woof of this divine revelation from Genesis to Revelation. The Bible is not like a book of systematic theology, where each great doctrine is first stated, and then all the Scripture verses relating to this doctrine are gathered together to verify its veracity and authority. In the Bible, all these great truths are woven into the fabric of the entire Book. In fact, the word, “text,” comes from the Latin, “textus,” which means something woven.
Inasmuch as doctrine forms an integral part of Holy Scripture, it is essential that every Christian should make himself well acquainted with the Bible as a whole. In so doing, he will become “nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine”
(1 Tim. 4:6). We are living in days of drift, doubt, declension and denial of the truth of the Word of God. These great foundation truths of the Bible are being attacked, denied and discredited, not only by men of the world, but by those who profess to be ministers of the gospel, and who occupy pulpits which are professedly Christian in character.
The tragedy is that vast numbers of professing Christians, through lack of the reading and study of the Word of God, are ignorant of these foundation truths, and consequently unable to combat the encroaches of the enemy. They do not realize the truth of that statement from the good Book: “If the foundations be destroyed, what shall the righteous do?” (Psa. 11:3). It is in view of this that the believer is urged to: “Sanctify Christ in your heart as Lord, and be ready to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is within you with meekness and fear” (1 Pet. 4:15). It is to be feared that many Christians, if challenged by a worldling as to the truth of some doctrine of the Word of God, would be unable to give an answer that would either satisfy or silence the inquirer.
Let us state a few of these great doctrines which Scripture reveals and which form the foundation of Christianity. Every believer should familiarize himself with these truths, by earnest and concentrated study of Holy Scripture. There is no substitute for this personal study of the Bible. This is the solemn responsibility of each believer who must determine he will both make and take time for the daily reading and systematic study of the Word. It is still true that “The entrance of Thy Word giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple” (Psa. 119:130). Now let us look, very briefly, at a few of these fundamental doctrines of our most holy faith which are found in the Word.
1. The divine Triunity of the eternal Godhead, consisting of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit. These are not three Gods, but one Godhead, subsisting in three Persons, each equal and eternal with each other, and each possessing all the prerogatives of Deity and the essentials of personality. This is a truth entirely beyond our finite comprehension, but not beyond faith’s apprehension for it is clearly revealed in Scipture. See Matthew 28:19: John 15:26; Hebrews 9:13-14; Ephesians 2:18; 2 Corinthians 13:14.
2. The essential and eternal Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. His virgin birth, sinless and real humanity, substitutionary sacrifice to secure our eternal redemption, bodily resurrection, ascension, glorification and present ministry as the great high Priest in the presence of God and His literal and personal second coming. See Hebrews 1:3; Luke 1:26-35; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; Acts 1:6-11; Hebrews 4:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
3. The Deity and personality of the Holy Spirit, who inspired the writing of the Bible; who convicts the sinner of his lost and guilty state before God and, on the sinner’s acceptance of Christ as his own personal Saviour and Lord, regenerates, indwells and empowers him to live a godly life and effectually serve the Lord Jesus on earth. See 2 Peter 1:19-21; John 16:7-15; Ephesians 1:13-14; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
4. The Bible is the divinely inspired, authentic and authoritative revelation from God, and is therefore the Christian’s complete guide and final authority on all matters of faith and practice. See 2 Timothy 3:14-16; Matthew 24:25; Psalm 119:11, 89, 105.
5. That salvation from sin’s penalty, secured at the infinite cost of the precious blood of Christ, has been provided for every sinner who will avail himself of it. This salvation is wholly of grace and therefore entirely apart from human merit in any shape or form. It is conditioned by simple faith in Christ’s finished work of redemption which He accomplished on the cross, acceptance of Him as one’s own personal Saviour and confession of Him as Lord. See John 3:14-18; 5:24; 10:9; 14:6; Romans 10:9-10; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 4:1-5; 1 John 5:10-13.
6. Each regenerated believer is not only eternally secure in Christ but, by the Holy Spirit, has been united to the mystical body of Christ, the Church, of which Christ is the sole Head and every believer a member. See John 10:27-30; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Ephesians 1:15-23.
7. The eternal retribution of God upon all who die in their sins, either rejecting, despising or neglecting the great salvation provided by the redemptive sacrifice of the Son of God. See John 3:36; 8:21-24; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Hebrews 2:3; Revelation 20:11-15.
Such, in condensed form, are some of the principal fundamental doctrines on which the truth of Christianity rests. Each Christian should therefore know, love, proclaim and defend these truths and thus become a profitable servant of his Lord and Master.