This weekend I had the privilege to preach in the 2017 World Missions Conference put on by Berachah Bible Church in Fayetteville, Georgia. Their local church does an excellent job of being intentionally engaged in the work of missions around the world and it was a joy to be with them this weekend where I spoke three times.
Last night, we wrapped up our time together in the 2 Timothy 3:16-17. The focus of my sermon last night was on the Word of God as the source of our message for missions. As we consider the Word of God—we must remember that it transcends culture, languages, geographic boundaries, socioeconomic levels, and nations. The Word of God is sufficient for all of life and ministry—and must remain at the center of the local church’s work of discipleship and missions.
As Paul wrote his final letter to Timothy—his son in the faith, he urged him to find confidence in the Scriptures. As Timothy was charged to pastor the church in the city of Ephesus, a very difficult context to serve, Paul reminded him that he had a sufficient source for his preaching ministry and his mission work in Ephesus. Before Paul finished his course, he wrote one final letter and pressed urgently upon Timothy to remain faithful in his calling.
Paul pointed out the nature of Scripture in 2 Timothy 3:16. The source of Scripture is found in God Himself and is sufficient, infallible, inerrant, holy, and authoritative. John Piper once said these words:
The sufficiency of Scripture means that we don’t need any more special revelation. We don’t need any more inspired, inerrant words. In the Bible God has given us, we have the perfect standard for judging all other knowledge.
This is why we don’t need the heavenly tourism literature that has become so popular in our day. Books such as, 90 Minutes in Heaven and Heaven Is For Real. Such books undermine the sufficiency of God’s Word and never communicate anything beyond what God has already adequately revealed to us in the pages of holy Scripture.
Paul also pointed out the necessity of Scripture. God’s Word is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. When the pastor stands to speak on the Lord’s Day, provided that he is speaking from the pages of Holy Scripture—he has something profitable to say. It is through the preaching and teaching of God’s Word that the Holy Spirit Himself corrects us and reproves us. If we continue in a spirit of rebellion, it may be that our pastors will confront us with God’s Word. This is a profitable work that leads to holiness.
Furthermore, Paul emphasizes the idea of training in righteousness so that the man of God (the pastor first and then he leads the people down the same road) will be “complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:17). No matter what area of life we choose—excellence requires work. In the Christian life, to become holy and faithful as we’re called by our Lord—it requires training in righteousness and what source do we look for this training? Paul points Timothy to God’s sufficient Word.
No matter where we turn, the Scriptures are profitable for training in righteousness:
- The Scriptures are profitable to teach about God.
- The Scriptures are profitable to teach about marriage.
- The Scriptures are profitable to teach about work ethic.
- The Scriptures are profitable to teach about courtship.
- The Scriptures are profitable to teach about politics.
- The Scriptures are profitable to teach about business.
- The Scriptures are profitable to teach about money.
- The Scriptures are profitable to teach about sin, salvation, life, death, and eternity.
Praise God for His sufficient Word.