2 Timothy 3:16-17
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction…
I. THAT THE SCRIPTURES ARE GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD.
1. In order to judge whether persons are inspired, we must carefully inquire into their moral character; into their doctrine or message; and into the credentials or proofs of their mission.
2. The other external proof of an inspired person is the fulfilment of prophecy.
II. THE PERFECTION OR SUFFICIENCY OF THE SCRIPTURES.
1. They are profitable for doctrine to acquaint us with our lost and miserable condition by the entrance of sin into the world, and the train of fatal consequences that attended it; with our recovery by Christ; the covenants of redemption and grace; the offices of Father, Son, and Spirit in the work of our redemption, and with all those other mysteries which were kept secret since the world began, but are now made manifest by the Holy Scriptures for the obedience of faith (Romans 16:26).
2. For reproof, or the discovery of our pernicious errors in doctrine and practice.
3. The Scriptures are profitable for correction of vice and wickedness. "Wherewithal," says the Psalmist, "should a young man cleanse his way but by taking heed thereto according to the Word of God?" There we have a collection of all Christian graces and duties, with their opposite vices. The fruits of the spirit and of the flesh are distinguished with the greatest propriety; and the most engaging motives to the practice of the one, and awful threatenings against the other, are represented with the greatest strength and advantage.
4. For instruction in righteousness. That is, either in the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all that believe, or in the practice of moral righteousness, the nature and excellency of which is better explained and illustrated in the sermons of our blessed Saviour than in all the writings of the ancient philosophers.
III. THE CLEARNESS AND PERSPICUITY OF THE SCRIPTURES.
1. They were written in the vulgar language, and therefore designed for the use of the common people.
2. Our Saviour, in His sermons to the people, appeals to the Scriptures, and exhorts His countrymen, the Jews, to search them. The Bereans are commended for this practice (Acts 17:11), and Timothy appears to have been acquainted with them from his childhood. If, then, it be proper to teach our children the Scriptures, and if it be the duty of grown persons to search them, it must follow that they are sufficiently clear in all points necessary to salvation.Lessons:
1. Hence we may learn that the religion of a Christian should be his Bible, because it contains the whole revealed will of God, and is a perfect rule of faith and practice.
2. Let us be thankful that we have the Scriptures in the vulgar language.
3. Let Christians of all ranks and capacities revive this neglected duty of reading the Scriptures in their families and closets: it is both a delightful and useful employment.
4. When we read the Scriptures, let us consider them, not as the words of men, but as in deed and truth the Word of God.
5. In judging of controversies among Christians, let us not be carried away by the authority of great names or the numbers of them that are on one side, but keep close to the Scriptures.
6. When we read the Scriptures, let us pray for the instructions and teachings of the Holy Spirit, whose office it is to remove the prejudices and enlighten the understandings of those who are truly sincere.
Parallel VersesKJV: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: