Thoroughly Equips

Thoroughly Equips

2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God Breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training for righteousness, so the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  The Bible is the Word of God and is useful for thoroughly equipping (ἐξαρτίζω exartízō), outfitting and making Christians competent to perform every good work the Lord has called them to do.

In 2010 I had the privilege of watching Andy Khol (former NFL Punter and Kohl’s Kicking Camp Instructor) train place kickers and punters how to properly and effectively do their jobs. He told me a truth that has proven reliable.  “It is the kickers and punters that take the time to read, study and apply what they learn who go on to achieve their goals in the college and professional realms.”  During  training camps he hands out a book that teaches specialty kickers and punters the mechanics of the game and how to find opportunities open to them.  Kohl’s Kicking Camps open by substantiating their call with a list of kickers and punters actively participating in the college and NFL level (over 800 in 2010).  Their training books place in writing the mechanics of kicking and punting along with detailed instructions on how to condition for the game.  The book also gives pointers to kickers and punters on how to apply for scholarships and be considered for the NFL.  At the close of the camp I attended, Andy pointed specialty kickers and punters to the Lord.  WOW!  It is this writer’s opinion that this approach to making disciples for the NFL is why the Super Bowl game has more fans and participants than the modern day church does on Super Bowl Sunday.

The Word of God has a list of men of faith who were thoroughly equipped by the Lord to be competent in the task set before them, regardless of what their call was. (Hebrews 11- 12:1)  The Holy Spirit has given every true born again Christian Spiritual gifts for the “common good” (Corinthians 12:7) of mankind and for the edification of the Body of Christ.  Just like a great football team has many positions which are filled by gifted men, the church has many members with different Spiritual gifts to accomplish God’s will in this sin cursed world. (1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 28-30; Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11; 1 Peter 4:11)  These Spiritual gifts may be placed in three categories; 1.) The Gift of Service:  administration, leading, encouragement, faith, giving, helps (or serving), and mercy; 2.) The Gift of Signs:  distinguishing between spirits, gifts of healing, tongues, interpretation of tongues and miraculous powers; 3.) Support gifts:  word of knowledge, word of wisdom, faith and prophecy.  When these gifts of the Holy Spirit are exercised under the agape love of Christ, the obedient church will enjoy balance and joy in the Body of Christ. The church will also be fully equipped to reach a hurting, misled world that has been overcome by the world view, the sinful flesh and the lies of the devil.

Christians much accomplish and live out this truth.  They must do the hard work that involves study and application of the whole council of God’s Word so they can be thoroughly equipped to accomplish His calling upon their lives, no matter what that work for Him is.

Preach Unashamedly

Preach Unashamedly

The Bible has clear instructions for all who proclaim to be teachers of God’s Word.  Pastors are given a charge (2 Timothy 4:2) before God and Christ Jesus, of which they will give a full accounting of their ministries. (Romans 14:12)  “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His kingdom, I give you this charge:  Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.  For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”   (2 Timothy 4:1-3)

We live in times where it is popular for religious writers and speakers to proclaim their visions and ministry views using church language rather than give healthy teaching of Scripture.  Much of church literature and teaching today has religious sounding tones, indicating a lack of knowledge of the Bible and as well as lacking concern for the Apostle Paul’s instructions given in the “Pastoral Epistles (Letters).”  Paul writes, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)  To not to be “ashamed” (ἀνεπαίσχυντος anepaíschuntos) in one’s teaching of the Bible – is to be a teacher who is not lazy, unskilled or unfaithful to lead readers or hearers too what God’s Word says about what is being taught.  Much of the religious writings received in the mail today or heard on religious broadcasts are full of wonderful sounding slogans.  Literally, at some church conventions, leaders of their churches are told, “Do not preach, but share your opinion from the heart.”  Constantly, while being interviewed by the worldly media, men and women viewed as religious leaders are allowing their teachings to be reduced to mere opinion.

Men and woman with the gift to teach God’s Word do not want people who read or hear their message to agree with them, but agree with the Word of the Lord as originally written in the Bible.  Serious ministries have overseers who are appointed by Christ (Ephesians 4:11); they spend long hours in prayerful study of the Scriptures so they write or speak as teaching the “very words of God.” (1 Peter 4:11)

Dr. Billy Graham preached unashamedly; he will always be remembered as saying, “The Bible says!”  Preacher/Teacher David Wilkerson, preached unashamedly; all his teachings showed straightforward exegesis of Scripture. Even his cover letters to introduce his written messages started with the Word of God, filled with Scripture and closed with encouraging writings from the Bible.

When you present truth, is it birthed from God’s Word?  Is it substantiated with the whole counsel of Scripture?  Are you skillful with the Sword of the Holy Spirit?  Are you faithful to preach His truth unashamedly?  Do you lead your readers or hearers to the teachings in the Bible?   In the day of accountability, at the Judgment Seat of Christ, will you be rewarded as one who preached unashamedly?”

The Word of God

The Word of God 

2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God Breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training for righteousness, so the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

This is a truth of the most importance. So important is this doctrine. Satan in the very beginning of the creation of man and woman attacked God’s ability to reveal His revelation, or will to mankind.  Revelation (ἀποκάλυψις apokálupsis), means a spirit which can fathom and unfold the deep things of God. (Ephesians 1:17)   Genesis 3:1 records those words from Satan that led Adam and Eve astray.  Words so many people long to cling to today, “Did God really say?…”  These words of Satan laid the seeds of ruin for mankind.  His words of deception are still ruining mankind’s opportunity to walk in the center of God’s will for them.  This sin of questioning, “Did God really say…” birthed forth what is known as a sin cursed world affecting every facet of life, causing physical afflictions, corrupt oversight, misled motives, and broken hearts.  In contrast, rejecting Satan’s deception leads to the understanding of God’s perfect will for mankind, thus correcting wrong motives, rebuking corrupt oversight, and mending the broken hearted.

Christians, who have Holy Spirit illumination of the written Word of God, find it inconceivable that the God of heaven and earth would not give the apple of his eye, we human beings, a revelation of His will for them.

If you want to enjoy all that God has for mankind in this sin-cursed world, you must lay the sin of non-belief of God’s Written Word at the foot of the Cross. You must allow the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ to place within your spiritual heart that which Jesus knew,  “It is written: `Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” (Matthew 4:4)  Embrace as well the heart of the Psalmist who wrote, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11)

To have true belief in God’s Word you must have the same revelation of God’s Word that Peter had, “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation.  For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”  (2 Peter 1:20-21)

Not only does the Bible claim to be God’s Word, Jesus Christ claimed its authority when he contrasted the Commandments with the teachings of men. (Mark 7:6-13)  Jesus equates Moses’ writings and words with the Scriptures while saying both His and Moses words originate from God. (John 5:38, 45-47)  Jesus said Scripture is the word of God and cannot be broken. (John 10:35)  Jesus looked to Scriptures for guidance in all of life and in dealing with Satan’s deceptions. (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10, 22:29, 32, 43, Mark 12:24; Luke 4:4, 8) He also said that the Holy Spirit will tell His teachers what He knows and all that is yet to come, thus, verifying their writings and that  teachings will come from Him as well as God. (John 16:13)

The Old Testament writers claim that the Bible is the Word of God. (2 Samuel 23:1-3; Isaiah 8:1,11; Jeremiah 1:9;5:14;13:12; Ezekiel 3:4-11; Micah 3:8; Jeremiah 23:29; Habakkuk 2:2; Zechariah 4:8)   The New Testament writers confirm the claims of the Old Testament as being Revelation from God. (Hebrews 1:1; Matthew 1:22; 2:15; Acts 1:16; 28:25; Ephesians 4:8)  The New Testament writers say the Bible is God’s Revelation. (1 Corinthians 2:13; 11:23; 14:37; Galatians 1:11-12; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Peter 3:2)

There is Historical Testimony of the Bible as God’s Revelation.  Men like Copious showed high regard for the Old and New Testament.  Saint Augustine is considered to be one of the most significant Christian thinkers since St. Paul.  He said that Scripture rests, “on the highest pinnacle of divine authority.”  Theologians like Irenaus, Tertullian, and the Alexandrian acknowledge Biblical authority when they make use of Scripture in presenting their positions.  2 Clement and Justin Martyr (A.D 150) used the formula “It is written” in referring to authority of Scripture.  (The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)

The truth you must grasp is this – your belief of the Bible as the Word of God is based on your relationship with Christ Jesus.  It is written, “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.  The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment:” (1 Corinthians 2:14-15)

It is the hope and prayer of genuine Preachers and Teachers of God’s Word that they may say of you as the Apostle Paul said of those he taught. “…And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.”  (1 Thessalonians 2:13)

God Breathed

 God Breathed

2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God Breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training for righteousness, so the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

The Bible is the Word of God and it is God Breathed. “God Breathed” (θεόπνευστος theópneustos ), meaning that the Holy Scriptures “as communicated are ordained by God’s authority and are produced by the enabling of His Holy Spirit. The Bible is divine revelation, prompted by God, inspired by Him which makes them infallibly true.”  (Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament; The Complete Word Study for the New Testament; Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains; The Greek-English Dictionary of the New Testament; Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament)

          Those who are taught of the Lord have Holy Spirit revelation and illumination that the Bible is from God the Father.  It holds all truth for directions in living a life that is pleasing to Him and Christians are Holy Spirit enlightened.  Christians who enjoy a personal relationship with Jesus Christ are Holy Spirit led.  They know the powerful truth written by the Apostle Peter, For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21)  “Prophecy” (προφητεία prophēteía) meaning the “gift of divinely inspired speaking granted to believers by the Spirit…”  (Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament)  The Bible is not man’s idea nor should be interpreted by the world’s view (James 4:4), lived by the desires for the flesh (Galatians 5:17) or believed through the influence of the devil (Matthew 4:5-6).

People who are connected with God are amazed and blessed to know that the Lord, who “breathed” (Genesis 2:7) life into mankind in the beginning, is able to breathe forth the Scriptures that feed the spiritual heart of mankind.

Just as John Deere and CAT are able to write a parts book and operator’s manual so their owners can be informed about their heavy equipment – God who is good all the time is fully able to bring forth the Book, the Bible, so mankind can be informed about eternal truths.  Just as an owner’s manual of a car, motorcycle, or boat gives instruction to its owners, the Word of God gives instructions for the human mind about its eternal soul.

A person’s relationship with Jesus determines his heart about the Word of God.  Are you like Jesus who said, “It is written: `Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ “ (Matthew 4:4)   Are you like the Psalmist who prayed, “Teach me, O LORD, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end.  Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart.  Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.  Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.  Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.” (Psalm 119:33-37)  Are you like the Bereans?  A person of noble character, one who receives the message with great eagerness and examines the Scripture daily to see what you hear is true. (Acts 17:11)  Do you believe the Bible is God-breathed, God’s Word for directing your entire life?

For Rebuking

For Rebuking

2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God Breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training for righteousness, so the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

The Bible is the Word of God and is useful for “rebuking” (ἐλεγμός – elegmos).  “Rebuking,” means to refute error by proving an opinion or charge it to be false or erroneous or, to prove a person to be in error. (Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament; Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains; The Greek-English Dictionary of the New Testament Based on Semantic Domains; White Page Phone Dictionary)

Regarding eternal things and the spiritual heart, error is a common consequence birthed forth by the spiritual cancers of denominationalism, traditionalism, legalism and faddism.  Error is life treating to the true things of God.  So devastating is man’s error on spiritual matters, that Jesus sharply refuted the “Children of Abraham,” the “Jews” for their obstinacy.” (John 8:31-47)  He told the Sadducee’s that their thinking was wrong because they were in error of the Scriptures. (Matthew 22:33; Mark12:18-27)  Jesus even had to rebuke Peter, one of the twelve chosen to be an Apostle.  Jesus said to him, “Get behind me, Satan!”… “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” (Mark 8:33; Matthew 16:23)

Proverbs 25:12 says, Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise man’s rebuke to a listening ear.”  Well warn jewelry makes people attractive, and attractive is the person who with a listening heart has had his opinions and errors put right by a wise teacher of God’s Word.  Any rebuke given without the true teaching of God’s Word is a rebuke produced by the sinful flesh, a worldly view or a lie of the Devil.

Matured Christians have testified that the worst rebuke they have ever received came through a pew-warming church attendee.  In contrast, the healthiest direction has come from a matured teacher of the Word, who handles the Bible correctly.  Both of these heart attitudes are Holy Spirit illuminated with Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” Teachers who know how to handle the “sword of the Spirit,” (Ephesians 6:17) are used of God to properly guide Christians who have listening hearts.

There once was a man who wrote a book on the coming of Christ.  He took money from young Christians who had not been thoroughly taught on the things to come.  He set a certain date sighting many different Scriptures.  Sadly, that set day has come and gone at least twenty times.  The fact is he was a false teacher taking advantage of others for the purpose of filling his pocket book.  He made merchandise of the Gospel.  Tragically, most pastors knew he was false but they were unprepared to teach the Word of God correctly on “The Coming of Christ.”  Therefore, they were unable to give this man a proper Biblical rebuke and refute his false teachings.  However, there were a few who could.  These teachers were prepared to point those with listening hearts to the Scripture, “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority.” (Acts 1:7)

Are you able to “rebuke,” or refute error with the Scriptures?

For Correcting

For Correcting

2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God Breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training for righteousness, so the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

The Bible is the Word of God and is useful for correcting.  The Greek word for “correcting” (πανόρθωσις epanórthōsis ) is only used in 2 Timothy 3:16.  “Correcting” here means “to set right again, to correct faults, to reform manners, literally how to get right.  (The Complete Word Study of the New Testament; Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament; Theological Dictionary of the New Testament; The Greek English Dictionary; Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament Based on Semantic Domains; The Bible Exposition Commentary)

Visionaries who succeed in their dreams strive for correction.  They have learned through life’s experiences to seek out trainers who are thoroughly equipped for the task at hand.  The NFL is full of successful players who out of college sought out trainers/teachers/coaches who can define their weaknesses, correct their faults and reform their game.   College football programs send their most gifted players to training camps that begin with affirmations and give corrections before camps close.

In the horse business it is not uncommon to find horse lovers, who spend hours at club meetings, trial rides and other horse events.  These wannabes talk about their hopes, dreams and adventures.  However, horsemen seek out proven trainers who can and will correct wrong ideas and practices to succeed in the business.  True horsemen are very concerned with the horse’s physical and mental welfare, thus they sacrifice time, pride and expenses to be corrected.  These sacrifices benefit the horses, riders and owners.

True Bible teachers know the truths of Scripture – mankind’s “heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)   They are fully aware of Proverb 14:12, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” 

In modern times, America is a full example of what happens to a nation that refuses to be corrected by the Word of God, for she is suffering many of the curses found in Deuteronomy 28:15-59.  Marriages and families throughout America are splintering apart for not seeking to be set right by the whole counsel of God’s Word.  The Bible contains many written corrections to the people of God about their irregularities.

1 Corinthians 12-14 gives correction to the Corinthian Church because a self-indulgent spirit was creating chaos. (Matthew Henry Commentary; The Preachers Outline & Sermon Bible; The Bible Knowledge Commentary; A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory on Old and New Testament Commentary) The opening verse in chapter 12 says, Now, about spiritual gifts… I do not want you to ignorant.”  Para-church ministries have been raised up by the Lord to restore that which is being broken in the institutionalized church.

True born again Christians seek correction in God’s Word so they can have their faults fixed and get right before God and Christ, so through the enabling of the Holy Spirit they can be effective during the journey of life.  Do you seek to read and study the Bible so you can be corrected?