Now you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions, and my suffering the things that happened to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. What persecutions I endured! Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. Indeed, all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted But wicked people and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.
II Timothy 3:1-17
There’s a bumper sticker that you might notice some day at a traffic light that says:
IF YOU CAN READ THIS THANK A TEACHER
Being able to read something for ourselves truly is a blessing and a gift. Thanks, teachers. Being able to read God’s Word for ourselves is a variation on that theme, and double blessing. Most of us have Bibles readily available. And when we slow down and read from them, God speaks to us.
The elder preacher, Paul, reminded the young pastor, Timothy, that the scriptures were not only God’s Word, but also the wonderful tool that would help all who belong to God to become equipped for every good work. The Bible serves that crucial role for individual believers and for Christ’s followers as we come together as a church.
In the Worshipbook (jointly published in the early 1970’s by The Cumberland Presbyterian Church, The PCUS, and The United Presbyterian Church), we find this prayer “For the Authority of Scripture in the Church.” This is a great prayer for each of us and for all of us.
We thank You, Lord God, for the people of old who preserved Your word for us, who recorded Your law, copied the prophets, and remembered the gospel message. May Your church never neglect the study of Scripture, but with lively and persistent interest read, recite, interpret, and teach the news declared in Jesus Christ Your living Word, and the Savior of us all. Amen.