2Ti 3:14-17 “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
In the verses immediately before these, Paul has talked about ungodly men. These are false teachers who will grow worse as time goes on. There is an antidote to this that those who love and follow Jesus Christ have. Paul sets this out in these verses.
Regardless of the actions of ungodly men, we who are blessed to understand something about God’s sovereignty need to be steadfast. We need to abide (continue) in the things we have learned. The Holy Spirit gives us assurance concerning the faithfulness of our Lord and Savior. The word of God tells us that He cannot fail, and our own walk with Him bears witness that this is true.
It appears on the surface that Paul is saying that Timothy learned the truth of Jesus Christ from him. Certainly, Paul had a profound influence in Timothy’s life just as each of us can identify servants of God who have had an impact on us. However, Paul was not one to take credit to himself for his apostleship. He always identified himself as an apostle by the will of God and a prisoner of Jesus Christ.
Regardless of the minister(s) that God has used in our lives to tell us His word, we have learned these things from God. If we are only convinced of a thing because of the words of some man, another man may come along persuade us differently. God leads us in a way that the things of men are shaken out of our lives. What remains to us are the things of God which cannot be shaken (Heb 12:27).
Timothy was taught the scriptures from an early age. Our parents may also have read to us from the scriptures when we were children. It is telling that Paul does not say Timothy merely read the scriptures, but that Timothy knew (understood) the scriptures. When we, as the children of God, are blessed to understand the scriptures, we gain wisdom.
The wisdom that comes from the scriptures is that our salvation is in Jesus Christ. We come to rest in that blessed truth, understanding that it is His faith. We are saved by grace through faith. Both the grace and the faith are the gift of God and do not come by our labors (Eph 2:8).
Like grace and faith, the scriptures did not come from men. God used men as His instruments to write the words that He breathed into them. All of His scripture is profitable for teaching, for correction, and for guidance in our walk in His kingdom here. We learn the right way to live before Him while on our journey.
There have been many books written by learned men. God may sometimes use these works to help us better understand the context of the scripture. However, the inspired word from God is the only thing that that will mature (perfect) the man of God. God’s holy truth is the only thing that will fully equip the man of God to perform the good works of God.
May God bless us to rely only on His word as the final authority for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness!