My two younger sisters often request spending the night at our house, sometimes even the whole weekend. Before bedtime, a routine “storytime” is requested where I will share from the Bible and explain the significance of the words we have read. I always enjoy watching their preteen brains synthesizing the truths of God’s Word, and their adolescent hands racing into the air seeking further clarification of newfound spiritual realities.
My entire life is oriented around moments such as these. Sometimes I am the teacher, and other times I am the student. Sometimes, I stand before a congregation of students or adults, or both, and teach. Sometimes, I sit before a professor or sit under a sermon from respected men in ministry and listen to their teaching. Needless to say, the Bible is central to each of these moments. As believers, we are called to teach the word of God at all times. The basis of this calling derives from the authority of Scripture, its origin, and its efficacy to the believer.
The Authority of Scripture
2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
The centrality of the Bible for teaching is rooted in its authority. In other words, Scripture is God’s Word, and no other word suffices. No other word is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. No other word is useful for the assurance of believer’s souls. No other word is convicting of a sinner’s transgressions. No other word is capable of making a sinner right with God. Scripture is God speaking to us, and any word received from the living God will bring life to His creation.
The Origin of Scripture
One of the greatest blessings from God is His Word given to us in written form. The origin of Scripture is found in men being directed by God to write down His words.
- The Lord commanded Moses to “write this on a scroll” (Exodus 17:14).
- God himself engraved His words on two stone tablets for Moses to take to the people of Israel (Exodus 32; Exodus 34).
- Jeremiah was directed by God to write down the words of God (Jeremiah 30:2). Furthermore, he was again directed to write the words of God down in a scroll to give to the people of Israel, Judah and all the other nations (Jeremiah 36:2).
- God commanded the prophet Habakkuk to “write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets…” (Habakkuk 2:2).
- Even the apostles declared the words of David in Psalm 2 as the words of God (Acts 3:24-26).
- God tells the apostle John to write on a scroll what he sees and send it to the seven churches (Revelation 1:11).
The blessing of a written word from God is the ability for believers to read, study, memorize, and teach the Word of God to future generations with both consistency and accuracy.
The Efficacy of Scripture
God commanded men to write down his Words for future generations to hear, read, know, teach, and obey. God spoke to men. Men wrote down the written words of God. All of the written words of God are efficacious for the people of God. In other words, God’s words are effective for His people.
This leads us to the obvious question, how is the word of God effective?
The apostle Paul answers this question for us.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16).
Notice the order in Paul’s words. Teaching is foundational because it establishes an objective standard of truth. Without a clear understanding of the basic categories of right and wrong, according to God’s law, reproof or rebuking cannot occur effectively. Once the teaching is established, only then is the reproof understood in light of God’s law. Afterward, the true believer makes a course correction to conform to the law of God and the training regimen for righteousness has begun. This is, of course, a never-ending cycle for the believer. The purpose of this training cycle is to make “the man of God complete” and “equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16).
There is a calling on every believer’s life to teach the words of God at all times. All of Scripture is profitable for teaching, and the authoritative instruction concerning the truths of God are essential to matters of salvation, righteousness, and the equipping for good works. To the Israelites, God commanded them to teach His words to their children every moment throughout the day (Deuteronomy 6:6-7; 11:19). To the elders of the church, their distinguishing qualification is the ability to teach (1 Timothy 3:2). The last recorded words in Matthew are Jesus’ commission for his disciples to make disciples by baptizing them and teaching them “to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20). Regardless of your vocation, your duty to God is to teach His Word.
It is with this high calling in mind that we will begin a new blog series concerning the importance of teaching God’s Word to our children, families, and churches. Next week, we will begin by answering the question, “Who is God?”