How All Scripture Inspired of God is Beneficial
1. What is the real purpose of the Bible, and so is there another book to compare with it?
MOST books today are written to sell, with financial profit to the authors and to the printers. The Bible was not written to be just the “best seller.” It is in fact the best seller today, it being thus far translated into 1,202 languages and being sold by the millions of copies every year, so that it has an unequaled circulation. This is all just as it should be. But the real purpose of the Bible is not the making of material profit, but the making of spiritual profit, which results in life everlasting in God’s glorious new order. So no other book can compare with the Bible in the benefits it gives to those who read it and live up to it. It is the most beneficial book on earth. Hence we ought to read it.
2. (a) Outline all the benefits of the Scriptures as mentioned in 2 Timothy 3:16, 17. (b) How much of the “holy writings” did Paul mean by the term “all Scripture,” and how is this illustrated by Paul?
2 Note how beneficial the “holy writings” are for readers who want to be men of God, people belonging to God by a full dedication of themselves and serving him as men of God should serve him. Here is what the apostle Paul wrote the Christian overseer Timothy about the beneficialness of the Holy Scriptures: “All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16, 17) As Paul said “all Scripture,” he meant the whole Bible, not just the so-called New Testament, which some religionists of Christendom say is all that is necessary for Christians, and not just the inspired Hebrew Scriptures, which the Jews say is all that is necessary for gaining a blessed life in the future world. We need the whole Bible, the pre-Christian part and the Christian part, for both parts are “inspired of God,” and we dare not ignore anything that God inspires. All of it is beneficial to seekers of everlasting life in happiness. It is just as the apostle Paul wrote after he had made a quotation from the pre-Christian Hebrew Scriptures and applied it to Jesus Christ, saying: “For even Christ did not please himself; but just as it is written [in Psalm 69:9]: ‘The reproaches of those who were reproaching you have fallen upon me.’ For all the things that were written aforetime [that is, before the time of Christ] were written for our instruction, that through our endurance and through the comfort from the Scriptures [written before Christ] we might have hope.” (Rom. 15:3, 4) Hence for any “man of God” to be “fully competent, completely equipped,” he has to have and use the whole Bible.
3. What qualifications as a teacher did Paul have, and who is our Greatest Teacher?
3 Note that the apostle Paul says that all scripture that God inspired is beneficial for teaching, that is, for use in teaching others how to win the precious prize of everlasting life. Paul himself was an excellent example of this fact, and he wrote Timothy: “I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—a teacher of nations in the matter of faith and truth.” (1 Tim. 2:7) Paul was the greatest of the inspired Christian contributors to the writing of the Bible. He and seven other disciples of Christ wrote the Christian Greek Scriptures, and they were followers of the greatest teacher ever on earth as a man, Jesus Christ. Furthermore, the heavenly Inspirer of the whole Bible is the Greatest Teacher in all existence, and concerning him these words are said to God’s organization: “All your sons will be persons taught by Jehovah.”—Isa. 54:13; John 6:45.
4. How does Jehovah become our Teacher?
4 Ought it not to thrill us to think that we are taught by Jehovah God himself? He does become our Teacher if we take his inspired Book and read and study and apply it as His students. So his Holy Book should have teaching qualities superior to those of the very latest man-made book, not, of course, for teaching worldly school subjects, but for teaching us how to make a glorious success in life by living in harmony with the revealed purpose of the Giver of everlasting life, Jehovah God.
5. What facts make it evident that not just the eleven faithful apostles were to be teachers of God’s Word?
5 It was not to just the eleven faithful apostles but to all the disciples assembled on one occasion in the province of Galilee that the resurrected Jesus Christ gave this command: “Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you. And, look! I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.” (Matt. 28:19, 20) The eleven faithful apostles were all of them dead by the end of the first century, and so that command to make disciples, baptize and teach until the conclusion of the system of things could not have been meant for apostles only but was meant for all his disciples. Not the eleven faithful apostles, but we today are the ones living on earth during the “conclusion of the system of things,” and we trust that the resurrected Jesus Christ will be with us all the days till the end of this “conclusion of the system of things.” It is to us, therefore, to whom his command to make disciples, baptize and teach also applies. To prove ourselves his faithful followers we must now do these things.
6. Why is an accurate written record needed to teach truth, and did this need change after the death and resurrection of Jesus?
6 For doing these commanded things we need a book, something written or printed, not just hearsay, not some unwritten tradition that depends for its accuracy upon the honesty or the perfect memory of the persons who pass the information along verbally. Even Jesus Christ, the greatest Teacher ever on earth, did not talk just what came into his mind. He used an instruction book, and that book was the Holy Bible of his day, the inspired “holy writings” in Hebrew and Aramaic, which he could read and study. That is why he was all the time saying, “It is written,” and quoting from the inspired Hebrew Scriptures. (Matt. 4:4-10; Luke 24:27, 32, 44-47) After he was resurrected from the dead and ascended back to heaven the textbook for the instruction of his disciples was not changed and superseded by something else; it was retained, but was enlarged or added to, twenty-seven additions being made to it under divine inspiration, to make the textbook complete. In its entirety it is now almost nineteen hundred years old, but it is not out of date and needing to have something more modern substituted for it.
7. Why is it still the “right” book for teaching in our day?
7 By its prophecies it is even yet in advance of our day. It always remains “inspired of God,” and so is always right, correct, even in this nuclear, space age, this Brain Age in which men are in some ways using the brains that the God of the Bible gave them. No, we do not need to change our textbook of instruction. What we need to do is obey the command to teach it, for it is the “word of God.” In this we can imitate our Model Teacher, Jesus Christ, and also his twelve apostles. Concerning the apostle Paul when in Corinth, Luke his missionary companion, says: “So he stayed set there a year and six months, teaching among them the word of God.”—Acts 18:1-11.
8, 9. With what problems in teaching truth are we faced today?
8 Today we have to teach surrounded by religious clergymen who tickle the ears of their church flocks with things the people like to hear, to please them and draw a salary from them. That is as Paul wrote Timothy that it would be, saying:
9 “For there will be a period of time when they will not put up with the healthful teaching, but, in accord with their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves to have their ears tickled; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, whereas they will be turned aside to false stories.” (2 Tim. 4:3, 4) “The inspired utterance says definitely that in later periods of time some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to misleading inspired utterances and teachings of demons, by the hypocrisy of men who speak lies, marked in their conscience as with a branding iron; forbidding to marry, commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be partaken of with thanksgiving by those who have faith and accurately know the truth. By giving these advices to the brothers you will be a fine minister of Christ Jesus, one nourished with the words of the faith and of the fine teaching which you have followed closely. But turn down the false stories which violate what is holy and which old women tell.”—1 Tim. 4:1-3, 6, 7.
10, 11. (a) In view of the situation now, of what must we be sure personally about our teaching? (b) What outstanding assistance are we given?
10 Faced with such a situation, we have to check, not only what those clergymen of Christendom teach by making a comparison with our copies of the Holy Bible, but also what we ourselves teach, that we may be always Scriptural. We sincerely have no desire to become untruthful, mentally diseased, spiritually diseased and really antichristian as teachers. So from God’s inspired Word we must teach ourselves as well as others, thus ourselves following what we teach others to follow. As we study the Bible as students or pupils of Jehovah God, there is an enlightening force that we require. What is that? It is God’s holy spirit. The Bible was produced by inspiration of God’s spirit, and for understanding it we must have the help of that same spirit. Showing this need, Paul wrote concerning things God has prepared for those loving him:
11 “It is to us God has revealed them through his spirit, for the spirit searches into all things, even the deep things of God . . . no one has come to know the things of God, except the spirit of God. Now we received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is from God, that we might know the things that have been kindly given us by God. These things we also speak, not with words taught by human wisdom, but with those taught by the spirit, as we combine spiritual matters with spiritual words.”
12, 13. (a) Why do Christians today need Jehovah’s holy spirit poured out on them, and where do they find that spirit in great measure? (b) What, then, do they do?
12 In harmony with those words of 1 Corinthians 2:10-13, the apostle Peter himself was taught by God’s outpoured spirit on the day of Pentecost to say what he did about the fulfillment of the prophecies of Joel 2:28-32 and Psalms 16:8-11 and Ps 110:1, scriptures that Christ’s disciples had never understood before. (Acts 2:1-36) Since the close of World War I in 1918 we students of God’s Word have needed the assistance of God’s spirit just as much as those first Christians did on that day of Pentecost of A.D. 33. Otherwise we could not have discerned the marvelous fulfillment of the Bible prophecies giving proof to our eyes, minds and hearts that God’s Messianic kingdom was established in heaven A.D. 1914 to put down all God’s enemies and to give mankind a perfect government of righteousness. (Matthew, chapters 24, 25; Mark 13; Luke 21; Rev. 11:15–12:10) God’s Bible is charged with his spirit, and anyone who prayerfully takes the Bible to heart feels the effect of that spirit. Concerning the spoken word Jesus said: “It is the spirit that is life-giving; . . . The sayings that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” (John 6:63) So it is with the written Word of God: it has God’s spirit in it and is therefore instructive.
13 We need to follow the spirit expressed in that written Word rather than let antichrists teach us things contrary to that spiritual Word. As the apostle John wrote, after discussing antichristian liars: “As for you, the anointing [with God’s spirit] that you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to be teaching you; but, as the anointing from him is teaching you about all things, and is true and is no lie, and just as it has taught you, remain in union with him,” from whom you received the anointing with the spirit. This we do by remaining in harmony with God’s written Word.—1 John 2:27.
14. Why is Jesus such a fine example to follow?
14 Jesus Christ, our Model Teacher, said: “I do nothing of my own initiative; but just as the Father taught me I speak these things.” (John 8:28) As a perfect man of God he also was taught by the then written Word of God. Since he was humble enough to take Jehovah’s teaching, we as his followers have no reason to be too proud to take Jehovah’s teaching by means of his book and with the help of his spirit. Nothing compares with his inspired “holy writings” in being “beneficial for teaching.” Be taught by means of it and then, in turn, teach others by means of it.
15. How is “all Scripture” beneficial for reproving one?
15 The apostle Paul wrote that all inspired Scripture is beneficial also “for reproving.” Being imperfect as even we Christians are, there is need at times for reproof to be given to Christians. Once the resurrected Jesus Christ strongly reproved an entire Christian congregation, telling it how materialistic it had become and how miserable, pitiable, poor, blind and naked it was spiritually. And in closing counsel to this congregation in Laodicea, Asia Minor, he said: “All those for whom I have affection I reprove and discipline. Therefore be zealous and repent.”—Rev. 3:14-19.
16, 17. (a) Why was the reproving of Peter necessary? (b) How did Paul do this reproving of Peter?
16 Even an apostle once had to be reproved. That was the apostle Peter or Cephas. In the year 36, when he opened the door for uncircumcised Gentiles (non-Jews) to enter into the Christian congregation, he properly accepted entertainment in a Gentile home, and this for the first time. Years later, out of fear of possible criticism, he refused to associate with Gentile Christians in Antioch, Syria, also influencing other Jewish Christians to the same hypocritical way. God used another apostle, namely, Paul, to reprove Peter.
17 Paul says: “When I saw they were not walking straight according to the truth of the good news, I said to Cephas before them all: ‘If you, though you are a Jew, live as the nations do, and not as Jews do, how is it that you are compelling people of the nations to live according to Jewish practice?’” Paul reproved Cephas, that is, Peter, before all the others. Why? In explanation Paul says: “I resisted him face to face, because he stood condemned.” (Gal. 2:11-14; Acts 10:24-48) It is to be understood that Peter (Cephas) recognized his wrongdoing and straightened out his Christian conduct, being now concerned more by criticism from God through an apostolic servant rather than by criticism from men having a wrong viewpoint.
18. Explain the difference between reproving and rebuking.
18 Here is where we can see the difference between a rebuke and a reproof in the Scriptures, in which different Greek words are used for both those words. A rebuke may have no real basis for being given. Hence it may be unjustly administered, for which reason it does not convince or convict the rebuked person of any sin or wrongdoing, because none exists. Such a rebuke produces no change of conduct in repentance on the part of the rebuked person. This finally should make the rebuker realize that he was wrong.
19. (a) How, then, was Peter rebuking rather than reproving Jesus? (b) Yet why was it proper for Jesus to rebuke the demon and the stormy winds and sea?
19 This was the case with the apostle Peter and the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus had just told his apostles for the first time about the painful self-sacrificing course that he must take in order to do God’s will. “And Peter took him and began to rebuke him, saying, ‘God forbid, Lord! This shall never happen to you.’ But he turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men.’” (Matt. 16:21-23, RS; AV) Peter rebuked his Master Jesus by raising strong objections to what Jesus said. Jesus did not deserve such a rebuke, and so, instead of repenting and changing his course, he corrected the thoughtlessly, hastily speaking Peter. Of course, Jesus was right when he rebuked the demon, forcing it to leave the boy that was possessed. (Matt. 17:18) In a storm at sea Jesus rebuked the winds and the sea. He could not reprove those inanimate things.—Matt. 8:23-27.
20, 21. (a) What counsel did Jesus give in Luke 17:3 according to the Revised Standard and Authorized Version Bible translations? (b) Why, then, at Matthew 18:15-17 does Jesus speak of reproving a brother?
20 In regard to difficulties between Christian brothers, Jesus said: “Take heed to yourselves; if your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.” (Luke 17:3, RS; AV) However, the sinner might not in all cases repent so as to gain forgiveness.
21 Why, then, in a similar case did Jesus speak of reproving? He said: “If your brother commits a sin, go lay bare his fault [or, administer a reproof] between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two more, in order that at the mouth of two or three witnesses every matter may be established. If he does not listen to them, speak to the congregation. If he does not listen even to the congregation, let him be to you just as a man of the nations and as a tax collector.” (Matt. 18:15-17) Since, in this case, the accused individual deserves to be expelled from the congregation, the reproving of him was deserved, more so than a mere rebuke. He was proved to be wrong and he knows it inside himself. This was the purpose meant when the one sinned against first laid the fault bare between himself and the sinner, though the sinner never would confess his sin. The presenting of proof continued, first before several witnesses and then before the congregation.
22, 23. (a) What is involved in reproving a brother? (b) How did Paul illustrate the meaning of reproof?
22 Thus in the case of reproving, the one who does it not only makes the accusation but also produces the proof to back it up. If the accused person says something in his own defense, the reprover does not merely answer him; he refutes him, disproves him. The reproved person may not even then make a confession, an honest admission of his guilt, but within himself he feels convicted. He is inwardly convinced of his sin or wrongdoing. This should lead him to change his course in harmony with his self-consciousness of sin. If he does not do so, he may be disfellowshiped on the basis of the proof. How a reproof can work the apostle Paul illustrates in 1 Corinthians 14:24, 25, where he writes to the congregation:
23 “If [at a meeting] you are all prophesying and any unbeliever or ordinary person comes in, he is reproved by them all, he is closely examined by all; the secrets of his heart become manifest, so that he will fall upon his face and worship God, declaring: ‘God is really among you.’”
24, 25. What responsibility with regard to reproving does a light bearer have?
24 If we declare God’s Word of truth, it will deliver its own reproof. That is why Jesus Christ said: “He that practices vile things hates the light and does not come to the light, in order that his works may not be reproved.” (John 3:20) Those bearing the light of God’s “holy writings” should be reproving the things of religious, moral darkness. Paul tells the light bearers:
25 “Quit sharing with them in the unfruitful works that belong to the darkness, but, rather, even be reproving them, for the things that take place in secret by them it is shameful even to relate. Now all the things that are being reproved are made manifest by the light, for everything that is being made manifest is light [a thing no longer secret or under cover of darkness, but a lighted-up thing]. Wherefore he says: ‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and the Christ will shine upon you.’”—Eph. 5:11-14.
26. On being reproved, what does a wise person do?
26 The one sleeping as in darkness of night, who is therefore dead in his trespasses and sins, accepts the reproof that is delivered to him and awakes and rises up from his spiritually dead condition and undertakes to follow Jesus Christ. Christ shines upon him with favor and with truth, and he becomes a light bearer, reflecting the light that he receives from Christ, about whom all the “holy writings” testify.
27. How did Paul in writing Timothy and Titus show the need of giving reproofs?
27 Under some circumstances a congregation overseer has to reprove a member or members of the congregation publicly. So, in his first letter to Timothy, Paul told him: “Reprove before all onlookers persons who practice sin, that the rest also may have fear.” In his final letter Paul wrote Timothy: “Preach the word, be at it urgently in favorable season, in troublesome season, reprove, reprimand [or, rebuke], exhort, with all long-suffering and art of teaching.” (1 Tim. 5:20; 2 Tim. 4:2) He also authorized another overseer, Titus, to do the same public reproving before the congregation. Paul wrote him: “Holding firmly to the faithful word as respects his art of teaching, that he may be able both to exhort by the teaching that is healthful and to reprove [or, refute] those who contradict. . . . For this very cause keep on reproving them with severity, that they may be healthy in the faith. Keep on speaking these things and exhorting and reproving with full authority to command. Let no man ever despise you.”—Titus 1:9, 13; 2:15.
28. What, then, is the real value of reproof, and from what all-important source should it come?
28 So the purpose of reproving is to recover the sinner, to refute and silence the contradictor, to help the materialistic person to become “healthy in the faith.” In order to give such effective reproofs, privately or before the congregation, what is more beneficial for us to use than the “holy writings”?
29. Why is love shown in giving reproof?
29 Never should the person reproved forget that the real motive behind the reproof is love. Why? Because the reprover seeks to correct the error of the person at fault, to convict him of his error and to help him to confess it and to amend his course. Jesus said that all those for whom he had affection he reproved. (Rev. 3:19) The person at fault should appreciate that he can get a benefit from the reproof and should try to get understanding from it. Proverbs 19:25 tells us: “The ridiculer you should strike, that the inexperienced one may become shrewd; and there should be a reproving of the understanding one, that he may discern knowledge.”
30. What are the wise words on reproof contained in Proverbs 3:11, 12, and so how should we accept it?
30 In this way the person reproved will not depreciate or belittle the reproof because it is given through a human instrument or mouthpiece. In Hebrews 12:4-6 those who want to be sons of God are told not to forget Proverbs 3:11, 12, which reads: “The discipline of Jehovah, O my son, do not reject; and do not abhor his reproof, because the one whom Jehovah loves he reproves, even as a father does a son in whom he finds pleasure.” So, even if the reproof does come through a human channel, yet if the reproof is taken from the inspired “holy writings” and if it is given by a Christian “man of God,” then we can be sure it is a reproof from Jehovah God and we should accept it as such. But view it as expressing God’s love.
“FOR SETTING THINGS STRAIGHT”
31. (a) Name another benefit of the “holy writings.” (b) How did Isaiah show the necessity of setting things straight?
31 Another way in which the inspired “holy writings” are beneficial is “for setting things straight.” (2 Tim. 3:16) When we were outside in the crooked world, even though we were in Christendom, we certainly needed to straighten out our relationship with God. This is the very thing he desires us to do. In Isaiah 1:18, 19 he speaks to his wayward people and says: “‘Come, now, you people, and let us set matters straight between us,’ says Jehovah. ‘Though the sins of you people should prove to be as scarlet, they will be made white just like snow; though they should be red like crimson cloth, they will become even like wool. If you people show willingness and do listen, the good of the land you will eat.’”
32. How did God often set matters straight in ancient times, and how does he do so in our day?
32 In ancient times Jehovah God sent his prophets to help the sinful people to straighten matters out and get a correct understanding of matters and know how to proceed correctly toward God. Today we have his Holy Bible, his inspired “holy writings,” to help us to straighten things out in our lives, that we may become “wise for salvation through the faith in connection with Christ Jesus.” Since the Holy Bible can help us in this way, it is a beneficial book indeed, and we need it above all other books. It is the most precious book to us. Because it has helped us to take the crookedness out of our lives, we know we can use it in helping others to straighten things out in their minds and in their moral and religious lives. We can also help the dejected ones to straighten up.
33-35. (a) How must we handle God’s Word in order to set matters straight among brothers and with outsiders? (b) How did Paul emphasize this with Timothy?
33 That is just the thing we are told to do in Hebrews 12:12, 13, which reads: “Straighten up the hands that hang down and the enfeebled knees, and keep making straight paths for your feet, that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather that it may be healed.” Yes, at times our spiritual brothers need a straightening out, as in the case long ago in Antioch, Syria, when the apostle Paul saw that Peter (Cephas) and other Jewish Christians “were not walking straight according to the truth of the good news.” (Gal. 2:14) Whether with our Christian brothers or with inquiring persons outside in the world, including hypocritical Christendom, we have to use God’s inspired written Word in order to straighten things out in a way pleasing to him, which is the only correct way. Not only do we have to use the Bible, but we have to use it in the right way, in a harmonious, consistent way. The overseer Timothy was expected to help his brothers and seekers after God to straighten matters out, and for this reason the apostle Paul wrote him:
34 “Keep reminding them of these things, charging them before God as witness, not to fight about words, a thing of no usefulness at all because it overturns those listening. Do your utmost to present yourself approved to God, a workman with nothing to be ashamed of, handling the word of the truth aright.”—2 Tim. 2:14, 15.
35 That means not to let a thing needing to be straightened out become confused, because of words meant to hide the truth and to overturn the faith of believers or of learners, but to let God’s “word of the truth” decide matters. It means to teach straight doctrine. If we do this, we shall not be ashamed of the results.
“FOR DISCIPLINING IN RIGHTEOUSNESS”
36. (a) How do religious clergymen often defend unscriptural things, but what does God’s Word command under such circumstances? (b) Explain Paul’s words to fathers at Ephesians 6:4.
36 Finally, “all Scripture” containing the inspired “holy writings” is beneficial “for disciplining in righteousness.” (2 Tim. 3:16) Sometimes, when a certain practice or requirement of a religious organization is pointed out to be contrary to the “holy writings,” the religious clergyman will try to justify the unscriptural thing by saying: “It is the discipline of the Church.” But if the thing is not according to “all Scripture,” then it is not a disciplining in righteousness and does not work out any salvation for the disciplined one. The basic purpose of discipline is education, instruction. (Acts 7:22) This education may be given within the framework of certain laws and regulations of an organization. In Paul’s words to fathers this organization is the Christian home, as when he says: “You, fathers, do not be irritating your children, but go on bringing them up in the discipline and authoritative advice of Jehovah.” (Eph. 6:4) Here the discipline would be an education accompanied by deeds or acts of training the children, in order to make them understand how to conduct themselves in the Christian home in subjection to the Christian father. To help them to proceed according to this discipline, some authoritative advice or word of counsel and encouragement from God’s authoritative Word can be given to the children as needed during their training. Thus discipline means that they cannot go according to their immature childish whims, fancies and thoughtless desires, but must learn to act in obedience to Christian rules and regulations for the household.
37, 38. How does such discipline go beyond just fathers and children?
37 Then, too, there is the discipline that must prevail with that larger, more comprehensive institution, the organization of Jehovah God, which is now represented on earth by the congregation of his Christian witnesses. This represents the house of the great heavenly Father, the “house of God.” Its rules, regulations and way of operation are righteous, and any member of the household who thinks and acts in harmony with them learns righteousness.
38 We must be given instruction as to how to conduct ourselves inside God’s organization, and this was why Paul gave instruction to Timothy, writing: “I am writing you these things, . . . that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in God’s household, which is the congregation of the living God, a pillar and support of the truth.” (1 Tim. 3:14, 15) Paul’s instructions to Timothy are now contained in inspired “holy writings,” and so “all Scripture” that God inspired is beneficial “for disciplining in righteousness.”
39. Again, with what motive is discipline to be given, and what does this mean to Christians?
39 The motive behind Christian discipline, whether in a God-fearing home or in a congregation of Jehovah’s witnesses, is love. It will therefore be established and carried out in a proper manner. How this education by deeds within theocratic laws and regulations is to be conducted the inspired “holy writings” plainly tell us. Because it is motivated by love and is meant to be educative, with our salvation in mind, it should be submitted to, although it does not permit us to speak, act and live in the loose way in which the world does, either inside the congregation or outside.
40. What obstacles may we have to face in this world, but what joy is had too?
40 Proceeding in this disciplined way may subject us to criticism, opposition and persecution from the world, but all this goes along now with our disciplining in this world. It may make our God-given work of preaching the “everlasting good news” a hard experience for us “publicly and from house to house,” but this is good discipline for us, with good results in view. “True,” says Hebrews 12:11: “no discipline seems for the present to be joyous, but grievous; yet afterward to those who have been trained by it it yields peaceable fruit, namely, righteousness.” So let us love God our heavenly Father for it.
41. If we pay attention to “all Scripture,” what will we become?
41 Today we must live our lives, we must unitedly carry on our worldwide work, as disciplined Christian witnesses of Jehovah. We must act and serve as men of God, his dedicated people. Our wisdom for eternal salvation lies in faithfully studying and using his Book of “everlasting good news.” It was lovingly given to us “that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.”—2 Tim. 3:17; Rev. 14:6.
◆ At Romans 16:23 the apostle Paul, writing from Corinth, sends greetings from some of his co-workers; for instance, “Erastus the city steward greets you.” Erastus apparently was in charge of the financial affairs of the city. During excavations in Corinth in 1929 Professor T. L. Shear discovered a pavement or paving block with this inscription: “ERASTVS PRO: AED: S: P: STRAVIT” (“Erastus, procurator and aedile, laid this pavement at his own expense”). Whether the Erastus mentioned in this inscription is the same one as Paul mentions is uncertain, but the pavement is believed to have existed in the first century A.D.—Biblical Archaeology, G. Ernest Wright, p. 262.