women loaded down with sins, led by various desires, [women] always learning and yet never able to come to an accurate knowledge of truth.”—2 Tim. 3:1-7.
19 We know that those foretold conditions are upon us and mark these as the critical “last days.” To meet the situation and come to an accurate knowledge of truth and stay in the truth, living it, we need more than a man’s book. We need God’s Book, with all its counsel and instruction. Almighty God has provided it for us. To gain the promised salvation, we have to “continue in the things” that are written in that Book. The Christian overseer Timothy was a “man of God,” and that is why Paul wrote Timothy as he did. (1 Tim. 6:11) That is what we want to be, men of God, people of God.
20. To aid one to qualify as a man of God, what has Jehovah given us?
20 In ancient times both the prophet Elijah and his successor Elisha were known as men of God. (1 Ki. 17:18; 2 Ki. 4:9, 21-27) A materialized angel and also unnamed prophets were called men of God. (Judg. 13:6-8; 1 Sam. 2:27; 1 Ki. 13:1-31; 2 Chron. 25:7-9) The prophet Moses was the first one whom the Bible spoke of as a man of God, and he was a prophetic figure or type of Jesus Christ, who was the greatest man of God ever on earth and who is the example for all his disciples. (Deut. 33:1; Josh. 14:6) That we disciples of Christ may be men of God, people of God, who are “fully competent, completely equipped for every good work” in these critical “last days,” God has given us his Book in completeness, the inspired “holy writings.” (2 Tim. 3:17) How grateful we should be to God the Giver!
21. (a) For what reasons do we call God’s Word “holy”? (b) What change can it make in a person’s life?
21 The Holy Bible has qualities had by no mere man-made books, of the making of which there is no end. (Eccl. 12:12) The writings in the Bible are “holy.” That is so because they are “inspired of God” and they were written for the purpose of vindicating, justifying, glorifying God and sanctifying his people, making them holy. Jesus Christ called attention to this fact when he prayed to God for his disciples and said: “Sanctify them by means of the truth; your word is truth. And I am sanctifying myself in their behalf, that they also may be sanctified by means of truth.” (John 17:17, 19) The Holy Bible has sanctifying power, able to produce a complete change in a person’s life so as to make him a “man of God,” a person separate from this bedeviled world, a person completely dedicated to God and to his worship and service. Persons of this kind are the ones whom God will save to life eternal in His righteous new order, now so near at hand. The Bible is therefore most beneficial to us. Why, then, should we not prefer it above all other books? We do!
This book of the law should not depart from your mouth, and you must in an undertone read in it day and night, in order that you may take care to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way successful and then you will act wisely.—Josh. 1:8.
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.