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Trinity (God the Son)

The Death of Jesus

Image from Logos Bible Software

Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His substitutionary death on the cross He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One Mediator, fully God, fully man, in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever present Lord. (BFM).

Romans 5:8 reminds us; “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (English Standard Version).

Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God being that He is fully deity and fully human.  This is difficult for anyone to just wrap their mind around the concept and belief.  Some I have heard compared this to the mythical god Hercules being a mythical god and man.  However, this is not a good comparison, for one Hercules is a myth and second he was half and half, not fully depicted as one or the other.  So using information from the world’s knowledge is difficult to explain the wonders of God without bordering on blasphemy.  Be careful what common understandings are used to explain the mysteries of God and the things of God’s Words!

The birth of Jesus Christ is an amazing recording all in of itself because “He who made the universe came into His own creation to save His people” (BFM).  The birth of Christ was amazing in of itself because “He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and was born to the virgin Mary” (BFM).  This virgin birth is central to the believer’s understanding of who Jesus Christ is and is a miracle beyond our full understanding.  Why would the Son of God leave His place in heaven and spend a lifetime in a physical body?  He came to point us to the Father and give us some guidance and direction on how to live our lives to the fullest with the kingdom of God on our mind.

This goes on to explain the life of Christ.  “In His perfect humanity Christ perfectly identified with us; yet He did not sin” (BFM).  Jesus Christ was able to identify with His creation by putting on flesh and spending time among the people He created for His glory.  “Christ fulfilled all of the righteous requirements of the law – something no other person could ever do” (BFM).  Because of His perfect life, He was the perfect sacrifice for the sins of humanity.

The death of Christ is in order to save us from death (eternal separation from God) due to mankind’s sinful nature in the flesh.  “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23, ESV).  Christ’s death on the cross bridged the gap between our separation from God and a relationship with Him for an eternity.

After the death of Christ, He was able to conquer death and overcome the sinful nature that plagues the world and rose from the grave.  This is why it is so important for us to spread the Word of God to all people no matter where we may be and their circumstances.

Romans 10:5-17 this passage reminds myself of the importance to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to all people and not to just sit on my hands letting others do the work.

5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. 6 But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.(ESV)

As believers, we are all called to spread the good news of Christ to all peoples and to tell those even across the street the importance of Christ being within our lives.  One day I anticipate the return of Jesus Christ.  I’m not sure how it will look or what will take place, but in reading through the Bible and ending up in Revelations it seems like an amazing event.

“When He returns, He will claim His church, complete His mission, bring all things to consummation, judge the world, and be revealed as the Lord of all creation.  Christ’s return will be bodily, visible, glorious, and triumphant.  Christians look to Christ’s return with anticipation and hope, knowing God’s purposes will be accomplished and Christ will claim His church and vindicate His people” (BFM).

Believers, let’s wait with anticipation for Christ’s return and also spread the news of Jesus Christ to all people we come across in our daily lives.  God bless.

Joseph Williams

coolyouthdude@me.com

 

The Trinity (God the Father)

Trinity

Image from Logos Bible Software

Article 2A from the Baptist Faith and Message:

“God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, his creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history, according to the purposes of His grace.  He is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all wise.  God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ.  He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men.” (BFM).

(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted are from the English Standard Version.)

God as Father brings multiple thoughts to the wonder and glory of this part of the Godhead.  God as Father is not like the earthly father we have on this earth.  Matthew 23:9-10 is a verse I continue with in struggling with referring to someone who is an overseer in the church as father.  “And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.  Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ” (Matthew 23:9-10, ESV).

I have an earthly father who is a broken picture of who God as Father really is and myself also is a broken picture of God as Father to my own children.  To remind myself of this brings me to the position that I must continue to focus on the Word of God in order to bear a better image of God.  At the dawn of creation mankind was meant to bear the image of God:

Although humans are created in the “image” and “likeness” of God (the terms are essentially synonyms; cp. 5:3), it does not follow that God has a body. “Image” or “likeness” often refers to a physical representation of something that may be non-material. Man was created to serve as God’s representative to govern the earth (Cabal, 2007, p. 5).

We are to be a physical representation of God and bear His characteristics throughout our daily life.  How do we begin to understand and know what those characteristics are and how they should look in our life?  As we read the Bible and spend time in God’s Word, then we can begin to understand what our lives should look like to those we come in contact with.

God is all powerful.  “God is omnipotent – His power is not restricted in any way.  The Bible describes God as almighty, meaning that He holds all power” (BFM).  This brings me an understanding that no matter how life goes, I can trust that God is in control of every facet of my life and existence.  Nothing and no one can defeat God because He has the power to do anything and all things.

God is all knowing.  “God knows all things – past, present, and future.  Nothing is hidden from His sight (see Romans 11:33)” (BFM).  There isn’t anything done in secret that remains in secret because God knows all things from our past, present, and future.  We might be able to keep things from close friends, family, and other individuals, but we cannot hide even one small thing from His attention.

God is all loving.  “With breathtaking simplicity the Bible declares that ‘God is love’ (1 John 4:8).  God’s love is His self-giving nature – His very character as demonstrated through countless acts of compassion and mercy” (BFM).  In reading this and knowing that God is all loving helps me rest assured that no matter what I do in life, God still loves me and cares for me in a way I cannot even begin to comprehend.

God is all wise.  “To say that God is all-wise is not the same as saying He is all-knowing, for wisdom exceeds knowledge.  The Bible depicts wisdom as the right ordering and understanding of knowledge – the understanding of ultimate meaning and significance” (BFM).

To sit back and read the first portion of the Godhead, God the Father, then to think on the attributes of God, the character traits, and what I need to do in order to develop them within my own life helps me to to understand how I should live my life to the fullest.  I pray through this blog that you too will find the importance of God as Father in your life and then in turn seek the Word of God to make application to your own life.

In Christ,

Joseph Williams

 

 

God (Part 3; Conclusion)

In closing up the last section on God I’m going to talk about what I understand of the Trinity and some of the certainties about God.

The Trinity

The concept of the Trinity is one of the most difficult and often overly misunderstood description about God and three persons.  So the question begins with how do I understand the Trinity in my life.  I’ll start with this quote from the BFM.

Many analogies have been used to illustrate the Trinity and to help in understanding the doctrine.  Some have compared the Trinity to a man who, at the same time, is a son, is a father, and a grandfather.  Others have said it is like the solid, liquid, and vaporous forms of water.  However, all analogies ultimately break down.  John Dagg wrote about the Trinity: “The Father is God; – the Son is God; – the Holy Ghost is God; – there is but one God.”  He added that our finite intelligence cannot harmonize the last statement with the preceding three” (BFM, p. 27).

In reading this quote, it makes it clear, but difficult to explain, how the Trinity works and God in three persons but yet one God.  If you look at each one as a separate God functioning alone, then you could run into the issue of worship of many Gods which is what God commanded in the ten commandments not to do.  Also, if you regard them as one being, then how is His all-knowing power effective when He became a man and dwelt among us?  These are the questions many ask and the answers are difficult because of the limits of the human mind.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.   For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9, ESV)

I have to keep going back to this verse when thinking on the nature and character of God because my mind is limited in understanding everything on this earth and the things yet to come.  This is the same thought I have when trying to understand the Trinity of God.

Certainties About God

God’s Sovereignty.  What does the term sovereignty of God mean to Christians?

The biblical concept of God’s kingly, supreme rule and legal authority over the entire universe. God’s sovereignty is expressed, exercised and displayed in the divine plan for and outworking of salvation history (Grenz, 1999, p. 109).

Although it may seem as though God is lacking in control over His creation, we need to think again on the authority God has over the entire universe.  I keep thinking about His power and authority to bring the world into existence.  God knows the directions we will take in our lives and He will direct our paths.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.   In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6, ESV).

We must trust in the Lord with all our heart, not just the parts of our lives we want to trust him with.  When we do not understand God and His sovereignty over our lives, remember He is in control.  If we focus on God and acknowledge Him within our lives, then He will make our paths straight.  This doesn’t mean the path will be easy, but it will be easier to understand where we must go in order to follow close to God.

God’s Character.  “He is absolute righteousness, for He is the standard for righteousness and holiness” (BFM, p. 29).  As the scriptures are opened up in our studies, the character of God is revealed to us that gives us an understanding of how we should model our life to live a life holy and pleasing to the Lord.

 

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:1-2, ESV).

As we read the Word of God and make it central in our lives, then our minds will be transformed to follow and hold fast to the way God draws us to live out our lives day-to-day.  I enjoy reading the Word of God because as I do, it helps me understand what I should do and how I should react when faced with trials and temptations.  God calls us into holiness, therefore that should be the aim of our existence.  “A holy God demands and deserves a holy people, and thus we are called to be holy as well” (BFM).  “…but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’ (1 Peter 1:15-16, ESV).  In all your conduct meaning in everything you do rather word or deed should be holy and pleasing to the Lord.

In this, I pray you come to a better understanding on how to address the Trinity with the understanding of our finite minds and the limits we posses.  Remember the sovereignty of God in and over our lives and the character we must emulate in our lives.

In Christ,

Joseph Williams

coolyouthdude@me.com

Over the next three blogs, I’ll discuss God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  Remember to get into the Word of God for yourself to have a better understanding of His character and sovereignty in your life.

Grenz, S., Guretzki, D., & Nordling, C. F. (1999). In Pocket dictionary of theological terms (p. 109). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

 

God (Part 2)

Reading through the Baptist Faith and Message again and again helps me to realize the qualities and character of God.  As I read, my perception of God and about God change as I compare the BFM against scripture and the knowledge I have obtained through studies and the hours of time committed to focusing solely on the Word of God.

A reminder to myself and to those reading, the Baptist Faith and Message does not need to become the authority by which you understand God but is to be used as a tool to move you to scripture.  Scripture is the ultimate authority and no matter what something says outside of the Word of God, it still needs to be tested and tried by the authority of scripture.  Do not settle for what he said, she said, my pastor said, the Baptist Faith and Message (or any other catechism),  or what I said, but settle on the authority of the scripture and let it lead you into an understanding of who God is and His authority over your life.  Now to move on into more about God and the understanding I have and the understanding delivered through the BFM.

“The Bible tells us that God is the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe” (BFM).  I am reminded by this of the authority God has over all of His creation and the land I live within.  God has created mankind, redeemed mankind, preserved mankind, and rules over manking and the entire universe.

God is creator.  Genesis 1:1 reminds us, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”  God created the heavens and the earth.  There was nothing before God because He is there and is the beginning of all things and the end of all things.  The term ex nihilo is a latin phrase that keeps getting tossed in every now and then about God creating out of nothing.  We were all created for the glory of God and to glorify God in all we do.  Psalm 19:1 ESV states; “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”  Another scripture that comes to mind when thinking about mankind glorifying God is in 1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV) “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”  We were created to live out our lives to glorify God in whatever we do.

God is Redeemer.  “In the Old Testament He redeemed Israel from bondage to the Egyptians (Exodus 6-12) and promised a more perfect redemption to come.  The New Testament tells the story of God’s redeeming love as revealed and fulfilled by Jesus Christ” (BFM).  Over and over again, there are examples of mankind messing up and then God stepping in to redeem mankind from their sinfulness.

God is Preserver.  Matthew 10:29 reminds us of how God preserves even the sparrows which seem like such a small and unnoticed animal.  “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father” (Matt. 10:29, ESV).  God takes care of and preserves His people.  Now, to be clear, this doesn’t mean nothing bad will ever happen to a believer.  As long as we live in the world, we are suceptable to sin and the pains of this world until Christ’s return.

God is Ruler.  God is constantly involved with mankind whom He created for His purposes and His glory.  “Christianity is incompatible with deism, the belief that God created the world only to withdraw from it, merely observing its unfolding history” (BFM).  It is quite the opposite, God is actively involved among us and over us.  As believer, we need to take ourselves out of the position of ruler and allow God to have full control over our lives.  In order to understand what that control looks like, we must fully engage the Word of God to get to know the character of God and His desire for our lives.

Because God is Ruler, we own Him the highest love, reverence, and obedience.  The very fact that God allows us to know and to love Him is a sign of His loving character.  Reverance naturally flows from the acknowledgment that He is our Creator and Redeemer.  We revere Him by honoring His name and respecting His Word. (BFM)

I challenge you to engage in the Word of God and to not let your Bible studies wavor due to unscheduled interfearances.  So often we become busy and feel as though the busier we are the more productive we can be.  However, that is quite the opposite.  We need to manage the time we are given so in whatever we do, we can do it to glorify God who is our Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler over our lives.  Ask yourself what is necessary and what is not in order to free up time with family and friends and most importantly to get God back into the center most part of your daily life.

If you are reading this through Facebook, email, or other way that isn’t directly on the blog site, go to http://www.coolyouthdude.com and leave a comment or send me an email.

Next post we’ll dive into the Trinity and some certainties about God.

In Christ,

Joseph Williams

coolyouthdude@me.com

 

God (Part 1)

Article 2 of The Baptist Faith and Message states this on the understanding of who God is.

There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being. (BFM, 2000).

Before I break it down even farther, there needs to be an understanding of God in the general sense.  The next three posts after this I’ll go into greater detail of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

In the life of a Disciple of Christ, there needs to be an understanding of who the “only living and true God” is and some of the characteristics of God as a whole.  Opening up in Exodus, there is the reminder in the Ten Commandments “You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3, ESV)  God wants to have the central portion of our lives and not have to share it with someone, or something else.

“The highest aspiration of the human soul and mind must be to know the one true and living God, to enjoy Him, and to serve Him with gladness” (BFM, 2007, p. 22).  This is why the first couple blog posts were about scripture and their importance in the life of a Christian.  In order to know and understand how to follow the one true God, we need to dive into His Word so we can have a deeper understanding of who He is and His desire over our lives.   There are several attributes we learn about God through the reading of His Word.

God is intelligent, spiritual, and personal.  “By intelligent we affirm that God is a knowing Being, not a blind force” (BFM).  He is also said to be all-knowing by being an active presence in our daily lives.  He is a spiritual being in that He is not tied down to or constricted by a physical body.  He is personal because “we affirm that God has a personality and relates to His people in a personal way” (see Ezekiel 34:24, 30-31)” (BFM).  Because He is a personal God, we can interact and relate to Him.

God is self-existent, self-sufficent, and eternal.  God doesn’t need anything or anyone in order to be complete.  “The only uncreated being, God made all things and brought all creatures into being (see Genesis 1:1)” (BFM).  God is always and always will be, and there was nothing before God.

God is glorious.  “Although God does not need His creatures, He chooses to glorify Himself through them” (BFM).  The more we, as Disciples of Christ, spend time in the Word and focus on scriptures the more we see the amazing glorious wonders of the great God almighty.  Psalms 19:1 reminds us: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”   God’s gloriousness is all around us and is evident through His creation and through the lives of those who follow close to Him.

God is unchanging.  Over and over again I keep hearing people say God changes His mind about anything and everything.  The God of the Old Testament being different than the God of the New Testament is a wrong picture of the unchanging attributes of God.  1 Kings 8:56 reminds us: “Blessed be the LORD who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. Not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he spoke by Moses his servant.”  In that one passage, there is the reminder that God holds to all His promises and His promises are good.  Unlike mankind, God does not go back on His covenants with His people.

The next blog, I’ll focus on the activity of God and how He is the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe.

Thanks for reading this post and I pray you are able to grow closer in your relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

In Christ,

Joseph Williams

coolyouthdude@me.com

 

 

 

 

The Importance of Scripture (cont.)

What are some ways Southern Baptist affirm the Bible is true from beginning to end?  In this blog I’ll look through the topics of the Bible as being authoritative, infallible, inerrant, sufficient, and eternal.  Throughout this series, I’ll continue to use the workbook by Charles S. Kelly Jr., Richard Land, and R. Albert Mohler Jr. called “The Baptist Faith and Message.”  Pick up a copy and read through it to go even deeper than I can in these brief blog postings.

The Bible is authoritative.  “If God is the author of the scriptures, every word of the Bible bears God’s own authority” (BFM).  For me, this is huge and hard to pass up the idea the book we hold in our hands is the authority of God.  This is why it is important when pastors, teachers, and leaders examine the scriptures so when they present it in front of a group of people it is accurate and is not told in a way that misleads and misdirects the listener away from a relationship with God almighty.  I thought this quote was important when remembering the difference between the authority of God’s Words and the traditions of mankind.  “We do not base our teachings on mere human tradition, nor do we base our faith on human wisdom.  The Bible, and the Bible alone, is the rule for our faith and life” (BFM).

The Bible is infallible.  “Human wisdom will fail, as will human witness, but the Word of God never fails” (BFM).  Think on that again… The Word of God never fails!!!  To ponder on this concept, God’s Word never fails no matter the situation.  The verse I shared last week (2 Timothy 3:16-17) on uses of the scripture helps to realize the Bible can be used in every facet of life and not within the need for salvation.  “If the Bible cannot be trusted in all it teaches, how can we have confidence that it can be trusted in any of its teachings” (BFM)?

The Bible is inerrant.  “The Bible is truth-all truth-and contains no error of any kind” (BFM).  To say the Bible is inerrant is the affirmation of the authority and inspiration behind the scriptures written in its pages from God the author.

The Bible is sufficient.  There is nothing else we need added to or subtracted from the Bible.  The message written within its pages is enough for us to be sustained upon for the rest of our lives.  As I read the scriptures, I gain more of an understanding of the God being spoken about within its pages.  When I spend my days in studying the Bible, then I come across ways I should have handled situations and the way I can handle future situations.

The Baptist Faith and Message explains, this is why the Bible is “the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried.”  Where else would we turn (BFM).

The Bible is eternal.  The Bible has stood the test of time.  Other ideas and religions have come and gone, but the Word of God has stood true to its readers and followers.

The Bible is not a passing deposit of divine revelation.  It cannot be superseded by another word or revelation.  Ultimately, it is completely fulfilled in Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word, and its truth endures forever (BFM).

It is important for us to gain a greater understanding of the Word of God and its importance in our daily lives.  In order to have a better understanding of that importance, we must read it daily and do more than one verse devotionals.  I used to read one verse devotionals and call that a quiet time and Bible study.  However, I began to learn the importance of reading within the context of the passage instead of reading one passage and then trying to glean and understanding from the verse.  I read a devotional with one verse focus and came across one that took it completely out of context and made it sound different than the original writer intended the message to be.  From that moment on, I put devotionals to the side and began to focus on reading whole passages and engaging the sections with commentaries, customs books, language dictionaries, and other resources.

I challenge you to read the Word of God for at least 15 to 20 minutes a day and begin with a book and read and reread sections and passages asking for the Lord to reveal more of His character and nature.  It is amazing what glories of God will be uncovered.

Thank you again for reading this blog post.  Don’t forget to leave a comment below.

In Christ,

Joseph Williams

coolyouthdude@me.com

 

The Importance of Scripture

Bible Image - John Wycliffe

From the Publisher-John Wycliffe. (1983). Christian History Magazine-Issue 3:John Wycliffe: Bible Translator.


From the Baptist Faith and Message, here is the article in relation to the scripture.
“The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation” (Baptist Faith and Message 2000).

The first passage about the importance of scripture that comes to mind in the life of a believer comes from 2 Timothy.

“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 3:16-17, English Standard Version).

Every portion of scripture is important to the believer, and how does the scripture measure up to each portion mentioned in the scripture?

All Scripture is breathed out by God – Paul writes in his letter a reminder that all the Words written in the scriptures are from the breath of God.  Every scripture is profitable to something.  This isn’t a get rich gospel!!!  This is the understanding that it will profit you to have this information in your life because it will help you when you are stressed, excited, anxious, or just need encouragement in the days ahead.

For teaching – When you sit in a school classroom, the teacher uses some sort of textbook to relay information to the student.  If it is a good and respectable teacher, then they will use the text to teach and give proper instruction to the student.  If the teacher is not good or respectable, then they may chose to leave important pieces of information or only chose to give opinions.  “God [who is the ultimate teacher] graciously provided humankind special revelation through His divine Word to teach us more about His nature, His redemptive purpose, and His will for our lives” (Kelley, 2007, p. 9).

For reproof – putting the blame on someone for their actions, or attitude.  So often many do not want to be blamed for their actions and push it off as someone else made me do it, it was their fault.  From the beginning, the Garden of Eden, the man blames both God and the woman and the woman blames the serpent.  We do not want to take responsibility for our own actions, but the Word of God calls us to take responsibility for our actions and place the blame on ourselves for our sinful desires.

For Correction – No one that I know likes to be corrected.  However, it is important for our growth in Salvation to be corrected.  Without correction, we ultimately remain on the same path with no chance of changing directions.  The Word of God has corrected my irresponsible behaviors and placed me back on the path of righteousness.  Without focusing on the Word of God daily, then we will never determine what needs to be changed to redirect our attention back to God alone.  Correction is not an enjoyable moment, but is necessary for our growth and understanding of God’s Words.

For training in righteousness – This by far is the most important aspect of the Word of God and its importance in our daily lives.  We need training no matter where we are, but we need the right kind of training.  We need to be trained in the Word of God because within it we find the righteousness of God and an understanding that drives us to focusing on keeping God at the front of our lives.

The last two portions of the scripture tell us:

The man of God may be complete – Apart from God’s Word there is a void that nothing else in the world can fill, or begin to fill.  In the Word of God I find understanding for life.  In my life, I have not found anything in the world that makes me fill complete.  I have things in my life I could do without, but none of that will ever fulfill me like the Word of God can complete me.

Equipped for every good work – The Word of God, when studied can equip us and ready us for whatever situations or struggles we may experience in life.  I have found many portions in the Bible that have equipped me for tasks I never thought I would experience and trials I never thought I would endure.  This portion of the passage reminds us that the Word of God will equip us for every good work.  Those works must be centered around God and His authority over our lives.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 is just one of the many verses used in the Baptist Faith and Message to illustrate the importance of the Word of God in the believer’s life.  This is why it is on the top of the list in this series and where I chose to start.  Without understanding the Word of God is the truth its importance in our lives, it just becomes another book with good self-help advice.  The scriptures remind us we need to focus on Christ and that our self can get in the way of coming to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord.

Other passages used by the Baptist Faith and Message are:

Exodus 24:4; Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 17:19; Joshua 8:34; Psalms 19:7-10; 119:11,89,105,140; Isaiah 34:16; 40:8; Jeremiah 15:16; 36:1-32; Matthew 5:17-18; 22:29; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16ff.; 17:11; Romans 15:4; 16:25-26; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1:19-21.

I would encourage you to take the time and read through each one of the verses yourself and see the importance of the Word of God in your own life.

In Christ,

Joseph Williams

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