The Apostle Paul tells us that what makes the Scriptures sacred is the fact that they are God breathed. In other words, they have their ultimate origin with God himself.
Paul goes on to say that the fundamental characteristic of being “God-breathed” makes the Bible “useful.” This word means “practical,” and “beneficial.” I think the word “relevant” captures the meaning here. Because of the Bible’s source, it has vital practical relevance for our lives.
This relevance is seen in four areas: Teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.
1. The Scripture teaches me: it gives me correct information.
Teaching focuses on the Bible as giving us instruction to live life. Now this assumes that we come to the Bible as learners, because only learners can be taught. This instruction or teaching isn’t just about heavenly things, but it’s about practical things like being a good spouse, being a good parent, loaning out money, starting a business, and so forth.
2. The Scripture rebukes me: repairs my wrong ways of thinking.
Rebuking sounds kind of harsh, but really it just means confronting our wrong ideas about life. This assumes that all of us carry around misconceptions and distortions about God, about ourselves, and about life that need to be changed. For instance, if I measure success in life by how much money a person has, but the Bible measures success by a person’s faithfulness to God, then my criteria for success has been rebuked, and I need to change my definition to conform to God’s definition.
3. The Scripture corrects me: Corrects my character flaws.
Correction is similar to rebuking, but it focuses in on behavior instead of beliefs. This assumes that all of us lose our way in life sometimes, that we can easily wander off the course God has for us and end up roaming around in circles. The Bible corrects us when it gets us back on track in life, when it shows us where we are and how to get back on course with where God wants us to go.
4. The Scripture trains me in righteousness: Trains me to be ready to make the right choices and decisions.
Training in righteousness focuses on the Bible’s role in helping us live the kind of lives that please God. This assumes that a life of integrity doesn’t come naturally to us; that we need help to live the kind of life of integrity we want to live. The Bible trains us to do that which we could not do on our own when it comes to a life of integrity.
All of this results in being thoroughly equipped for a spiritually vital life. We have the tools with which we need to work. All these things are furnished by the Scriptures. There is no other way to attain unto this goal than by reading and studying the Scriptures. So let’s get busy!