16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)
Many people approach the Bible as if it were simply a collection of rules and regulations, old stories, and inspiring poetry, little of which has much practical value for us in the 21st century. We read it because we’re supposed to read it, not because we expect to benefit from it. Fortunately, the Bible is anything but a book of out-dated literature. It’s quite relevant to us here and now.
The Apostle Paul tells us that among the most important reasons why God gave us the Bible is to equip us for living in this broken world. In 2 Timothy 3:16 Paul tells us that Scripture is “useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.”
Being useful for teaching means that, as we read the Bible, we can learn about God’s perspective on Himself, ourselves, and the world around us. By rebuking and correcting us, God’s Word shows us what we’re doing wrong and what we should do instead. Scripture also trains us in righteousness, which means that it helps us to grow in our ability to live the way God wants us to live.
In verse 17 Paul says that the Scripture equips us “for every good work.” Through the Bible God shows us how He wants us to live and He gives us the resources to do so. Loving our neighbors, helping those in need, encouraging each other, and telling people about God’s love are just a few of the many “good works” that are just as practical today as they were 2000 years ago.
When you read the Bible, come to it expecting to benefit from it. Ask God to help you to understand it and to live in light of what it says. Ask Him to show you how He wants you to live and to enable you to do so.