The Profitable Writings

I. The responsibilities for Christian leaders are many.

A. We are to remember that we are in the “Last Days.”

1. 2 Peter 3:3 -- Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

2. 1 John 2:18 -- Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

B. We are to know that “perilous times” will come.

1. 1 Timothy 4:1 -- Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils

2. 2 Timothy 4:3 -- For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears

a. They will “creep” into “houses” (churches – 1 Timothy 3:15)
b. They will resist the truth for a time (2 Timothy 3:8)
c. They will be stopped from harming and exposed as foolish (2 Timothy 3:9)

C. We must be teaching the truths of the Kingdom.

1. Titus 1:7-9 – “ . . . holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.

2. 1 Corinthians 2:5 -- That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

D. We must experience persecutions and afflictions.

1. Romans 8:18 -- For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

2. 2 Corinthians 12:10 -- Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

E. We godly will suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12)

1. Psalm 37:12 -- The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.

2. Matthew 10:22 -- And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

F. We must continue in what we have learned.

1. 2 Timothy 1:13 -- Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

2. 1 Timothy 4:16 -- Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

II. The Holy Scriptures are able to make you wise unto salvation in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:15-16)

A. There is a play on words in these two verses.

1. The “holy scriptures” is a translation of hieros gramma – “sacred letters”

2. The “scripture” of verse 16 is graphe – “scripture”

3. The attempt is to convey a complete description of God’s instruction to man.

a. 1 Corinthians 9:13 -- Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?
b. 2 Corinthians 3:7 -- But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:
c. The “sacred” implements of the OT temple and the Mosaic Law written on stone are examples of the precision with which we are to treat Scripture.

4. The “graphen” (writings) – all of them – are profitable.

a. This word is used 51 times – always translated “scripture.”
b. 2 Peter 1:20-21 -- Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

B. There is much teaching about “inspiration” in Scripture.

1. The word is theopneustos a combination of theos and pneo.

a. Some would suggest “God’s wind.”
1) Matthew 7:25 -- And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
2) John 6:18 -- And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew.
b. Some would suggest “God’s breath”
1) The compound word is theos and pnoe
2) Acts 17:25 -- Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things

2. The claims for inspiration are many in the Old Testament.

a. Pentateuch – 680 claims
b. Prophetical Books – 1,370 claims
c. Historical Books – 418 claims
d. Poetical Books – 195
e. Total Old Testament Claims = 2,663
f. Deuteronomy 4:2 -- Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

3. The statements in the New Testament are precise.

a. Galatians 1:11-12 -- But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.  For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
b. Romans 16:25-27 -- Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen
c. Revelation 22:18-19 -- For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

3. The Lord Jesus gave precise examples of how to use the Scriptures.

a. He used the precise choice of words.
1) Matthew 22:41-46 -- How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, the LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?  If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?  (quoting from Psalm 110:1  YAWEH said to my Adonai )
b. He used the precise choice of the tense of a verb.
1) Matthew 22:23-33 -- Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.  . . . have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.  And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.
c. He claimed that the very spelling was eternal.
1) Matthew 5:17-189 -- Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.  For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

4. The emphasis throughout is always the writings, the text – nor the thought or the ideas that the human author had in mind at the time of the writing – nor that an accommodation must be made to the “new discoveries” of man that demonstrate the cultural ignorance of Scripture.

III. The Scripture is profitable.

A. It is profitable for doctrine – biblical teaching that matures the Saint.

1. Matthew 15:9 -- But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

2. Ephesians 4:14 -- That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

3. 1 Timothy 1:10 -- For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine

4. 1 Timothy 4:6 -- If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

5. Titus 2:7-10 -- In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity . . .Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.

B. It is profitable for reproof (to convince with proof).

1. Hebrews 11:1 -- Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

2. Titus 1:9 -- Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

C. It is profitable for correction

1. The word means restoration to an upright or right state correction, improvement of life or character

2. The word is used only this one time in Scripture.

D. It is profitable for instruction in righteousness.

1. The “instruction” is more than teaching – it includes careful discipline

2. Ephesians 6:4 -- And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

3. Hebrews 12:5 -- My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

IV. The Scripture will bring complete ability to accomplish good works.

A. The translation of artios (perfect) and exartidzo (thoroughly furnished) is difficult.

1. Probably:  so that the man of God may be ready (to meet present needs) and completely useable (for all kinds of needs).

2, Maybe:  so that the man of God may be fitted (for the specific job) and totally fitting (to every good work).

3. Either way – The Scriptures are the “profitable” means to produce the proper “man of God.”

B. The expectation from our Lord is always that we DO good works.

1. Matthew 5:16 -- Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

2. Ephesians 2:10 -- For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

3. Titus 2:7 -- In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works:

4. Titus 3:8 -- . . . they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

5. Hebrews 10:24 -- And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

2 Timothy


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