In 2 Tim 3:16-17, Paul said, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
We are going to look further at the words in bold in these verses so that we can understand how scripture is profitable.
Scripture – simply said, the King James Bible is scripture. The words in the King James Bible are God’s words. Other bibles in English contain scripture where they line up with the KJV. But in all other places you are reading men’s words; not God’s words.
Inspiration – when you are reading scripture or hearing it preached and taught, the Holy Spirit gives it to you by inspiration. Inspiration has to do with understanding. Job 32:8, “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.” So, when you are listening to or reading scripture, God is giving it to you so that you can understand what he said.
Profitable – when scripture is given to you by inspiration of God, then it is profitable. It is going to do you some good, as follows.
Doctrine – doctrine is simply what God said. In other words, if you want to know God’s thoughts on anything, read the Bible. What God has to say about any subject can be found in the words of God. And he teaches you what he wants you to know. That’s doctrine.
Reproof – reproof is the way God shows you how you are out of line with his doctrine. Reproof says, “No, you’re out of line.” In reproof, God is always right, and we are wrong. And you will never get to be so old and mature in the Lord that you don’t need to be reproved.
Correction – following reproof, God shows you how to get back in line with him. He corrects you. If you drive across another lane, you must correct the vehicle you are driving to get back in your lane. God does the same thing with his words. He doesn’t just show you how you are out of line, he also shows you how to get back in line.
Instruction – once you have corrected yourself by following what God says, then he gives you instruction so that you will know how to continue following him. Instruction keeps you on track.
Perfect – perfect doesn’t mean sinless. Perfect indicates that you are where you are supposed to be in your growth and righteousness with the Lord at any given point in time. For example, I ran track and cross country in high school. Early in the season, we were not running at our peak times that we would achieve near the end of the season. As the coach trained us, he was looking for us to improve our times throughout the season so that we could be at our peak performance near the end. Thus, he could say, midway through the season, “your times are perfect,” even though they weren’t our best. And God can say about you, though you are not through growing, you are perfect and throughly furnished unto all good works because you are right on track.
Conclusion: if you have a Bible and you are not reading it and you are not attending to the preaching and teaching of it, you are making a tragic mistake. If you have a Bible and you are reading it but you are not following what God says, you are making a tragic mistake. You must follow what God says. Scripture is profitable.