I saw, in 2 Timothy 3:15-17, a clear overview of the spiritual life journey from salvation in verse 15 to mature stability in verse 17. The "bridge" verse in verse 16 connected them together by the process of sanctification in the practical application of His God-breathed words. What a breath of spiritual fresh air that was to me!!!!! AND as a result, has changed my life dramatically, and been used of the Lord to assist others in their personal study of the Scriptures, decision-making dilemmas, and conflict resolution efforts.
Isaiah incorporates the very same sequence hundreds of years earlier, recorded in Isaiah 6. What are those steps, based on God's Holy Word, across the 'bridge' from salvation to stability? In the laying of a firm foundation base, Paul instructs Timothy that all Scripture is God breathed, and is profitable for four specific things. It is considering that 4 step progression of profitability that gives practical instruction for personal application
1. Doctrine shows me the heart, mind, will and purpose of God as I see righteousness defined.
2. Reproof is seen as I measure my life by its Christ-likeness, comparing myself to His righteousness. A clear line of demarcation is drawn as I compare the righteous attitude of humility with the unrighteous pride. The righteous behavior of walking in the Spirit is distinctly contrasted with the unrighteous behavior of fulfilling the lust of the flesh. The righteous communication of speaking the truth in love stands in clear contrast to the unrighteous communication of speaking lies or of speaking truth with insensitivity.
3. Correction involves, in the words of the Psalmist, the spiritual turn-around of repentance. In Psalm 119:59, he said "I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies."
4. Instruction in righteousness is the practical application, going forward, in the Christian disciplines of spiritual victory. Regular Bible Study and meditation will provide the firm foundation for biblical living in the stewardship of money, time, and abilities. The every day skills of interpersonal relationships will be set toward evangelism and edification. Every decision will be considered in the light of glorifying God and profiting others.
God continues to comfort and guide me with His Word. May He bless you in that way, as well!
(C) 1992 N. A. Collins Limited copy permission for one personal file copy.