Outfitted for Life
By Heath Jarrett
Picture a sea captain loading and preparing his ship for a polar expedition. He considers in advance every aspect of life aboard the vessel. If the expedition is to succeed, he must have all the right equipment, equipment that he himself scrutinizes to make sure it is in top-notch shape. He thinks through the risks he will encounter and buys only those supplies he needs.
As Paul awaited execution in Rome, in order to equip Timothy, he wrote to him about the centrality of Scripture in Christian ministry. First, the “sacred writings” are able to make one “wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim 3:15). Not only is the Bible needed and powerful to bring us into the Christian life but it is also essential to sanctify us day-to-day as we continue to walk with Christ.
Paul went on to make one of the greatest statements the Bible teaches us about itself:
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16-17).
Every verse of Scripture is the craftsmanship of God, a product as pure as its source. But its value does not end there. Scripture keeps on giving. It guides us both positively (by teaching and training) and negatively (by reproving and correcting) for a purpose — that each Christian may be fully prepared for life, outfitted for every good work they are called to do. This down-to-earth guidance is what we call doctrine.
The word “doctrine” is often perceived as purely intellectual. Stuffy. Theoretical. Yet what Scripture teaches about itself is immensely practical. The Bible is designed by God to affect every nitty-gritty aspect of our lives. And all for our good. Scripture enables us to live out the Christian life on a daily basis.
This is why Paul solemnly charges Timothy to boldly “preach the word” (2 Tim 4:2). In light of the utility of Scripture, it makes sense that we would emphasize the preaching and teaching of God’s word. That’s why our ministries here at Chico Grace Brethren depend on the Bible.
Scripture is God’s provision to us to completely outfit us for our mission of doing the work of his kingdom.