There is a passage of Scripture that seems to be very neglected in the Church these days. Many will say they agree with it but in practice, they don’t appear to be doing what they say. I’m sure this rejection is done with many passages, but the one I am about to write is:
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and 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 Timothy 3:14-17
Where can rejection of this passage be seen? Many Christian leaders are using things outside of the Scriptures to try and grow the church. They use tools that come from sources that have origins that are not Christian at all. Often this is defended by saying they take the biblical principles from these things and utilize them. But if they only use the biblical principles that are found in these sources then why not just use the biblical source? Why not just use the Bible?
Another saying I hear in defense is “we can just eat the meat and spit out the bones.” I think what many forget is people choke on bones every day. Besides, we see nowhere in Scripture where this kind of thought is written. In fact, we see quite the opposite. The apostle Paul tells the church in Corinth:
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14
If what Paul writes to Timothy is true then I don’t understand why the insistence on using unbiblical sources. If all Scripture will make the man and woman of God complete then why waste time with anything else? Have pastors and church leaders exhausted all of Scripture to the point where something else needs to be used to disciple the sheep? Have the simple means that God has ordained in His word become so useless that secular strategies need to be employed? Do church leaders need to yoke themselves to “tools” that come from dark histories and lawlessness?
A recent trend in church circles is to use personality tests. The enneagram is one that many seem to gravitate towards. The origins of this test are anything but Christian. Yet, it is still used, recommended, and sometimes preached by pastors. Some say they just use it as a tool to find out more about their own personality and bring them closer to God. Again, if the God-breathed Scripture is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness why do we need anything else? This Scripture is what will make the believer complete. Trying to find out who we are in a personality test that is built on a false unbiblical foundation does not make sense to me. It demonstrates a lack of belief in 2 Timothy 3:15-17. Of course, people won’t say that they deny this passage, but in practice, you can see a rejection of this truth.
At the end of the day, the way to eternal life is the most important truth we must come to believe. That is why the Apostle Paul says this to young Timothy.
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:14-16
The Apostle reminds Timothy of the sacred writing making him wise to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Nothing else can make us wise to faith. In Paul’s letter to the Romans he says:
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17
Both of these verses point to the Word. There are other passages that agree it is the Word of God that we must feed on. Even Jesus Himself when tempted in the wilderness says,
“But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4
As believers, leaders, and pastors I don’t see why there is a need to use anything else. The words we find in the Bible are sufficient. Do you want to know who you are? Look to the Scriptures. Do you want to know how to lead others? Look to the Scriptures. Do you want to know God? look to the Scriptures. Most importantly, you want to be known by God? Look to the Scriptures.
For those of you who pastor may I encourage you with these words of the Apostle Paul as he wrote being carried along by the Holy Spirit:
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:1-5
There are enough personality tests in the world. There are enough motivational speakers in the world. There are enough morality preachers in the world. What the world needs is men who stand up and preach the Word of God. Preach the words that make people wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
I pray all of us would think about this. Will we continue to reject His Word in practice? Do we need anything else to bring us to know and be known by God more or is His Word able to make us complete? Is His Word sufficient? I pray we can all say His Word is sufficient and we can all live that out in practice.