15 And you know that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:15-17

Written by Sally Cressman from the Lockeland Springs Campus

Americans isolated themselves in their homes this spring because of the infectious COVID-19. Schools sat vacant. Churches streamed services online. Toilet paper vanished off the shelves. Retirement plans plummeted. Restaurants closed. The governor ordered Tennesseans to “stay home.” The president warned that the peak of the virus wouldn’t hit until after Easter. We are living in difficult times.

Paul was living in his own difficult time. He sat in prison and isolation, not because of a pandemic, but because of his commitment to sharing the gospel. In this dark moment, he encouraged Timothy to persevere. “Don’t be afraid. Be strong. Present yourself approved. Keep your attention on Jesus. Hold on to sound teaching.”

He knew Timothy (and we) would need God’s Word for the coming difficult days (2 Timothy 3:1). Paul pointed Timothy to the God-breathed Scriptures because the Word had sustained him. The Scriptures were profitable for teaching the good news of Jesus Christ. God’s Word was useful for rebuking those who deviated from the faith. The truth in grace was beneficial for correcting mistakes. The Scriptures were indispensable for training to live God’s way.

A time is coming (and may already be here) when people “will not tolerate sound doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:3). To be prepared, we must be students of the Bible, not passive readers. We need to plant our feet on sound doctrine instead of some 280-character tweet. We need to study under teachers who correctly handle the Word of Truth. We must allow the Holy Spirit to convict and correct us.

If we study and apply God’s Word to our lives, we will stand strong in the grace of our Lord Jesus. When we stand strong, we will be found faithful in the face of hardship.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. Where are you in your faith journey? What action can you take to draw closer to God?
  2. How do you react and live in difficult times? To whom do you turn?
  3. Do you consider yourself a serious student of the Bible or a passive reader? What do you need to do to become a student of the Word?
  4. List your core beliefs. Where do they originate? How do they line up with the Scriptures? (Click this link to read Brentwood Baptist’s core beliefs)

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