God-Breathed

William C. Brownson

Read: 2 Timothy 3:14-17

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable . . . (v. 16)

Quite a few translations say that all Scripture is “inspired by God,” yet literally, “All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable. . .” is how this verse begins. What does that mean? “All Scripture” refers principally to the Old Testament, but probably by this time to some of the apostolic writings as well (2 Peter 3:15-16).

What about “God-breathed”? This is an arresting image. Paul is teaching here the divine origin of the biblical writings. They came into being by God’s creative breath, even through his Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:19-21). Though written down by human authors, it is the living God who speaks to us through the Bible (Rom. 3:2; 1 Thess. 2:13). It’s just as much his Word as if he whispered it in our ears!

Further, because it comes from the Lord, all Scripture is wonderfully profitable. Here’s the greatest profit: these “sacred writings . . . are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 3:15). They point us to Christ, call us to trust in him, and teach us the way of salvation. Jesus, and his saving work, is the central theme of the entire Bible.

And that isn’t all. The Scriptures also equip us for every good work by teaching us, reproving us, correcting us, and training us in righteousness (v. 16). If we embrace the Bible’s message and listen to God’s voice in it, we are ready for anything! —Bill Brownson

As you pray, ask God to reaffirm the truth and power of his Word, for everything you believe, tell others, and put into practice.