Monday, November 21, 2011

Wisdom Unto Salvation

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  (2 Timothy 3:15)

Paul, facing certain death, writes his final letter to Timothy, his “son in the faith” (1 Timothy 1:2), to encourage his young associate left behind at Ephesus.  Paul reminds Timothy “that from a child thou hast known the holy scripture.”  The verb “hast known” (Greek: oĆ­das) indicates that Timothy possessed a perceptive understanding of God’s Word.  Thus he could have full confidence that the Scriptures are able give wisdom and insight into salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

Not that Timothy needed salvation; he was already saved, but in his work as a minister of the Gospel, he needed the wisdom gained from Scripture in order to be “throughly furnished unto all good works” (v. 17) the most important of which is leading others to saving faith in Christ.  For this, he must have full confidence in his equipment knowing that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (v.16).  As such, all Scripture is useful for instruction of the church, reproof of an errant brother, for correction of the same, and training in righteous living.  For Timothy to do all of this, he first needed to give diligent effort to the study of the Scriptures to show himself “approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy2:15).

This exhortation applies to all Christians of all times.  All Christians, in a sense, are ministers.  So, as ministers, “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15).  The Greek word for “answer” in this verse is apologia from which we get our word “apologetics;” that is wisdom unto salvation. 

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