What Do You Look For? – II Timothy 3:16-17

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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When some men look for a wife, they often look only for physical beauty. Everything else seems to be incidental. When I was looking for the right woman to be my wife, I was looking for a combination of very important things. Yes, I wanted her to be pretty. But I needed her to know Christ as Savior, be seriously spiritually minded, be willing to serve in the ministry, have a sweet spirit, and share the same philosophies of life. I knew that every one of these aspects were vitally important for us to be a good match.

What do you look for when you study the Scriptures, whether in personal study or while sitting under a good Bible teacher? Sadly, many only seem to be looking for one thing: academic doctrine. Please don’t misunderstand. Every believer needs a firm foundation in grace doctrine to know how to live a pleasing life to the Lord and to be stable enough in the Scriptures not to be swept away into error. We need doctrine, but also we need to look for more than doctrinal information when we study God’s Word. Paul told Timothy what God intends for us to look for in Scripture when he wrote: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect [meaning complete or mature], throughly furnished unto all good works” (II Timothy 3:16-17). Think carefully about this content. While being established in sound doctrine, every believer needs to allow the Scripture to reprove wrong behavior and attitudes. Without this, we will not grow in godliness but will remain ever hardened in sinful habits. Once reproved, we must allow God to correct wrong behaviors or attitudes. God’s goal for us is to become “conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29), or more Christ-like. As we yield to the Lord in this process, He continually gives us “instruction in righteousness” (II Timothy 3:16), if we will only look for this in His Word. Without this process of spiritual growth, we are not truly “perfect” mature, or complete, no matter how much doctrine we know. Finally, doctrinal correctness alone does not qualify us for ministry. Growth in godliness makes us “furnished unto all good works” (II Timothy 3:17).

If this combination hasn’t been what you’ve been looking for when you study Scripture, let this journey begin today and continue every day hereafter.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."