I am in the midst of preaching a short series about the Scriptures, and two of the passages I’m covering have a connection I hadn’t previously observed.
Two of the strongest statements about the divine origin and inspiration of Scripture are found in 2 Peter 1:20-21 and 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Peter 1:20-21)
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, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
In addition to noting the strong claims made for the Scriptures in these passage (they are breathed out by God, the product of men being moved by the Holy Spirit, and are profitable for us to the point of equipping the man of God for every good work), the two passages are written by men in similar circumstances.
The apostle Peter knew that he would soon be putting off his earthly tent (2 Peter 1:14), and Paul was “ready to be offered” seeing the time of his departure was at hand (2 Timothy 4:6). While Peter was addressing believers more generally and Paul was writing to Timothy, both take great pains to warn their audiences about false teachers and their destructive influence. Both are also concerned for the continued growth of their readers in godliness.
So, it is in this context that we receive these robust statements about the nature of Scripture: dying men, urging their readers to stay true to the Book that will help them grow in godliness and help guard them against false teachers. This ought to be the desire of every preacher for his congregation as well.
Let us know trifle with this Book, but draw near to God and delight in Him as we seek the growth and guard that His inspired Word provides for us.