Today we read the final chapters the Apostle Paul wrote, in which he said, “the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness …” (2 Timothy 4:6-8). His encouragement to Timothy to remain firm in the faith is equally an exhortation to us. He reminds him, “how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (3:15-17).
Our primary object in becoming acquainted with God’s word, is to make use of that knowledge in how we live – and that means far more than being able to talk about His word. We recall what Paul told the Corinthians in his second letter, “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work”. Let us make sure we appreciate the grace that abounds, a vital factor in keeping us humble and properly “equipped for every good work”.
Paul’s words say it all – the scriptures make us “wise unto salvation” – yet this must not be simply head knowledge and the ability to talk about the things of God. The committed follower of God must absorb them, teach them to others, and use them daily for their own “correction and training in righteousness”. Only then will we be able to say, with Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day” (4:7,8).