All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT)
The operation, or function of the scripture, is to be profitable, or serviceable, helpful. The apostle John told the church not to be gullible, accepting everyone who calls himself a teacher. "Try the spirits, whether they are of God..." 1John 4:1. The Scripture has a four-fold function:
1. teaching what is right,
2. showing what is wrong,
3. showing how to correct what is wrong, and
4. helping us know how to stay on the right track in life.
We will invest this week in those four operations of the Scripture.
The first of these is TEACHING – which is Scripture helping us to understand, or being able to know the track or pathway God would have us walk; both in the way we have our relationship with Him, and with all His created order…our neighbors!
When I was a child we lived on Long Island. My Dad had to work in Ohio one year; when we took him to the airport it should have been an hour’s ride home. But somewhere on the way Mom made a wrong turn and we wound up in Connecticut. I still remember that sinking feeling that we were in for a long ride!
Today’s “maps” are electronic. GPS will never get you lost, right?
Ahem; not necessarily so! I have punched-in the right address, followed the disembodied voice commands impeccably, and still wound up at the wrong place.
Whether it is a paper map or Google™ on your iPhone™ - there are mistakes just waiting to happen. But in most cases the fault isn’t with the map; it is the reader of the map who misses something.
Scripture’s first function is to proclaim truth – without error. Jesus (the living Word of God) claimed truth as His nature:
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…” John 14:6a (NLT)
We can misread Scripture as easily as we can a map or those “simple instructions” on how to put together a child’s toy on Christmas Eve. That is why God gave us an Interpreter – the Holy Spirit – who speaks the truth of God’s Word to our hearts.
This right track is clearly a singular track of obedience to God and respect for all creation. Notice how this is taught without ambiguity:
Fear of the is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Proverbs 1:7 (NLT)
If you want to understand the basic right track for your life, it is taught clearly in God’s Word.
Knowing how to get somewhere is as important as choosing the destination.
So pick up the Holy GPS and listen for the Navigator’s directions. He won’t lead you astray!