The Sufficiency of Scripture and God’s Will 2 Timothy 3:13-17 -- By: Chuck Deveau
CTSJ 1:2 (Summer 1995) p. 3
The Sufficiency of
Scripture and God’s Will
2 Timothy 3:13-17
Chafer Theological Seminary
[*Editor’s note: Chuck Deveau is professor of New Testament Literature and Exegesis at Chafer Theological Seminary. He received a B.A. and M.S.W. from California State University, Fresno, and a Th.M. in New Testament Literature and Exegesis from Dallas Theological Seminary. He also pastors Orange Coast Bible Fellowship in Costa Mesa, California.]
What is the will of God? Fundamentally, for Bible believing Christians, it is what God has revealed in His Word, i.e., the Scriptures. For example 2 Timothy 3:15–17 suggests not only the necessity of Scripture in discerning God’s will, but its adequacy to “make me wise” (3:15) and “thoroughly equip me for every good work” (3:16–17).
This clearly suggests to me, as it must have to Timothy, that there is no necessity for God to give me extra biblical revelation to know His will. Necessity is the operative term since God is sovereign and may choose to use anything or do anything to direct the course and character of my life. For example, I may glean insight into life--personally, socially, even spiritually--by simply being sensitive and open to my environment, by reading literature, by common sense and by honestly sharing my life with people. And all this, plus other factors, may contribute to making me a wise, mature and “thoroughly equipped” Christian, but that’s all it is--a contribution, supplemental to the “will of God” revealed in Scripture. It is the central and crucial text of 2 Timothy 3:13–17 that now deserves our attention and expanded commentary concerning the sufficiency of Scripture and knowing God’s will.
The Text (NKJV)
But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived (2 Timothy 3:13).
Our text begins with Paul warning Timothy of “evil men and impostors” who will adorn the religious scene, “deceiving and being deceived.” Earlier in this chapter Paul has illustrated with “Jannes and Jambres” the type of person who leads others astray while being deceived himself. The principle thus emerges: from the conscious deception of others emerges the unconscious deception of oneself.
But as for you (Timothy), continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you learned them (2 Timothy 3:...
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