March 28, 2009

Transformation Through the Word

2 Timothy 3:14-16

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for … training in righteousness.
2 Timothy 3:16


The study of God’s Word is the secret discipline for spiritual formation. Other books may be useful for information, but the Bible was given for transformation. Timothy had the privilege of reading, studying, and memorizing God’s Word from infancy. He learned firsthand how the Scriptures transform us.

Paul explains that God’s Word is profitable “for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” It is a guide that helps us fine-tune every part of our being. Teaching focuses our mind and shapes our thinking. Rebuking pricks our conscience so that we don’t travel the wrong direction. Correction molds our will so that we see the wisdom of God’s plans. Training in righteousness shows us how to act more like Christ.

In this way the Word of God initiates a four-step process of transformation. Put simply, teaching tells us what is right, rebuke tells us what is not right, correction tells us how to get right, and training shows us how to stay right. The Holy Scriptures are the breath of God.

If you want to be productive, useful, and fertile as a Christian, get into the Word of God. Reading the Bible for its teaching, studying Scripture systematically, meditating on God’s Word devotionally, and memorizing it faithfully—each of these are transforming activities that you will not want to miss.

Lord, your Word contains the breath of the Holy Spirit. May the Scriptures be our breath-giving life, our daily nourishment, our trainer in the righteousness of Christ. Amen.

About the author — Dean Deppe

Dean Deppe has been a pastor in inner-city, suburban, and rural ­churches. Currently he teaches New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. His courses include one on the parables of Jesus. He and his wife have four grown children.

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