This is the Word of the Lord
2Timothy 3: There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
Does Paul have any idea that one day people will view his writings as the “written word of God?” There are times when he differentiates between his opinion and what he says is the plain direction of the Holy Spirit, so he sees in his own writings the hand of God. Still, I tend to think that Paul didn’t tend to think of his own words in such lofty terms. We do, though. In the years following Paul’s life his letters are painstakingly copied and passed around, church to church. As people gather to worship, his words are read to the congregation, shaping their theology and their faith. Today, I can read this passage to a congregation and no one will give much thought as to whether or not Paul’s words are the “written Word of God.” Beyond all that, Paul tells us that these sacred words have a purpose. That purpose isn’t to answer all my questions about science or culture or history. Rather, it’s to show me “the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” To use it for other purposes is to abuse it. Rightly used, though, it trains “us to live God’s way.” Today, I’m reminded that this is the Word of the Lord, thanks be to God.
Take Away: Let’s never take God’s Word for granted or use it for purposes for which it was not intended.