It's a million degrees outside so you dive into the pool for a nice dip. Upon the plunge, your sunglasses plop off your head and down they go. “Maybe someone will go snag them from the rough bottom," you wonder. You look around to see your kiddos in their awkward arm-floaties so that is a big, "Nope!" and your son who thinks he can walk on water, is too busy with shenanigans. Alas, you decide you might as well take that deep breath and dive down to retrieve your shades, even if it means getting your hair wet.
You take in as much oxygen as you can and awkwardly kick your legs so that you might defy the laws of nature and get your body to the bottom. If you are anything like me, you probably would look more like a flailing bird than a graceful diver. Nonetheless, you retrieve the glasses, kick your feet on the bottom of the pool, and come up for air. Did you take a breath after you read that? I did.
You know that glorious intake of oxygen when you reach the surface? That wonderful feeling of life, invigoration, and deep breath is what God's good Word ought to accomplish for the believer when we dive into it. Now, put on those sunglasses and let us allow the Spirit to illuminate God's word as we expound this thought further.
First, let us lay some background for our text found in 2 Timothy 3:14-17. The apostle Paul is writing this second letter to his "beloved child in the faith," Timothy, who was pastoring the Church in Ephesus. It is important to realize that this is the very last letter the Apostle Paul penned before his death. Imagine yourself writing to your beloved child for the last time…what would you want them to absolutely know and believe? What he gives Timothy, the young pastor, in this letter is to encourage and spur Timothy on as he not only leads others in The Way, but also encourage Timothy to cling tightly to the Gospel that he so boldly preaches himself. Paul explains that this Gospel is what young timothy need and we would be obedient to see this as our need as well. In 2 Timothy chapter 3, Paul begins telling of godlessness in the last days amidst the Church and follows with charges for Timothy to hold fast, dear son. Let us dive in:
Paul says, "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings (or God's Word), which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man or woman of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."
First, as believers, we must uphold Scripture as the ultimate authority for our lives. Second, scripture teaches us that upon salvation, the woman or man of God is brought from death and into life. What does this mean? This means that God's gospel, his very revealed word, breathes life into the believer. As we read above, God's good word not only is profitable to breathe life into the believer to give them salvation, but it far reaches past salvation–God's good word is profitable to teach us beyond salvation, correct us beyond salvation, inspire us beyond salvation, give hope beyond salvations, and just as you come up for air in that swimming pool, God's good word gives us the ability to simply breathe, to live, every single day.
Christ's work on the cross has made way for every human to believe in such work and live in the Light of Life. This gospel, the only gospel, and my absolute and total adoration of it is directly connected to my ability to breath every day. I believe it with my whole heart. Am I weary from screaming kids? Breathe in God's word. Am I sick of worrying? Breathe in God's word. Am I absolutely devastated? Breathe in God's Word. Am I just coasting through life? Breathe in God's word. To breathe in, or read, God's word is to simply fellowship with Him. What could make you sigh a deeper sigh of relief than that?
Brothers and sisters, we must love God's word if we want to breathe.