#20.

God's Word is Useful for Rebuking
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; We are considering what the Word of God does, and have seen that it is useful for teaching. The next thing Paul tells Timothy in our text is that the Scriptures are useful for reproof. The word used in the Greek has the idea of stating that someone has done wrong, with the implication that there is sufficient proof of the wrongdoing. Perhaps it should not be a surprise, given that the Word of God is absolute Truth, teaches us the Commandments of God and thus defines right and wrong, good and evil, to find that it is useful to rebuke us and to supply the proof when we do wrong. As the believer reads the Word, has memorized it, or hears the Word preached, the Holy Spirit uses it to highlight his or her wrongdoing and to supply abundant proof. The result is that the child of God doesn't have to rely on feelings or mere impressions (which can be deceptive in a sinful soul) but has an objective guide and handbook to know when he or she has done wrong. This may not sound like a good thing on the face of it, until we remember that our wrongdoing quenches and grieves the Spirit of God in our lives, distances us from our heavenly Father, weakens us in the Christian warfare, undermines our assurance that we are saved and defaces our testimony of the saving grace of God. How much better, then, for God's Word to reprove us so we can confess our sin and seek forgiveness (especially since God is more willing to forgive us than we are to confess our sins) than to never have our wrongdoing pointed out and to live our Christian lives in a state of backslidden feebleness. Sometimes, the Lord would have us to be the means He uses to rebuke or reprove others. When we do so, we must use the Word, use it accurately, and our rebuke must be in the spirit of one who has removed the plank from his own eye before trying to remove the speck from his brother's. It must, above all, be truth spoken in evident love. We need to be rebuked, admonished and reproved if we are to enjoy a close walk with our God and to glorify Him here on earth, and it is through the Word that this is done. So in the coming week, let's read the Word, memorize it, hear it preached, and let's ask God to show us our sins through its pages so that we may confess them and live ever nearer to Him!

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