God uses His Word to thoroughly equip but who needs that kind of equipping? Certainly we would say pastors, missionaries, and others in full-time ministry. And, we might add Bible teachers and ministry leaders to the list.
If we look at 2 Timothy 3:16-17, however, we find that those God intends to thoroughly equip aren’t just people in certain positions or types of ministry but rather, all of His people.
All God’s People Need to be Thoroughly Equipped
Depending on the Bible version we use, we might read that either the “man of God” or “servant of God” be equipped. The Greek word anthropos used in this verse does mean “man” but generally refers more to mankind or human beings, whether male or female. The verse does not use the typical word for servant. The “of God” phrase, however, narrows down the target to those who belong to God so, by implication, “servant of God” would be accurate.
God does use His Word to bring unbelievers to Himself as seen in the verse just prior that refers to “the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:15). Elsewhere we read, “faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” (Rom. 10:17).
The full benefit of God’s Word, however, comes after salvation in the lives of those now in Him — people “of God” (2 Tim.3:17). Why? We have the Spirit within us who is able to take what is God’s and make it known to us.
What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. (1 Cor. 2:12-14)
Because of God’s Spirit within us, we are able to understand God’s Word and use it as the grid through which we make decisions. God and His Word become the standard against which we line up whatever we do. Consequently the Holy Spirit within us makes it possible for God’s Word to thoroughly equip us. No matter our gender, ministry position, age, background, or any other factor, if we belong to God, He not only intends for us to be thoroughly equipped but has also provided the means.
But, for what purpose does He want us to be thoroughly equipped? That’s the topic for the next post.