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2 Timothy 3:10-17 Study Guide: All Scripture is God Breathed

Community Group Study Guide — All Scripture is God Breathed
2 Timothy 3:10-17

Study Information:
God has given us gifts to help us remain faithful in the form of godly examples and the Word of God. It is likely that each of you could point to certain individuals who showed you what it means to follow Jesus and of course we can point to God’s word. 

Structurally, 2 Timothy 2 began with a commissioning of Timothy to be a worker approved by God, rightly handling the Word and then our passage in 2 Timothy 3 completes the thought by bringing back the focus on the usefulness of the Word of God. Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for shaping our minds and lives. In the middle of those two passages we learned about false teachers who misused the word, how to correct opponents with gentleness and the difficult times we face as followers of Jesus. Paul wants Timothy to understand that he is meant to be a contrast to these false teachers and that he can remain faithful by following Paul’s example and the Word of God. As followers of Jesus today we can find great benefit from godly mature leaders who open their lives up for us to emulate and in allowing the Word of God to have its desired effect in shaping us. 

Follow Godly Examples
2 Timothy 3:10-14
Timothy was different than the false teachers and quarrelsome Christians who were getting into arguments and fights over foolish and ignorant controversy. Notice how Paul began with “you, however.” Paul connects his previous discussions with how Timothy was a contrast to the spirit of the age and he stood out as someone who was faithful in difficult times. What made Timothy different was the way he followed Paul’s Christian example. Notice the repetition of “my” from Paul and how much Paul opened up his life as a model for Timothy to learn from. My conduct, aim in life (purpose), faith, patience, love, steadfastness (being able to remain constant under trial), persecutions and sufferings. Timothy had a front row seat to see what a faithful Christian life looked like. Paul mentioned specific locations that coincide with his first missionary journey which means Timothy saw this from a young age and had a lot of opportunity to witness Paul’s faith. Likewise, Timothy was able to see how God delivered Paul and reduced him (2 Timothy 3:11). 

This faithful modeling of how to follow Jesus is important because every Christian will face opposition to their faith at some point as they try to live godly lives (2 Timothy 3:12). These persecutions were not just for Christian leaders, but any who’d desire to live a godly life. Persecution can include physical harm as well as reviling, hatred, mockery and the like. It will not always be constant but persecution will come at some point in your Christian life. And we can expect things to get worse…, “evil people and imposters will go on from bad to worse.” 

Paul summarized this idea in 2 Timothy 3:14 when he wrote to Timothy to “continue in what he have learned.” If you’ve had godly men and women in your life like Paul, Lois and Eunice, you have been given a great gift. If you have not yet had people whom you can look up to in the faith take advantage of being part of a local church and get to know some of the followers of Jesus that God has brought into your life. Discipleship is not an hour over a cup of coffee once a week, rather it is an opportunity to learn from someone else what it means to put into practice what Jesus taught and commanded in all of life. Get to know how they parent, navigate their finances and complex work situations. If you are a mature Christian, find opportunities to be able to pass on what you’ve learned. It may feel arrogant to say “you’ve followed my aim in life” but that is far from the truth. The goal of the Christian faith is to pass on what you’ve learned to faithful people who will entrust it to others also (2 Timothy 2:2) and that happens as we share how God has worked in our lives and model that faithfulness to others. 

Follow God’s Word
2 Timothy 3:14-17
All Scripture is God-breathed. The Bible is not a collection of nice saying or moral teaching, it is the very word of God for us. “God-breathed” means that the scripture is authored by the Holy Spirit through human authors and what God intends for us to know about him and how to live faithfully. Timothy had the benefit of a mother and a grandmother who taught him the Word of God from a young age (2 Timothy 1:5, 3:15). Since scripture comes from God it is useful or profitable for how we are to live as we follow Jesus. Specifically scripture teaches, reproves, corrects and trains. Scripture is able to teach us sound doctrine and correct us from doctrinal error. Likewise it is able to correct us from living in sin and train us to live in a godly way with the goal that we’d be equipped for every good work authored by God (2 Timothy 3:17). Theologians have talked about scripture with the acronym “SCAN,” which stands for sufficient, clear, authoritative and necessary. What we have in scripture is sufficient to train us in the way of salvation. It is clear, meaning it is not in contradiction to itself even though it may take some work to understand some passages. Scripture is authoritative meaning that it not just good advice but the way God guides our Christian lives. Finally scripture is necessary, we need to know what is in the word to be saved and to live godward lives. If the scripture is really God’s word and has the power to shape how we live righteous lives than we’d be foolish to neglect knowing and studying it. God has given us a tremendous gift in revealing himself and his ways so we can be transformed and be more and more like Jesus. 

In difficult times, you have access to godly people who you can look to their conduct, aim in life, sufferings, etc and imitate them as they imitate Jesus (1 Corinthians 11:1). Likewise, we have God’s word which has been breathed out by God and is profitable in shaping our minds and lives to be more like Jesus. 

At your community group:
Take 15-20 minutes to share about how God has been at work in your life, prayer concerns and pray for one another.

How did God speak to you through the scripture and the sermon this week? 

Discussion Questions:
Read 2 Timothy 3:10-17

Who has opened up their lives to you in a way similar to what Paul described in 2 Timothy 3:10-14? Do you have anyone in your life that you’re investing in the same way?

What are some reasons that it is helpful to see how a spiritually mature follower of Jesus handles their lives, persecutions, faith, etc? 

How is Scripture described in 2 Timothy 3:16-17? What is the aim or goal of scripture according to this passage?

What does your regular scripture reading and study look like? How can you grow in learning more of God’s word and applying it to your life?