When we use the words “biblical conservative” we automatically think of political stances. What we usually mean is, we don’t like legislation that is anti-biblical. We want a small government, who largely stays out of our affairs. We don’t like taxes and regulations and we want a big military, who can keep us safe so that we can enjoy liberty.
But I want us to think a bit differently about the term, at least for a moment. Let’s think about the term biblical conservative this way. As a person who conserves the Bible. So how do we as believers conserve the Bible? The word conserve means, “to maintain, keep, sustain, or continue.”
I don’t think anyone reading this would think to themselves that sustaining one’s self in the Bible would not be a priority. I am carrying, what I feel to be a pretty safe presupposition that the God’s Word is important to us.
I think seasoned believers suffer from two errors when it comes to conserving God’s world.
- We’re so accustomed to God’s word, that it either becomes mundane or we think of it in terms of application to others and not ourselves.
- We substitute what someone has said about the Bible to be the Bible for us. We let someone else do all the thinking and accept their words as gospel truth. May we all be a bit more like the Bereans.
The word “continue” in verse 14 is the same word that we find in John 15 where Jesus says to “abide in me.” In honesty, the word can mean quite a few different things depending upon the context. It basically means “to abide, remain, continue, to remain in a place – loiter. I grew up in a small town, so I understand the meaning of loiter. Here we have Paul urging us to “never leave” God’s Word. I’m convinced this is the overall thrust of this passage.
Let me give you 3 quick reasons why we should loiter in God’s Word.
Through God’s Word, we encounter the gospel (2 Tim. 3:15). – How did you get saved? At some point in time, you read or someone explained to you the gospel of Jesus Christ as it is presented in the Bible. Paul tells us the God’s Word is “able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” God’s Word explains the need for grace and how God has brought that to us in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
God’s Word, equips us for Christian living (2 Tim. 3:16-17). – Before we touch on how exactly this occurs, lets look at what Paul says about the purpose of God’s Word is. In verse 17, he says “that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” The Bible changes lives because it flows directly from the mind and heart of God. It’s purpose is to make us godly.
“The idea the term presents is that God has breathed his character into Scripture so that it is inherently inspired. Paul was not asserting that the Scriptures are inspiring in that they breathe information about God into us, even though the statement is true. The Scriptures owe their origin and distinctiveness to God himself. This is the abiding character of Scripture. [Thomas D. Lea and Hayne P. Griffin, 1, 2 Timothy, Titus, vol. 34, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992), 236.]
“teaching” – How does the Bible teach us?
“reproof” – STOP. You’re doing wrong.
“correction” – CORRECT. With the idea that one was living falsely, but has been corrected.
“training in righteousness” – TRAIN. As in to form proper habits.
This ongoing process produces maturity in the heart of believers. Maturity that doesn’t stay in the classroom, but is lived out. It equips us for what? Knowledge? Wisdom? No! “For every good work.”
God’s Word, expels a self-centered worldview (2 Tim. 4:1-4). –
Paul then encourages Timothy to be a consistent proclaimer of God’s Word. I’m glad that I attend a church that focuses on God’s Word. I don’t need a man’s opinions about various subjects. I don’t need the wisdom of man to make life better. I need God’s Word. Why do we need a steady diet of God’s Word? In short, it helps me see the world the way God wants me to. It gives me a biblical worldview. Man’s tendency is to take the things of God, forget what he says about it, and seek to live apart from Him. That happened in the Garden of Eden…the tower of Babel…It happens all the time.
It’s like a man with vision problems going to the optometrist for the first time. He doesn’t know he has vision problems until he’s shown a true picture of the world.
God’s Word makes sure that I am thinking in a God-pleasing way about the world and world events.