Sola Scriptura – Equipped for Every Good Work

Sola Scriptura = Scripture Alone in Latin

sōlā scrīptūrā


“that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:17).

Several subjects regarding the Bible have been tackled this week: all scripture is breathed by God, the word is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, the two sets of fours (mirror, washes, reproduces, grows), (teacher, reprover, corrector, trainer), and the command to read the Bible.

These all culminate in the result of doing all these things, to be a competent man (or woman) of God, equipped for every good work. Paul is talking to Timothy about the equipping of his call to ministry. But this applies to all believers as well.

Some versions use complete instead of competent. The Bible will give us everything we need to do every good work. Thomas D. Lea says, “The use of the Greek perfect tense for “equipped” suggests that this is an abiding condition. If Timothy would nurture his spiritual life in the Scriptures that he would use in his ministry, he would be fully qualified and prepared to undertake whatever tasks God put before him. What a tragedy for any Christian to be labeled as unprepared for a task when the means of instruction and preparation are readily at hand!”

How do we make ourselves competent? Once we open the cover, we must learn how to study the Bible systematically. And before we even open the cover, I believe we should pray the Lord will teach us. We are to understand the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). This is a lifetime endeavor. The Bible is not a magic box, where we open it up like a “magic 8-ball” (remember those?) or a game of chance. The Bible must be studied intentionally and methodically. If you are looking for a place to start, I normally recommend John. This gives arguably the most intimate picture of Jesus Christ. There are many studies, some to go through the Bible in one year. Your church might be going through a study. I am not sure what is best for you, but we need a plan.

I am not suggesting this is the be-all, end-all way to study the Bible. You might have a method that works for you and that is the most important part. But a wise minister of the gospel named Anthony Pennington suggested this way of studying the Bible years ago, and I have used it and we use it as a church as well at Under Over Fellowship. All you need is a notebook, pen, and your Bible. Open up the first page and write:





This stands for:





It is as simple as it sounds. And it has worked great for me. Write what you are studying under “S.” List what you personally observe regarding the particular scripture under “O.” Write how you can apply this scripture to your life under “A.” And finally, pray for the Lord to give you strength to do so under “P.” I find that writing out my prayers under “P” is very powerful.

Just for today, open your Bible and let the Lord equip you and make you competent for every good work. (Try the SOAP method if you feel led).

Tune in tomorrow for Song of Sunday.

Lea, Thomas D., and Hayne P. Griffin. 1, 2 Timothy, Titus. Broadman Press, 1992.

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