Saturday, January 5, 2013
“For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end that ye may be established; that is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith of you and me” (Romans 1:11,12 KJV).
Today’s Scripture is God’s will for every believer.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16,17).
The Bible’s canon—the arrangement of its books—is no coincidence, especially the order of Paul’s epistles. They follow the “doctrine, reproof, correction” pattern listed in the above verses. The Holy Spirit worked through believers in centuries past when they copied and collated the Bible manuscripts, and He supervised even the order of the Bible books!
Paul’s epistles are usually not arranged in the order he wrote them. The doctrine in the book of Romans is the most basic information for this the Dispensation of Grace, so it is the first of Paul’s epistles in the canon of Scripture (though Romans was not Paul’s first letter written). As we progress in reading through his epistles, we delve into deeper material (especially in Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians). Before we try to grasp his latter epistles, we must first gain an understanding of the basic doctrine in Romans.
“Doctrine” is what we are to believe, “reproof” is a reprimand for misbehavior, and “correction” is to fix bad thinking. Paul’s epistles serve in all three capacities for the Body of Christ; the remainder of the Bible serves a similar purpose for the nation Israel. The Bible serves in these three capacities to “instruct in righteousness,” and its overall purpose is that, “the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:17). God’s Word completely equips you to do everything He has for you to do and tells you everything you need to know. When you learn that information, you are “established” (today’s Scripture). God can then use you for His purposes because you know what He is doing.