The Purpose of God's Word

All scripture God breathed 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. II Timothy 3:17

The Man of God

The first occurrence of the phrase the man of God is in Deuteronomy 33:1: And this is the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death,
The man who speaks God's word and blesses God's people is the man of God.

Perfect, Throughly Furnished

The Greek word artios (perfect) and exartizo (throughly furnished) are only used in this verse of scripture and come from the same root. Examining the use of words throughout God's Word provides us with an understanding of God's meaning of the words. Because this verse is the only occurrence of these words we are limited to the context of the verse and the common understanding these words had in the literature of the time.

Definitions from Bullinger's Critical Lexicon and Concordance:

artios, complete in all parts and proportions, with special reference to the adaptations of the parts, and special aptitude for any given uses.

exartizo, to fit out or equip fully, to be but in perfect readiness for, complete.

In Greek literature these words are used of a ship that is fully equipped for its voyage having everything needed. These words are also used of a knee joint to describe the perfect fit of the ball in the socket. The Word of God is given so that the man who speaks God's Word is perfectly outfitted with all he needs to do the work of God.

Unto All Good Works

We are born again by the grace of God. Salvation is a gift. We do not do the works of God to gain personal favor with God. We do the works of the Word as grateful children who have received the blessings of God and therefore want to share those blessings with others. As a man of God who desires to bless God's people you need the doctrine, reproof and correction of God's Word to be fully equipped to bless God's people and do all good works.

God breathed all scripture to be profitable for man to believe rightly, reprove wrong practice, and correct wrong believing so that the man that speaks God's Word and blesses God's people will be equipped, fully equipped unto all good works like a ship fully outfitted for its voyage.

The God-Breathed Word

II Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:


God is a spirit and does not breathe. To give God a human characteristic is a figure of speech used by God in the Bible to emphasize a point. In this scripture the emphasis is on the source of scripture. It came from God! This same figure is used of the word of God in Matthew 4:4 where is says that man should live on every word that comes out of the mouth of God.


The Word of God is profitable to man in three ways. It tells us how to believe rightly. It reproves us when we are wrong. Then it tells us what is right again as correction to get us back to believing rightly. It is easy sometimes to say someone is wrong. The important thing is to tell someone how to do it right when they are wrong. The Bible works that way. Right teaching, Reproof when we are wrong, Correction to get us back on the right track. These three equal instruction in righteousness. How to live rightly.
The Church Epistles
Doctrine Reproof Correction
Romans Corinthians Galatians
Ephesians Philippians Colossians
Thessalonians No reproof or correction. Thessalonians tells of the return of Christ. No more possibility of wrong practice or doctrine.

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As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country. Proverbs 25:25

Published to the Web January, 1997
Michael Cortright