"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, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." [II Timothy 3:16-17]
This has long been my favorite passage in all of Scripture. It eliminates any doubt one may have about the infallibility of God's Word. If ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God (literally: "God breathed"), and God is all knowing (Heb. 4:13) and all powerful (Matt. 19:26), then it makes sense that His Word should be perfect. People sometimes claim that the Bible was written by imperfect men (which it was) and is therefore full of contradictions, opinions, and biases. However, this passage tells us that even though it was the hands of men that put pen to paper, it was the Words of God that were spoken.
Furthermore, it tells us what purpose the Word of God serves. Scripture is profitable for:
- Doctrine: It is our source of spiritual authority. It tells us who God is and how to worship Him as well as what we must do to be saved.
- Reproof: It tells us what sin is and acts as our authority to rebuke someone (including ourselves) for committing it. Without scripture, right and wrong would simply be a matter of opinion.
- Correction: What good would reproof be without also a means to correct our wrongdoings? God’s Word instructs us in repentance for our sins.
- Instruction in Righteousness: God hasn't just told us what not to do, but has also revealed to us what we must do to be righteous and holy.