2 Timothy 3:16–17 – A Key Text on the Nature, Function, Purpose, and Sufficiency of Scripture

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16–17 ESV).

This passage presents an array of interpretive options, which are of special import, considering that this is a primary text on the doctrine of inspiration and has been so since it was written.

Part 1 of 4: The Nature of Scripture

All Scripture: Technically, “all” (pasa) could be translated “every.” Scripture (graphē) is thus referred to as a collective all or a collection of every Scripture, perhaps referring to every passage or scroll that makes up the whole of Scripture. Either way, Paul refers to the totality of what was earlier termed “the sacred writings” (2 Tim 3:15), likely referring to the whole of the Old Testament.

Is Breathed out by God: “Is” is technically not in the Greek but is supplied, assuming that “breathed out by God” is a predicate adjective. “Breathed out by God” is theopnuestos, a combination of God (theos), “to breathe out” (pneō; cf. wind in John 3:8), and the ending –tos, which indicates that the Scripture was the passive effect of the action of God breathing something out, namely, His pneuma, or His Spirit. In other words, Scripture is not something that continually breathes out the Spirit of God into us as we read it. Rather, it is what was written as God breathed His Spirit through men so that the end result was His written Word.

2 Peter 1:20–21 describes the process of inspiration when it clarifies “that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” The verb “carried along” is pherō, the same verb used to describe what a wind does with a ship (Acts 27:15, 17).

From the above, to give a definition, inspiration is the process whereby God the Spirit superintended both the reception (1 Cor 2:13; “words…taught by the Spirit”) and writing (2 Pet 1:20–21) of the very words (verbal) of the entirety of Scripture (plenary; 2 Tim 3:16) by men, fully using their unique personalities and vocabularies to perfectly record exactly the truth that the Spirit intended them to write.

Some might suggest that, because it is grammatically possible, “breathed out by God” actually modifies “Scripture” instead of functioning as a predicate adjective. In turn, the “and” (kai) would be translated “also,” so as to say, “All God-breathed Scripture is also profitable” for its many functions. It is true that this would create a nice parallel with 2 Timothy 3:15. Just as “the sacred writings…are able to make you wise for salvation” (2 Tim 3:15), so “All God-breathed Scripture is also profitable” for many things (2 Tim 3:16). However, a parallelism more fitting is within 2 Timothy 3:16 itself. Both “breathed out by God” and “profitable” are tied together with the word “and” (kai), and the parallelism is that “All Scripture is breathed out by God” (predicate adjective number one) “and profitable” (predicate adjective number two). (If one does stick with “All God-breathed Scripture,” it does not have to follow that there is an implication that there are Scriptures not breathed out by God and thus absent of any profit for the reader.)

Overlooking Differences in Hope for Unity in Evangelism

For nearly fifty years, Jay Adams has been occasionally cited as a model for a theologian who supposedly discourages evangelism because of his understanding of election and the atonement. Said Adams in his well-known statement from 1970 in his book Competent to Counsel: “As a reformed Christian, the writer believes that counselors must not tell any unsaved counselee that Christ died for him, for he cannot say that. No man knows except Christ himself who are his elect for whom he died.”1

This isolated quote might cause one to assume that Adams never gave the gospel, but his very next sentence is this: “But the counselor’s job is to explain the gospel and to say very plainly that God commands all men to repent of their sin and believe in Jesus Christ.”2 His counselees would have apparently heard the gospel and been made aware of their obligation to repent and believe.

In light of the first quote from Adams above, held in isolation, some assume that, should one have a view of election as Adams does, so also will he follow Adams (or Reformed theology in general) in holding to a limited atonement and therefore refrain from telling an unbeliever that Christ died for his sins, leaving the would-be witness to the gospel apparently crippled in his evangelism. (And in response to this, please remember the second quote above.)

But, suppose that one could hold to the belief that God chose only some unto salvation and is yet not quite where Adams was in all of his other Reformed, soteriological particulars (pun intended).

Suppose for a moment that the theological world of orthodox Christianity has some diversity when it comes to how to understand election, the atonement, and the relationship of these two to evangelism. And suppose that some of these people could believe that God chose some for salvation in eternity past and also find such a belief in complete harmony with having a passion for evangelism.

Suppose that, even when one believes that, in eternity past, God chose to create all things, allow the fall, provide salvation through Christ, place His saving love on some who would otherwise be left in their sins, predestine their salvation, and call them to Him through the means of a witness, His Word, conviction, regeneration, and their personal acceptance of the gospel―suppose that even when someone holds to these beliefs…such a one could actually be quite evangelistic.

Suppose that, even when one believes God chose some for salvation, such a one could also believe that Christ’s atonement is sufficient for all and functions as a basis whereby to call whosoever will to salvation.

Suppose that, even when one believes God chose some for salvation, such a one could also believe that, while this choice was active, His allowance for the damnation of others was passive since, after all, He is not the author of sin and their damnation is only their just due for suppressing the truth about Him.

Suppose that, even when one believes that God chose some for salvation, such a one could also leave it to the unrevealed and likely incomprehensible mysteries of God as to how one can be passed over for salvation in eternity past and yet be held responsible for rejecting the truth in his day of judgment.

Suppose that, even when one believes that God chose some for salvation, such a one could also believe that God desires all to be saved, in keeping with an atonement sufficient for all, and therefore invites all to accept Christ as their Savior.

Suppose that, even when one believes God chose some for salvation, such a one could also believe that a delay in God’s judgment does not mean slowness on His part but actually patience towards all so that some might reach repentance.

Suppose that, even when one believes God chose some for salvation, such a one could also believe that God will keep saving for Himself these chosen until Christ comes again, meaning the Great Commission is never over until we join our Lord in the air.

And suppose that, even when one believes God chose some for salvation, such a one could also believe that, while not being ultimately responsible for an unbeliever’s rejection of the gospel, an unbeliever’s blood could be on the believer’s hands to some degree because the believer failed to give this unbeliever the gospel. For me personally, I wonder at times if some of the tears that my Savior will wipe from my eyes will be tears of mourning for those who I knew who died in their sins but never heard the gospel from me.

Do you suppose it could be so?

At least for me, I know it to be so because I am at least one such a one.3

I realize that my beliefs are my own and do not represent everyone who reads this article. I also realize that there are some theological tensions above that some would prefer to theologically diffuse while I would prefer to leave them as they are.

And I also hasten to clarify that I will gladly be a joint witness with those who give more or less stress to either God’s sovereignty or man’s freedom in light of their own convictions. I hope that others share this sentiment. May our love for one another create a collective, harmonious voice so that we might better sound the gospel of our glorious Christ in making disciples for Him.

  1. Jay Adams, Competent to Counsel (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1970), p. 70. []
  2. Ibid. []
  3. For a longer summary of these beliefs in soteriology, my position would be more or less represented by Bruce Demarest in his chapters on election and the extent of the atonement in his work The Cross and Salvation: The Doctrine of Salvation (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1997), pp. 97–199. []
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David: An Example of Wisdom in Youth

Referring to David as the king-to-be (about 20 years of age), God stated to Saul, “The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart” (1 Sam 13:14). When chosen to be king, it was not because of “his appearance or on the height of his stature. For the Lord sees not as man sees…the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Sam 16:7). A young man said also that David “is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the Lord is with him” (1 Sam 16:18). As a result, “David came to Saul and entered his service. And Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer” (1 Sam 16:21).

It could be said of the young David, “Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men” (Prov 22:29). Similarly, we serve the King and hope to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master” (Matt 25:21, 23). Until then, whether or not we serve the kings of this life, we want to be faithful in our service to our King, knowing that our faithfulness merits nothing for salvation, though it provides for reward in time to come.

Some passages from Proverbs mention how to serve in the presence of a king, and they instruct us in how to live our lives as we prepare to one day stand before the heavenly throne. What might they say to us as we consider how to live this life in preparing to meet our King?

  • Walk wisely to please the King. “A servant who deals wisely has the king’s favor, but his wrath falls on one who acts shamefully” (Prov 14:35).
  • Watch your words around the King. “Righteous lips are the delight of a king, and he loves him who speaks what is right” (Prov 16:13).
  • Tread carefully around the King. “A king’s wrath is a messenger of death, and a wise man will appease it” (Prov 16:14).
  • Be genuinely godly since the King knows your heart. “He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend” (Prov 22:11).
  • Be loyal to the king. “My son, fear the Lord and the king, and do not join with those who do otherwise, for disaster will arise suddenly from them, and who knows the ruin that will come from them both?” (Prov 24:21–22).
  • Let the King praise you in His own good time. “Do not put yourself forward in the king’s presence or stand in the place of the great, for it is better to be told, “Come up here,” than to be put lower in the presence of a noble” (Prov 25:6–7).

Whether or not our wisdom lets us stand before kings today, may we live to please the King both now and to hear “well done” when we stand before His throne.

Dealing with False Teachers in the Church

From Paul’s letters to Timothy, leaders in the church can gather quite a bit for how to deal with so-called teachers who profess Christ but deny Him in word and deed.

Be an example in the midst of false teachers.
In in event that one might “despise you for your youth” (or later, for that matter), “set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Tim 4:12). In the presence of false teachers, a godly example of a teacher is worth a 1,000 words in and of itself. The difference between right and wrong will be all the more obvious.

Keep away from the influence of false teachers (2:20–21).
When Paul speaks of the one who “cleanses himself from what is dishonorable” (2 Tim 2:21), he uses the picture of honorable vessels being cleansed by separating themselves from dishonorable vessels (cf. 2 Tim 2:20). Instead, we should pursue what fits our faith “along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart” (2 Tim 2:22).

Tell false teachers to stop teaching different doctrine (1 Tim 1:3–4).
Timothy’s task was clear. He was to “charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies” (1 Tim 1:3–4).

Confront and correct false teachers in a proper manner (2 Tim 2:24–26).
Speaking of “the Lord’s servant” as one who is “correcting his opponents,” Paul requires this servant to be “kind to everyone…patiently enduring evil” (2 Tim 2:24). With this kindness and patience, he also corrects “with gentleness” (2 Tim 2:25). The goal is never to simply shut down the opposition and destroy them. Their souls, too, are at stake. With a proper rebuke, “God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will” (2 Tim 2:25–26).

Use witnesses when dealing with false teachers publicly before the church.
In the event that the false teacher is an elder in the church, we should “not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses” (1 Tim 5:19). Should such a one “persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear” (1 Tim 5:20).

Hand them over to Satan (1 Tim 1:19–20).
Along with this public rebuke, the persistently unfaithful are put out of the church, which is Paul’s meaning when he speaks of Hymenaeus and Alexander and said, “I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme” (1 Tim 1:20). These men likely led others in “rejecting this, that is, “faith and a good conscience” (1 Tim 1:19), creating spiritual warfare in the church (cf. 1 Tim 1:18).

The Old Testament in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 13:5–10)

Passage Summary

The beast (Antichrist) rules for forty-two months, the final half of the Tribulation period, blaspheming God and His dwelling all the while (13:5–6; cf. 2 Thess 2:3–4). Having global authority, he wars against God’s people while everyone else on earth worships the beast, showing their names are absent from the book of life (13:7–8). A sober warning and a call for endurance then readies the saints for being taken captive or being slain with the sword (13:9–10). 

Old Testament in the New 

Revelation Old Testament Connection Between the Two
13:5–6 Dan 7:8, 11, 20, 25; 11:36 The Antichrist speaks blasphemy and rules for 3.5 years.
13:7 Dan 7:14, 21 The Antichrist uses his authority to war against the saints.
13:8 Dan 12:1 John mentions those whose names are not in the book. Daniel mentions those who are.
13:10 Jer 15:2; 43:11 John echoes the warning of captivity and the sword to come.

 A Parting Thought 

Just as this future time is imminent, so also should we expect to see such a time to some degree today. Blasphemous rulers who persecute the saints will always exist. Let us be thankful that we experience relative peace for now.

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Jesus: the Pioneer and Perfecter of our Faith

In Hebrews 12:2, Jesus is identified as “the founder and perfecter of our faith.” What do these two titles mean?

The title “founder” is variously translated: “author” (NASB, NIV, KJV, NKJV); “pioneer” (NET Bible); “source” (HCSB). Other suggestions in commentaries are “forerunner,” “initiator,” “beginner,” “champion,” “leader,” and “originator.” I remember a sermon in which He was the “trailblazer.” The same Greek word (archēgos) is used to identify Jesus as “the Author of life” in Acts 3:15. Likewise, God exalted Him as “leader” in Acts 5:31.

Closer to our meaning and within the book of Hebrews itself is Hebrews 2:10: “it was fitting that He…should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.” “Founder” is the same as in 12:2, and “make perfect” is the verb form (teleioō) of the title “perfecter” (teleiōtēs). Insomuch as Jesus “founded” our salvation, He could be said to be its origin or source, which is why the HCSB gives its translation “source” in 12:2. At the same time, while this thought is in the background in 12:2, the emphasis of 12:1–3 is upon Jesus as an example of enduring and not so much the theological significance of His work as it pertains to our salvation. In other words, He is highlighted as an example for perseverance in 12:1–3, and relationship of His suffering to our salvation is not center-stage.

The title “perfecter” is used only once in the NT and, as best we know, nowhere else in Greek literature. It may have been coined by the author of Hebrews. It carries the idea of someone bringing something to perfection or completion. Hebrews 5:9, speaking of Jesus, states, “And being made perfect [teleioō], he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.” As in 2:10, this perfection came through obedience in His suffering (cf. 5:8). While these other verses are helpful, they speak of how He Himself was perfected through suffering and not so much what it is that He perfected (i.e., “our faith”) as in 12:2.

Some clues from the surrounding text also push us closer to the titles’ meanings.

First, as just mentioned, both of these titles somehow relate to “our faith.” Technically, the word translated “our” is the Greek article “the,” and the article is used with the word “faith” in Hebrews only when referring to the faith of a group of people, such as “those who listened” (4:2), “all these” (11:39), and “your leaders” (13:7). The faith here is of the “we” in 12:1 who “are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses” whose faith is likewise mentioned in 11:39. So, whatever Jesus’ titles may mean, they are somehow related to the personal and active faith of the readers of Hebrews.

Second, the titles share the one article “the,” indicating that there is some notion that ties them together. “Founder” has the idea of beginning something, just as “completer” brings out its end. What is brought out, then, is that Jesus is somehow related to our faith’s beginning and end.

Third, another technical point, the name “Jesus” comes after “founder and perfecter” in the Greek. Literally, the text reads, “Looking unto the of-the-faith founder and perfecter Jesus.” The emphasis, then, is to give these titles first so as to help us think in a certain way about who Jesus is. While Hebrews 11 gave us many examples of faith, they fade to the background, surrounding the runner. Now we look to the man Jesus as the best example for our faith, for He lived it perfectly from beginning to end. We should run the race with endurance like Him.

Putting together all of the above, it is tempting to identify Jesus as the Pioneer and Perfecter of our faith. He is certainly the source of our salvation, and, more the point of Hebrews 12:1–3, He also pioneered what it was to perfectly live by faith. And, in so doing, He perfected and finished how to do so, even unto the cross, bearing immense hostility along the way. His joy and reward was to sit down at the Father’s right hand, and we will likewise one day reign with Him (cf. Rev 3:21). When we run the Christian race with endurance and look at Him, we will not stumble but be faithful to the finish.

 

The Old Testament in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 13:1–4)

Passage Summary

John saw a beast rising from the sea (13:1), elsewhere identified as the abyss (11:7; 17:8), symbolizing, if nothing else, an evil origin. The beast had ten horns and seven heads, symbolic of kings (17:10, 12), shown for their royalty though crowns (13:1). The seven heads were littered with blasphemous names (13:1). The beast will run like a leopard, devour like a bear, and ravage like a lion, all by the power and authority of Satan (13:2). One of the seven heads, killed and then resurrected, it seems, represents the Antichrist (cf. 17:8, 11) who is followed for this death-and-life experience (13:3). Mankind gives himself to the worship of Satan and the Antichrist at this time (13:4; cf. 2 Thess 2:3–4).

 Old Testament in the New

Revelation Old Testament Connection Between the Two
13:1 Dan 7:3, 7, 8 A beast comes out of the sea with ten horns, symbolizing kings.
13:2 Dan 7:4–6, 8 Whereas Daniel has four beasts, John’s beast combines features of these four (like a lion, leopard, and bear).
13:3 Dan 7:8 One king stands out among the others.
13:4 Dan 7:6; 8:24 The beast has incredible power from an outside source (Satan)

A Parting Thought

Left to himself, man will always replace God with something or someone else, however sinful his idol may be. Let us beware that neither thing nor person steal the amazement we have in God, even if the person were to be raised from the dead!

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The Old Testament in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 12:13–17)

Passage Summary

 Continuing John’s vision (cf. 12:1–12), Satan the dragon persecuted Israel the woman (12:13). Symbolized by help from a great eagle’s wings, God gave her strength (great) and speed (wings) to escape into the wilderness where she would be given provision for three and one-half years (12:14). Maybe a literal flood or perhaps symbolic of an army, the dragon attempted to drown the woman (12:15). Either way, an earthquake swallows the river from his mouth (12:16). Angered by his failure, the dragon went to make war against her children, those who obey God and believe in Jesus (12:17). Standing on the sea, the dragon readied himself to call his allies in opposing the people of God (12:17; cf. 13:1–18).

 Old Testament in the New 

Revelation Old Testament Connection Between the Two
12:14 Exod 19:4; Deut 32:11; Isa 40:31 Protection by God is pictured as the delivered being carried away by the eagle’s wings.
12:14 Dan 7:25; 12:7; Hos 2:14-15 Israel is persecuted in the latter half of the Tribulation, taken into the wilderness.
12:15 Hos 5:10 The one who sends the flood is angry with those who bear its waters. Sometimes this water is symbolic of armies (cf. Jer 46:7–8; 47:2–3). Some suggest Dan 9:26 is in view.
12:16 Exod 15:12 God opens the earth against His opposition.
12:17 Gen 3:15 The serpent is at enmity with the woman’s offspring.

 A Parting Thought 

Whatever animosity we as God’s people may feel from Satan and his forces, God’s protection is enough, even if it be of our souls and not our bodies. As He does so, let us persevere by keeping God’s commandments and upholding the testimony of Jesus.

Cleanse Yourself: A Look at Paul’s Metaphor and Its Application in 2 Timothy 2:20–21

In between two passages telling Timothy how to deal with false teachers (2 Tim 2:14–19, 22–26), Paul uses a variously understood metaphor in verse 20 and applies it in verse 21: “20 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work” (ESV).

Let’s begin with some points of contact that are easy to identify, which allows to navigate through details that are not as clear at first glance.

First, “a great house” in 2 Tim 2:20 refers to the church. In 2 Tim 2:19, the immediately preceding verse, Paul spoke of “God’s firm foundation,” which, in context, is people―“those who are His” and “everyone who names the name of the Lord.”

Second, the “vessels” in 2 Tim 2:20 (whatever their material―gold, silver, wood, or clay) refer to people. That these vessels are either “for honorable use” or “for dishonorable” is immediately applied to people in 2 Tim 2:21―“anyone” can be for “honorable use” by being cleansed from what is “dishonorable.”

Third, putting these people into two categories, the honorable vessels (gold and silver) are faithful believers (like Timothy), and the dishonorable vessels are the false teachers in 2 Tim 2:20. The contrast between Timothy and his opponents in the surrounding passages (2 Tim 2:14–19, 22–26) implies as much.

Having these points of contact in hand, we can better understand how Paul applies his metaphor in 2 Tim 2:21. As the metaphor continues, it takes a slight twist in 2 Tim 2:21 in that “anyone,” whatever vessel he may be (even the one for dishonorable use), may be cleansed by cleansing himself, literally translated, “from these,” which refers to the vessels designated, “some for dishonorable” use in 2 Tim 2:20. To clarify, rather than finding the vessel being cleansed by being washed from filth upon the vessel itself, its cleansing comes from being separated from the other vessels. Further support for this understanding is in 2 Tim 2:22 in which Timothy was to pursue good things “along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart,” that is, he was to fellowship with one group within the church and not the other.

If, then, vessels are cleansed by being separated from vessels of dishonorable use, the silver and gold vessels maintain their honorable use by their continued distinction from the dishonorable use of the vessels of wood and the clay. And, insomuch as “anyone” in 2 Tim 2:21 may cleanse himself, wood and clay vessels may also have an honorable use by removing themselves from the other wood and clay vessels that continue in their dishonorable use. Applied to the characters in the text, false teachers could be cleansed by removing themselves from other false teachers who continue in error. In the language of the immediately following passage, 2 Tim 2:25–26 would describe such a situation as “opponents” to whom God granted “repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,” having “come to their senses” to “escape from the snare of the devil.”

One final clarification―from a cursory reading of 2:20–26, it would seem from 2 Tim 2:22 that Timothy was to cleanse himself from youthful passions. While this is indeed part of what Paul has in mind, it is not all of what is meant in the metaphor in 2:20–21. Timothy was to separate himself from false teachers themselves. In doing so, he would likewise “flee youthful passions,” “having nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies,” and “not be quarrelsome” (2 Tim 2:22–24). As Timothy cleansed himself from bad company, so also would they not corrupt his good morals.

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The Resurrection of Jesus in the OT

Isaiah spoke of Jesus in Isaiah 52:13–53:12, with thoughts of the resurrection in Isaiah 53:10. Hinting at His death, Jesus would be “like a lamb that is led to the slaughter” (Isa 53:7), and, indeed, He would be “taken away” and “cut off out of the land of the living” (Isa 53:8). He would die and lie in “His grave,” being made “an offering for guilt” (Isa 53:9–10). Nonetheless, Isaiah promised of Jesus that “He shall see His offspring” and that the Father would “prolong His days” (Isa 53:10). Though Isaiah does not specifically mention the resurrection, it is obviously implied between the prophecies of the death of the Messiah and His prolonged days thereafter

Psalm 16:10 gives another clear prophecy of Jesus’ resurrection. Speaking of Christ, David promised, “For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.” Similar to how Abraham believed that God would have raised Isaac from the dead because of His promise of Abraham’s descendants through him (Heb 11:17–19), David knew that his Descendant would one day rule forever, which meant for Him that Sheol and corruption would be overcome by a resurrection (Ps 16:10; see also Acts 2:30–31; 13:34–37).

Many OT texts could be added to the two above.1 In summarizing the gospel, Paul pointed out of Jesus “that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Cor 15:4). If only Paul could have told us which Scriptures!

Similarly, when Jesus spoke to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus after His resurrection, Jesus rebuked them for their failure to believe in His resurrection. (They did not realize it was Him at the time; cf. Luke 24:31.) Luke 24:25–27 states, “25 And he said to them, ‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.’”

We only wish we could know in detail from Jesus Himself what Moses and the prophets had to say of Christ’s resurrection, a necessary event for Him to “enter in His glory.” At the same time, we at least know what some OT passages say of His resurrection, and, in our place in redemptive history, we can see the story and significance of the resurrection in the NT. Paul gives a snapshot of both in 1 Corinthians 15:20–22: “20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” Praise be to God for the resurrection of Christ, a picture and guarantee of our resurrection to come!

  1. For a fuller discussion of the above, see Rolland McCune, A Systematic Theology of Biblical Christianity: The Doctrines of Man, Sin, Christ, and the Holy Spirit (Allen Park, MI: Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, 2009), 221–23. []