Text: 2 Timothy 3:14–4:5
Theme: God breathed
Other Lessons: Genesis 32:22–30; Psalm 121; Luke 18:1–8
A. In the Name of the Father…Amen.
B. The Epistle lesson serves as our sermon text for this morning.
C. Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God our heavenly Father through
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
D. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:
LSB 734 I Trust, O Lord, Your Holy Name (stanza 1)
I trust, O Lord, Your holy name;
O let me not be put to shame
Nor let me be confounded.
My faith, O Lord,
Be in Your Word
Forever firmly grounded. Amen.
A. Our Epistle today contains two verses which are extremely important,
passages that are foundational to all of our theology and doctrine as
1. St. Paul writes:
A. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for
reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of
God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (3:16–17).
B. These verses teach us that the Scriptures are the inspired Word of God.
C. They teach us that the Scriptures, although written by the hands of
human authors—men like Moses, David, Isaiah, Matthew, Paul, and John—are
not just a product of their own minds and experiences, but also the product
of God’s own hand and mind.
D. All Scripture, Paul says here, has been breathed out from God’s own
mouth and has come down to us, through human authors, from him.
B. Thanks to these verses and others like it, we know and believe that the
Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are reliable and trustworthy.
1. They are not just the ideas of men but they are also the words of God.
2. Thanks to these verses, we know and believe that every word of every
verse in the Scriptures is true and contains no errors.
3. Not only that but thanks to these words in 2 Timothy, we know and
believe that the Scriptures aren’t even capable of making errors.
4. And thanks to these verses, we know and believe that the Scriptures give
us a firm foundation—the only firm foundation!—on which to build our lives
5. It would be almost impossible for us to overestimate the importance of
C. There is, however, another reason why this passage, Paul’s statement
that all Scripture is breathed out by God, is so important.
1. The other reason why this passage is so important is that it teaches us
to see that:
A. The God-Breathed Scriptures Breathe Life into Sinners, Equipping Us to
Serve God and One Another in Love.
I. The God-breathed Scriptures breathe life into us . . .
A. Sin knocks the breath of life out of us.
1. Illustration: Having the wind knocked out of you is a good analogy for
what sin does to us.
A. It leaves us breathless,
D. and unable to do much of anything for anyone.
2. Quote from writer Sarah Kay:
A. sometimes getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind
your lungs how much they like the taste of air.
3. We see this time and time again in the Scriptures:
A. Genesis 2 and 3:
1. Adam and Eve had the breath of life breathed into them at creation and,
as a result, they were able to love and serve God and each other perfectly.
2. But falling into sin, they are left gasping for air both physically
(they ran from God) and spiritually and are unable to love God or each
other (Genesis 2:7; 3:1–13).
B. Ezekiel 37:
1. The people of Israel are like a valley of dry bones, cut off and
breathless, because of their sins and the consequences of those sins
(Ezekiel 37:1–2, 11).
C. John 20:
1. The disciples, having abandoned their Lord and fled in fear, are
breathless, paralyzed, as they gather in the locked room on the evening of
Easter (John 20:19).
B. But God continually breathes new life into sinners.
1. In each of the examples already mentioned, God breathes new life into
his people through his promises. It’s like divine CPR!
A. Genesis 3:
1. God breathed new life into Adam and Eve with the promise a Savior would
crush the serpent’s head (Genesis 3:14–15).
B. Ezekiel 37:
1. God breathed new life into Israel with the promise of new life in
Ezekiel’s vision (Ezekiel 37: 3–10, 12–14).
C. John 20:
1. God breathed new life into the disciples as Jesus literally breathed on
them (John 20:20–22).
2. When Paul reminds us that the Scriptures are God-breathed, he’s teaching
us that God does the same kind of divine CPR for us through the Scriptures.
A. The breath of God is the spirit of God.
1. Jesus says his words are “spirit and life” (John 6:63), and as he
breathes his last on the cross he breathes out the breath of life once, for
B. We were dead (that is, without breath!) in our trespasses and sins, but
God has made us alive with Christ through the Gospel (Ephesians 2:1–5).
C. When we read or hear the Scriptures and meditate on them, the Holy
Spirit breathes the breath of life back into us.
1. We are resurrected and resuscitated.
2. That is, we are given new life!
C. Why has God given us new life?
II. In order to equip us to serve Him and one another in love.
A. Having had this new life breathed into us through the Scriptures, we are
able to begin to serve God and one another in love.
1. The breath of God works!
A. Genesis 3:
1. We don’t know much about what Adam and Eve did after God spoke his
promise to them, but having had new life breathed into them through that
promise, they were able to stop hiding from God.
B. Ezekiel 37:
1. Having had new life breathed into them through the hope of God’s promise
through Ezekiel, the people of Israel were able to begin to serve God and
one another (even their Babylonian captors) in love.
C. John 20:
1. Having had new life breathed into them by Jesus, the disciples were
equipped for their mission as witnesses of all Jesus had done and taught.
They were empowered to forgive sins (John 20:23).
2. With the same breath of God restored to each of us through the
Scriptures, we are also able to begin to serve God and one another in his
A. Blessing Bags
B. First Care
C. Individual, random acts of kindness
3. This love and service will always be hampered in this life by sin, but
the God-breathed Scriptures are able to breathe this new life into us.
B. Paul says that the God-breathed Scriptures equip us for every good work
1. teaching us—showing us what good and God-pleasing works really are;
2. reproving us—calling us to repentance over the sin that remains in our
3. correcting us—improving us or restoring us the way one might improve or
restore a house or a vintage vehicle; and
4. training us in righteousness—shaping or forming us as those who serve
God and one another in love.
A. Sin, we could say, does something similar to what knocking the wind out
of us does.
1. It knocks the breath of life out of us, leaving us paralyzed, afraid,
and spiritually dead, unable to serve God and one another in love.
2. Thanks be to God, however, that he breathes his breath of life into us
through the Scriptures, which are themselves God-breathed! (2 Tim 3:16–17).
B. As Paul writes these important words to Timothy, he encourages him and
us to continue in the Scriptures and the faith that they have imparted to
1. That encouragement is something we all need.
2. In a world where there are many “teachers” vying for our attention and
many voices speaking into our ears, let us continue in the Scriptures and
the faith they teach us.
3. Not only are these Scriptures truly and entirely reliable, but they are
also the breath of God for us.
4. They breathe new life into us and equip us to live as the people God
would have us be.
5. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
C. Let us pray:
LSB 734 I Trust, O Lord, Your Holy Name (stanza 5)
All honor, praise, and majesty
To Father, Son, and Spirit be,
Our God forever glorious,
In whose rich grace
We run our race
Till we depart victorious. Amen.
Text: Public domain
D. The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard your hearts
and minds in Christ Jesus.
E. In the Name of the Father…Amen.