â€œThat the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.â€ (2 Timothy 3:17)
The word â€œperfectâ€ in this verse is artios, and it is used only this one time in the Bible. Its basic meaning seems to be â€œfitted,â€ or â€œfresh.â€ Then, the words â€œthoroughly furnishedâ€ are one word, exartizo, in the original, whichâ€”interestingly enoughâ€”is essentially this same rare word (artios) with the prefix ex (meaning â€œout ofâ€) added. It is only used one other time, where it is translated â€œaccomplishedâ€ (Acts 21:5).
Putting these concepts together, Paul seems to be saying that the â€œman of Godâ€ is not necessarily a man who is sinlessly perfect but one who is both fresh (ready to meet present needs) and fully equipped (able to meet present needs).
And, of course, it is significant that this splendid testimony to what a man of God can beâ€”and should beâ€”follows immediately upon Paulâ€™s grand testimony to the inspiration and power of the Holy Scriptures. The Scriptures, first of all, â€œare able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesusâ€ (2 Timothy 3:15). Then, they are â€œprofitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousnessâ€ (v. 16).
â€œDoctrine,â€ more specifically, is teaching. â€œReproofâ€ is evidence or conviction. â€œCorrectionâ€ is a word used only this one time, and it means setting straight. â€œInstructionâ€ is chastening. Then, the end result of the perfect teachings, the convicting evidences, the correcting influences, and the chastening cleansing of the Holy Scriptures is to produce men and women of God who are both ready and able to meet the critical needs of the times in which they live.
By the same token, the large numbers of nominal Christians who do not diligently study, obey, and apply the Holy Scriptures in their lives are not either ready or able to face the awful challenges (vv. 1-14) of these last days. HMM