Mary Beth McGreevy
March 13, 2023
“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.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17
Through God’s gracious providence, in the mid-90’s my husband and I were exposed to, wrestled with, and then heartily embraced Reformed theology. Soon it became obvious that we needed to change churches, but where to go? We began visiting Presbyterian churches in St. Louis.
Sitting down in the pew before the worship service in one of them, I noticed this Statement of Faith on the front of the bulletin:
“The Covenant Presbyterian Church, a member of the Presbyterian Church in America, believes that the Bible is the inerrant and infallible Word of God and holds to that system of doctrine summarized in the Westminster Confession of Faith & Catechisms.”
This was the flowing stream for which my soul had panted, evidenced by the tears streaming down my cheeks—tears of joy over a church that believed this truly and boldly. After hearing the strong preaching of that inerrant and infallible Word, we joined that church where I still often weep those grateful tears. Because the church—and denomination—that believes and preaches the Word as described by the Apostle Paul in these verses in 2 Timothy gives people what they are desperate to receive when they walk into our worship services: real help to be the “complete” people we long to be, equipped to live and work in this fallen world.
The Bible is the inerrant and infallible Word of God because it is “breathed out by God” (3:16)—that is, inspired by the Holy Spirit. Peter writes that “men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Paul “introduces the ultimate purpose of Scripture’s inspiration. Scripture comes from God and is true; therefore it provides the content and direction necessary for Timothy…and all Christians…”
Why do we need this teaching and reproof of our thinking and doctrine? This correction and training of our actions and character? Because of the effects of the Fall in ourselves, in others, and in the world around us—for which we humans do not have solutions. But all of the Bible, every passage, is given not only to identify that result of the Fall confounding us but also the divine provision for that particular effect. Bryan Chapell calls this the Fallen Condition Focus, “the mutual human condition that contemporary believers share with those to or about whom the text was written that requires the grace of the passage for God’s people to glorify and enjoy him.” God’s ultimate gracious provision for our fallenness is given in the Lord Jesus Christ, and every biblical text is either predictive, preparatory, reflective or resultant of His work.
For fifty years the PCA has grown as its churches have stood on the God-breathed Word of God and her pastors have preached it boldly and profitably. May God by his grace enable her ever to do so.
Mary Beth McGreevy is a graduate of Butler University (B.A., Applied Piano), The University of Texas at San Antonio (M.M., Piano Performance) and Covenant Theological Seminary (M.Div., summa cum laude). She teaches piano in her home, occasionally speaks for women’s retreats and conferences, and is an Adjunct Professor of Communication at Covenant Seminary. Mary Beth and her husband, Bill, have been married 48 years; she loves to be with him, to play golf and to travel, especially to places by the sea.