Being Equipped for the Task — Paul Washer addresses the TMAI Symposium
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Being Equipped for the Task — Paul Washer addresses the TMAI Symposium

Paul Washer stood before the crowd attending the 2015 TMAI Symposium on Biblical Inerrancy and directed everyone to a passage of Scripture with which everyone there was no doubt familiar:

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching,
for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.

— 2 Timothy 3:16

He then addressed the audience, a room of men he knew to be church leaders.

Paul Washer (Credit: Rudy Cerda)

Paul Washer

“It’s not enough to correct the world of inerrancy,” he said. “We must admonish men to not be pulled away from study and prayer.”

That was the beginning of what was to be a rousing challenge from Washer to hundreds of listeners: If you are going to men of God, you must first and foremost be men of the Word.

“If you call yourself men of God, then how dare you neglect the Word,” Washer said. “How dare you be ‘busy.’”

Washer’s challenge was hard to miss. He reminded listeners that they are to be ready to preach, both in season and out of season. They are not to be enamored with the latest trends in evangelism and church governance.

He also reminded attendees of the desperate nature of the times, comparing the times surrounding the writing of Paul’s final epistle to today. Paul wrote that people would become lovers of self, that there would be many false prophets, that many would actively oppose the truth, that those people would find a large audience, and that godly people would face persecution.

“The times are similar,” Washer said. “We are living on the edge of a knife … Paul tells Timothy that he must endure and he must overcome. Timothy is charged with advancing the truth.”

As the times are similar, and the call is consistent, Washer exhorted the church leaders in the room to wage the battle for souls and for the advancement of God’s Kingdom. His weapons of choice? An unshakeable confidence on the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture and a personal, tangible conviction that all Scripture is profitable.

“How can we be confident that what we do is pleasing to God? If it conforms to the Word of God.” Washer said. “There is a need for training in righteousness, and we must find it in God’s Word.”

Washer pleaded with the audience to never lose sight of the centrality of Scripture in their own lives. More than once, he reminded them that it is one thing to sit in a seminar and nod in agreement, but that they must ask themselves if they are truly living out these principles in their lives.

“Eloquence and intelligence will not make you adequate to the task,” he said. “The only thing that will make you fit for this battle is the Word of God.”