All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, in order that the person of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (W. Hall Harris III et al., eds., )The Lexham English Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012), 2 Ti 3:16–17.)
Usually the discussion is about what “inspired” means.
I would rather talk about how we are to use the scriptures, which is the Old Testament, of course.
- For teaching. This is my special love and competency. I’ve spent too much time teaching the New Testament and not enough teaching the Old Testament. I probably don’t have time to balance it out in my lifetime, but I’d like to try.
- For reproof. This is where we find out that we aren’t always living right. My hobby (I guess you could say) is to show the church where — at least I think — we are heading in the wrong direction. Something I must do as part of my call to teaching.
- For training in righteousness. Not training in information, but training in righteousness. Righteous is about the way we live, not about what we know. We the church do poorly at this because we are not following our commission to make disciples. We have been satisfied with making converts, and that is not enough. People are neither competent nor equipped until they are following Jesus with the full allegiance and commitment of a life lived totally for him. It is debatable whether a person not doing so could even be called a person of God.
If you aren’t being taught in such a way, you are in a huge club of people who have grown up in a church culture that is misguided. You must teach yourself, meaning that you need to go outside your local church resources to get what you need.
Read your Bible. And make sure you read the Old Testament.