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3. Godlessness in the Last Days

1But know this, that in the last days grievous times shall come. 2For men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, railers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good, 4traitors, headstrong, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; 5holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power therefore. From these also turn away. 6For of these are they that creep into houses, and take captive silly women laden with sins, led away by divers lusts, 7ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8And even as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also withstand the truth. Men corrupted in mind, reprobate concerning the faith. 9But they shall proceed no further. For their folly shall be evident unto all men, as theirs also came to be. 10But thou didst follow my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, patience, 11persecutions, sufferings. What things befell me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12Yea, and all that would live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 13But evil men and impostors shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14But abide thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them. 15And that from a babe thou hast known the sacred writings which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness. 17That the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work.

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17 That the man of God may be perfect. Perfect means here a blameless person, one in whom there is nothing defective; for he asserts absolutely, that the Scripture is sufficient for perfection. Accordingly, he who is not satisfied with Scripture desires to be wiser than is either proper or desirable.

But here an objection arises. Seeing that Paul speaks of the Scriptures, which is the name given to the Old Testament, how does he say that it makes a man thoroughly perfect? for, if it be so, what was afterwards added by the apostles may be thought superfluous. I reply, so far as relates to the substance, nothing has been added; for the writings of the apostles contain nothing else than a simple and natural explanation of the Law and the Prophets, together with a manifestation of the things expressed in them. This eulogium, therefore, is not inappropriately bestowed on the Scriptures by Paul; and, seeing that its instruction is now rendered more full and clear by the addition of the Gospel, what can be said but that we ought assuredly to hope that the usefulness, of which Paul speaks, will be much more displayed, if we are willing to make trial and receive it?




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