“That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:17)
The word “perfect” in this verse is artios, and it is used only this one time in the Bible. Its basic meaning seems to be “fitted,” or “fresh.” Then, the words “thoroughly furnished” are one word, exartizo, in the original, which—interestingly enough—is essentially this same rare word (artios) with the prefix ex (meaning “out of”) added. It is only used one other time, where it is translated “accomplished” (Acts 21:5).
Putting these concepts together, Paul seems to be saying that the “man of God” 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 be—and should be—follows immediately upon Paul’s grand testimony to the inspiration and power of the Holy Scriptures. The Scriptures, first of all, “are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15). Then, they are “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (v. 16).
“Doctrine,” more specifically, is teaching. “Reproof” is evidence or conviction. “Correction” is a word used only this one time, and it means setting straight. “Instruction” 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