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In our little series on 2 Timothy 3:10-17, we’ve seen Scripture’s saving power, its final authority, and its complete sufficiency. Second Timothy 4:1 does not change Paul’s focus on the Word. Instead, he builds on everything he’s already said to demand a very practical application from Timothy. His pointed charge still has deep ramifications for us today. Because the Word saves, is authoritative and is sufficient, the Word should be preached.

The following is a transcript of a helpful question and answer session with Pastor John Piper of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN. For more questions and answers, visit www.desiringgod.org. Question: Is gratitude a bad motivation for obeying God?

My early view of growth in Christ was fairly immature. For what I could figure out, being a Christian basically meant this: I made a profession of faith by saying a prayer and now I have to do certain Christian activities like read my Bible, pray and go to church. There was no rea- son behind those activities other than duty. While I benefitted from some of these activities, I recall feeling so guilty when I didn’t do them. The guilt went so far that I made it a condition of God’s love for me. I needed a better, and biblical, model for my life as a believer.

Every Roman soldier would wear a tunic, a large square outer garment with holes cut out for the head and arms. It was meant to be worn loose, as it covered most of the body. As a good soldier prepared for battle, mostly hand-to-hand combat, it was critical that the soldier tuck in tightly any loose article of clothing so nothing would get caught up or be able to be grasped or clung to by the enemy. The belt was an essential part of the armor to have fastened around every soldier’s waist to hold all clothing tightly together. This is the image Paul wants us to picture as we consider the first component of the armor of God.

We hear the term “accountability” quite a bit. The basic definition is “to allow oneself or to be in a position to have an account taken of what you do, what you say or who you are; being liable or answerable.” What is accountability within the Christian context? Is it even biblical? One of the best places to go to answer that question is that list we so often refer to as the “one anothers.” As you know, there are 33 distinct “one anothers” in the New Testament. Three in particular relate to Christian accountability.