Monthly Archives: July 2009

The Sufficiency of Scripture

The Bible is a wonderful book! Yet, how many Christians today reject the Bible as authoritative? Not accepting the Word of God as such presents serious problems. In this post, I will give the biblical defense for the doctrine of the Sufficiency of  Scripture, then I will give the application and explain why it is so important.

The doctrine of the Sufficiency of Scripture is vital to the Christian life and the Church itself. On this one doctrine rests the future of our lives and the life of the Church. It is the Rock of all other doctrine and the foundation to our belief in Jesus Christ. There is a reason for it’s importance.

Defending the Doctrine Of the Sufficiency of Scripture.

The Word is divinely inspired by God.
2 Timothy 3:16a tells us that the Word of God is given by inspiration of God. Do you think that God would take the time and the trouble to write a book, that is so significant it took several thousand years to write, compile, and complete, and then give it to a people who are rebellious, stubborn, and would not listen, unless the message was very important and of great significance.  God gave us His word and as 2 Peter 1:20-21 says, men of God received His words by divine revelation from the Holy Ghost. The Word of God is what tells us about the redemptive plan of infinite wisdom. It is necessary that we have unfailing belief in this matter, as I will point our later. Some other verses that point to the authenticity of God’s Word: Gal. 1:12-13 & 15-16, John 15:26, Hebrews 1:1-2.

The Word is Jesus Christ Himself. (John 1:1-5, 14)
You know many times we do not think about this, but Jesus Christ is the Incarnate Word of God. God in the flesh. So how could God present himself in a more meaningful, more glorious way than by manifesting himself as the Word of God in the very being of Jesus Christ. The Word of God is the very essence of Who God is because He is the Word. There is something so very rich about this that we seem to be unable to comprehend.

How it applies to our life.
Is Profitable for:

Doctrine.

The Word Doctrine here in the Greek, literally means teaching. Not someone who teaches but the doctrine that is taught through scripture. As God’s people, we are commanded to study His word that we may be “approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Tim. 2:15 There is no way that we are going to know how God desires for us to live, act, speak, and govern our lives if we are not genuinely seeking to understand the Word of God. In Ephesians, Paul compares the Word of God to a Sword. A soldier would not go out to battle without being trained how to effectively use that sword. If we are going to fight in this world the dark and deadly evils, we must be effective in using the Word of God in our daily life. His word is our teacher. Application to our lives, that is both genuine and relevant, is found from Genesis to Revelation. Many preachers and teachers of the Bible today say that it is not relevant in many areas of our life, because of the difference in geographical location, time period, language, and tradition. Does this mean then that the teaching of the Atonement was only for those who existed within that time period, only for those who lived in that geographical location, those who spoke that language, only those that held the Jewish tradition. You can see the error that is made in assuming this. Either the Bible is all Sufficient, or it is a making of men’s ideas. Either the Bible is relevant to all of life in every area, or it is not relevant at all.  All of the Bible is relevant to our lives today. Yet I do agree that in order to understand the relevant application, which is not always on the surface, you must do extensive, prayerful, and Spirit led research in order to grasp it. Here are just a few of the topics that Jesus speaks to in his Word: Family life, Church Government, Taxes, Tithing, Submission to State Government, Missions, The Role of the Government, Dietary laws, Childhood Education, Tradition, Marriage, The Procreation of Children, Child training, How to act towards other believers, How to treat our enemies, How to pray, How to live a Holy and Righteous life, Fasting, Creation, Fatherhood, Motherhood, Masculinity, Femininity,  Business, Work ethics, Economics, Mathematics, Biology, Astronomy, and so many Other things that I cannot list them all. Yet never doubt this for a moment. That God’s Word speaks to all things and for all people.

Reproof.

Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life, (ESV) God’s Word is given to us that we as Christians might be reproved, or convicted and corrected in the error of our sin. Reproof here basically means to reprove a sinful act or false doctrine. Coming from and living in the world, Christians must allow the scripture to show us where we may be wrong. There are many false teachers out there and we must  change our thinking to line up with the Word. Heb. 4:12-13 “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” When we seek the Word, the Holy Spirit will bring conviction to areas of our lives that are displeasing to him. I know it has happened in my life, and hopefully it has happened in yours.
Correction
The greek word here literally means to set aright, and was used if a person had to pick
up a vase or statue that had fallen over. Thus, we must “set aright” anything in our lives that does not line up with the Word of God, and we are commanded in Scripture to go to a brother and correct him in love if he has strayed from following God, has gone into sin, or received or taught false doctrine. Galatians 6:11 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

Instruction in Righteousness.

Instruction in Righteousness is the actual building up of faith and knowledge in the Lord. The word there means to train up children, yet it can be used for that sense, and for training the Children of God in the righteousness of God. I think it has significant implication for both. The Bible does say that parents must “train up the Child in the way he should go, and when He is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6) In the same manner, the Elders must be diligent about teaching the “milk and meat of the Word” to believers. First must come reproof, then correction, and then we must learn what the Truth is, and God’s Word is the Truth.
That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
Those that truly seek the Lord, will, by constant study and earnest desire, grow and increase their good works. Every Word of God is necessary for the growth of the genuine Christian. The Lord has provided His Word so that we might be perfect. How could we be perfect if the Lord did not speak to every issue? John MacArthur says in his commentary:
“Through the convincing and convicting power of the Holy Spirit, Scripture is God’s own provision for every spiritual truth and moral principle that men need to be saved, to be equipped to live righteously in this present life and to hear one day in the life to come, ‘ Well done, thou good and faithful servant, … enter into the joy of your Master’.” (Matt. 25:21)

Consequences for rejecting this Doctrine are these:

The Church’s foundation is destroyed.
Truth becomes relevant (only in the eyes of man).
False teachers dominate the Church.
The World influences the Church.
Evangelism ceases to be a dominant part of Church life.
The Church is unprepared for Christ’s return.

CHRISTIAN APPLICATION

I would like to ask you a question. If you were to buy a Windsor Ceiling Fan and become a member of the Windsor Ceiling Fan Club, what good would that fan do you if you set the it (still in the box) and the membership certificate up on a shelf some where? Would it do you any good there? Would you walk by it and say to your friends, “ I am apart of the Windsor Ceiling Fan Club and here is the beautiful fan that I bought! Don’t you think it is wonderful?”. As lame as this example may seem, it is rightly applied. I wonder how many “Christians” who are apart of the “Fan Club” buy themselves a “fan” and put it on the shelf. Of course, I intend the fan to represent the Bible, and the fan club to represent Christianity. How will a fan bring a cool breeze in the hot summer heat if you do not install it? And how can you install a fan unless you read the directions that tell you how. You see God has given us his Word as a guide for us to follow. It will do us no good sitting on a shelf where it is never read and never applied. If I decided that it is time to put that fan up, should I just begin putting it together and see if I can install it right? Of course not! I must read the directions that come with the fan and learn how I must install it correctly. I might wire it improperly, or fail to give the fan enough support, thereby making it fly off while running. The Bible gives us clear direction on how we are to handle every issue and how we are to believe. If we do not, then our lives will be against the perfect plan that God desires for us. True and genuine Christians will be looking diligently into the Word of God and allow it to govern and direct their lives. The reason for this is because every man will stand before God to give an account of his life. If we as Christians have failed to follow the commands and directives that he gives us in His Word, then we will be held responsible for that.

How do you respond when your children disobey, when people talk badly about you, or when someone treats you unfairly? Do you get angry, curse, swear, and threaten, or do you graciously handle the situation with love?
How do you act around unbelievers? Do you act just like them, or do you show the love of Christ to them and witness to them?
What are the words that come out of your mouth the most? Are they words of encouragement to you spouse, children, co-workers, and friends; or is your speech nothing but filth, even taking the Name of the Lord in Vain?
Do you allow gossip to spread, even becoming apart of it? Do you love those who mistreat, even hate you? Do you think thoughts that are sinful, thoughts of immorality, ungodliness, worry, strife, or inventing evil?
The Bible Speaks to every one of these things and so many more. We must allow God’s Holy Word to govern our lives. The applications are endless.

CONCLUSION.

Let me conclude my message with these thoughts; and listen closely, because they are very serious ones.

Listen to the following verses.

Matt. 10:32-33 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Luke 12:8-9 Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: 9 But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.

2 Tim 2:12 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

1 John 2:23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

You may say, “What do these verses have to do with the message.”, it is this: that you must accept that the Word of God is “God breathed”, Inherent, and All sufficient for these two reasons:
The Bible confesses that it is God Breathed
And Jesus Christ is the Incarnate Word of God

If you do not accept the latter, then you call God a liar, and are unfit to be apart of His Glorious Kingdom. If you do not accept the former, then you deny that Jesus is the Christ. This is the reason for the emphasis of these four different verses. Jesus said in Matt. 10:32-33 that, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” By denying that the Bible is not the All Sufficient Word of God, you deny that Jesus is the All Sufficient Savior; and thereby bring judgment upon yourself. I believe that not reading the Word of God on a daily basis, and seeking it’s divine application and revelation for our lives, is a fruit that is born out of a bad heart. I would dare say that the person who claims to be a Christian, yet does not seek the Word of God, that person’s salvation is questionable. I think that not reading the Word of God is the same as denying it, because that person is not convinced of it’s relevancy.

Therefore, the question that God has for you today is this: Do you believe that the Bible is the All Sufficient, God breathed, and Inerrant Word of Almighty God?

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