Sufficiency of Scripture

There are many publications about religion out here for our consumption. As saints, however, God’s Word is our ultimate authority for reference. Several scholars have had much to say about the sufficiency of Scripture and why it is crucial. Here is a quote from two reputable Bible scholars, “The sufficiency of Scripture means that all things necessary for salvation and living the Christian life in obedience to God and for his glory are given to us in the Scriptures.” Matthew Barrett; Dr. Richard Albert Mohler Jr.

In his book Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem writes, “‌The sufficiency of Scripture means that Scripture contained all the words of God he intended his people to have at each stage of redemptive history. It now contains everything we need God to tell us for salvation, for trusting him perfectly, and for obeying him perfectly.” This definition emphasizes that it is in Scripture alone that we are to search for God’s words to us. It also reminds us that God considers what he has told us in the Bible to be enough for us and that we should rejoice in the great revelation that he has given us and be content with it. (2 Timothy 3:15-17, James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23).

Why should we uphold the fact that Scripture is sufficient? There are many reasons, but I will mention just a few in this post.

It Has All That We Need To Know

God’s person, character, and works 

In the Scriptures, we have all the attributes of God which distinguish him from all other gods and people. We get to know God’s sovereignty in creation (Genesis 1:1) and his merciful nature as he pardons Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:15, 21) and saves Noah from the floods (Genesis 6:5-9). We also learn of God’s holiness, justice, and deliverance throughout his dealings with the children of Israel (Exodus 3:7-10). Even as God allows us to learn all these things about him, we must also reckon that he has chosen to reveal some things to us and conceal other things (Deuteronomy 29:29). Any new information about God outside what the Bible gives is considered erratic and unreliable unlike Scripture. 

God’s Plan for Redemption 

From the time of the fall (Genesis 3:6-7), when Adam sinned, God promised humanity a Deliverer who would crush the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15). The head crusher, as it were, refers to the promised Messiah, the Son of God, Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:18-25). He is the one who came to destroy the works of Satan (Colossians 2:15, 1 John 3:8). We have many self-proclaimed men of God who purport that they are the avenue through which God will bring salvation. Scripture presents the gospel as God’s only plan for man’s salvation. 

Man’s Condition 

About Scripture, Kevin DeYoung says, “The doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture invites us to open our Bibles to hear the voice of God.” What do we learn regarding man? Without a relationship with God, we are lost and dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1-3), without any capacity to make God glad (Romans 8:8). Not only that but in this world, we shall toil and go through discomfort (Genesis 3:14-19). And when the Earth has gotten the best of us in death, there is an eternity that awaits man, either in heaven for those who are born again (John 3:16, 14:1-5) or in damnation for the unbelievers (John 3:36, Romans 2:1-12). 

It Gives Clarity  

What does God’s voice sound like anyway? God speaks in different ways, but most profoundly, through the Scripture, the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16). Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1), and therefore everything he spoke is taken with the same magnitude and finality as his nature. Given such realities, we must depend wholly on what is revealed in the Bible. When the Scripture is our standard, we can weigh, receive, or dismiss any other voice, especially in our era of self-made prophets who claim to speak with God on behalf of others. 

Paul calls us to test every spirit of prophecy and not just dismiss it for the sake of dismissal (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21, 1 John 4:1). Should God choose to speak through human vessels and bring forth prophecy, then it should align with the character and person of God as is revealed in Scripture. Instead of centering on man’s wants or even the vessel itself, Biblical and godly prophecy will be explicitly about God. Moreover, it will- and has to agree with the revealed Word of God, the Bible.

It is Error-Free

In light of the original writings of the Bible, we do not need to take the Bible through editing software to see how much plagiarism it has. Unlike other books subject to editing because of their sources (fallen men), the Scripture is uneditable because the author, who inspired its writing, is eternal. The words in the Bible are divine, and we ought to receive them as such. Jesus warned against adding to or removing from the texts (Deuteronomy 4:2, Revelation 22:18-19) because all he needed us to know is provided for in the Scripture. 

Scripture Speaks of Future Events 

Do you want to know how all things will culminate? Where the souls of men will end, and what will happen to this Earth after all is said and done? Read the Scriptures, for it is all in there. Jesus took time to explain the terrible times we expect to face when these last days come upon us (Matthew 24:1-51), and we have seen the fulfillment of much that he predicted. Daniel, the prophet, under inspiration from above, spoke of the same things in captivity (Daniel 7-12), of nations rising and falling and kings being dethroned and enthroned till the King of kings is ruler over all things. We’ve got to read the texts to find out these things. The Apostles add to these truths as the Spirit of God inspires them to let us know what things shall be like, whether death or resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:12-49) or the rewards for the saints (Romans 2:7, Colossians 3:24) and judgment for sinners (2 Thessalonians 1:9, 2 Corinthians 5:10, 2 Peter 3:10-13, Revelation 20:12-15, Hebrews 9:27-28). It is all in there for our consideration. Many men will come up with strange notions about the end times, and movies will be produced about the same, but the final word is in Scripture. 

Scripture is sufficient in more ways than we can imagine. We can delve into areas such as relationships (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, Ephesians 5:25-26, Ephesians 6:1-2, Colossians 3:18-19), details about money and stewardship (Proverbs 13:11, Luke 12:15, 14:28-30, Ecclesiastes 5:10, Matthew 25:14-30) or time management (Ephesians 5:15-17, Colossians 4:5, Psalm 90:12). It’s all in there. However, we have to decide and read the Scriptures for ourselves. Make time in your schedule to study and familiarize yourself with Scripture. It is sufficient for all we need in life and eternity. 

References

Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology

Kevin De Young, John Frame, Matthew Barrett; Dr. Richard Albert Mohler Jr.

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