What does the Bible have to say about life in 2015? Anything? I mean, when I look at the Bible, people are sacrificing animals, walking around in robes, and the central figure calls Himself the Son of God.
What does any of that have to do with how I drive to work on Monday morning, how I parent my children, or how I go to the grocery store?
The question that I am really getting after is this: Is the Bible sufficient for our lives today? Is it possible that a book written thousands of years ago, in a different culture, addresses our lives in 2015? Does God’s Word address my world and my problems?
Have you ever wondered if the Bible is really able to help you with your deepest problems? Have you struggled to know what to do with your life, and wished you had some special word from the Lord? Have you ever thought to yourself that the biblical teaching on sexuality needs updating? Have you ever wished for a more direct, more personal revelation than what you get from slowly reading through the Bible? Have you ever secretly wanted to add something to the word of God— you know, just to make things safer? Have you ever wanted to take something away to make the Bible more palatable? Have you ever assumed that the Bible doesn’t say anything about how to worship God or how to order his church? Have you ever felt like the Bible just wasn’t enough for living a faithful life in today’s world? If you can answer yes to any of these questions— and we all will at times— then you are struggling with the sufficiency of Scripture.
DeYoung, Kevin (2014-04-30). Taking God At His Word: Why the Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me (pp. 43-44). Crossway. Kindle Edition.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:15-17 ESV)
Above is the often quoted verse about God’s Word. But, Christian, do you believe this verse? Do you really believe it? Do you believe that God’s Word is breathed out by God? And not only that, do you believe His Word is profitable for your life in 2015?
God’s Word does not need us to help it out! We do not need to try to improve it by adding to it. It is, after all, GOD’S Word. We do not need to take away from it, make it more palatable, or anything of the sort. Our job is to respond to its glory and power, not attempt to improve it! (Wow, how full of pride are we when we think it is our job to “fix” or update God’s Word.)
We can say all the right things about the Bible, and even read it regularly, but when life gets difficult, or just a bit boring, we look for new words, new revelation, and new experiences to bring us closer to God. We feel rather ho-hum about the New Testament’s description of heaven, but we are mesmerized by the accounts of school-age children who claim to have gone there and back . From magazine articles about “My Conversation with God” (see chapter 2), to best-selling books where God is depicted as giving special, private communications, we can easily operate as if the Bible were not enough. If we could only have something more than the Scriptures, then we would be really close to Jesus and know his love for us.
DeYoung, Kevin (2014-04-30). Taking God At His Word: Why the Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me (pp. 45-46). Crossway. Kindle Edition.
1.) How we go about our day is one way to help us to consider our view of the sufficiency of Scripture.
Let’s say that you are having some problems, and you are not sure where to turn.
Is your reflex to ask what does the Bible say? How might the Bible address this problem?
Or, is your reflex to ask what does this popular author say, what does my friend think, let me call my pastor, etc. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with getting input from friends and pastors, and…. The Bible itself tells us there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors.
But, I am talking about an unintended or perhaps intended view of Scripture that subtly thinks God’s Word can’t help me on this one. I need a New York Bestselling author for this problem. Or I need the wisdom of a Piper, Sproul, or Keller. (All favorites of mine, by the way…) While these authors can be a source of help, be sure you are not using them, or others, in a way that actually diminishes the sufficiency of God’s Word. Pastors, teachers, authors, and friends can be a source directing us to grow, trust, and rely on God’s Word or, they can be replacing God’s Word.
God’s Word is sufficient. It is our authority and it is sufficient for all of life!
2.) How we build our churches is one way we dismiss the sufficiency of God’s Word.
What are we saying with the dog and pony show in the church today? What is needed in our churches is not more entertainment, flashy worship sets, or CEO pastors. What is needed is the Word of the very living God! Paul to Timothy: Preach the Word!
How we “do” church says a lot about what we believe about God’s Word. Is it sufficient or does it need props?
3.) The Word is sufficient for growing in Christ
God has given us all we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1: 3); Scripture is enough to make us wise for salvation and holy unto the Lord (2 Tim. 3: 14– 17). If we learn to read the Bible down (into our hearts), across (the plot line of Scripture), out (to the end of the story), and up (to the glory of God in the face of Christ), we will find that every bit of the Bible is profitable for us. To affirm the sufficiency of Scripture is not to suggest that the Bible tells us everything we want to know about everything, but it does tell us everything we need to know about what matters most. Scripture does not give exhaustive information on every subject, but in every subject on which it speaks, it says only what is true. And in its truth we have enough knowledge to turn from sin, find a Savior, make good decisions, please God, and get to the root of our deepest problems.
DeYoung, Kevin (2014-04-30). Taking God At His Word: Why the Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me (pp. 54-56). Crossway. Kindle Edition.
4.) A sufficient Savior is what matters most in 2015!
“It is finished”
Jesus Christ on the cross.
Consider the sufficiency of what Christ accomplished on the cross! Nothing more can be added to His sacrifice. No human effort adds anything to your salvation. No Bible reading, obedience, giving, serving, or any other thing adds to what Christ has done in any way at all! His death on the cross atoned for sins and the moment I try to add to that atonement, I have belittled the sufficiency of the Savior.
Thanking God today that the Word of God is sufficient!