The Sufficiency of the Bible
The Sufficiency of the Bible
It has been stated that if Jesus was not the Son of God and "the way, the truth and the life" -- if He was not everything that He said that He was, then He was one of the worst charlatans of all time. Think of all of the people who have put their faith in Christ, who have modified their lives in extreme ways to conform to His teachings. Think of all of those who earnestly believe that they are saved when, in fact, if Jesus is not the son of God, then they are not. Indeed, if Jesus was not everything that He said that He was, then nothing that He said can be believed.
The same thing can be said of the Bible. If it is not everything that it claims to be, then all of it is suspect. We will explore the following proposition: If you believe that the Bible is useful for spiritual purposes, you must believe that it is sufficient to "thoroughly furnish you unto every good work" (2 Tim. 3:16-17). We will present just a few of the dozens of scriptures that teach that the Bible is permanent, totally powerful, and sufficient.
It is impossible for someone to say that they believe the Bible and reject these claim that the Bible has spiritual use but do not teach its sufficiency are obligated to explain to us how they determine those passages that are useful and those that are not. In all cases this resolution is made on a subjective basis. If this can be done subjectively, then why use the Bible at all? Why not just resolve everything subjectively? Hear Jeremiah (10:23): "O Jehovah, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps."
Saying that the Bible is sufficient re-states what Paul did in 2 Tim. 3:16-17. However, our critics are quick to point out that the New Testament was not even completed, much less compiled when Paul wrote this. They are correct. What Paul stated were able to make Timothy "wise unto salvation" (15) were the Old Testament scriptures. But Paul added that "every" scripture has this capability. Thus, this capability would transfer onto those of the New Testament. For example, Peter saw Paul's writings to be scripture (2 Pet. 3:16).
Some today argue that the scriptures have been tampered with to the point where they cannot be sufficient. Yet Jesus and Peter both argue that the word (truth) would not pass away ... it would abide forever (Mt. 24:35; 1 Pet. 1:24f), and Jesus was definitive about the scriptures of His day not being corrupted to the point of becoming insufficient (Mt. 5:18). Critics are bound to answer how these promises are fulfilled if not by the scriptures.
The power is in the truth (Jn. 8:32) and that truth is revealed in the gospel (Rom. 1:16) "unto salvation." John stated that by reading and believing the words that he wrote "ye may have life" (Jn. 20:30f). The very source of faith is proclaimed to be "the word" (Rom. 10:17). It is when we "hold fast the word" that we are saved (1 Cor. 15:1-2). This word that has the capability "to establish you" is made known by the scripture (Rom. 16:25f).
Today the New Testament writings are the "commands of God" (1 Cor. 14:37f). They are meant to be understood by all intelligent people (Eph. 3:1-5). They must be "held to" and have the same weight as the spoken words of the apostles (2 Thes. 2:15). They are to be used for disciplinary purposes (2 Thes. 3:14), and they are to be used for church organization(1 Tim. 3:14). They are to enable us to call to remembrance what the apostles spoke after their deaths (2 Pet. 1:13f), and they are to be used to keep us from error (2 Pet. 3:15-18).
This small sampling of the scriptures teaches the sufficiency of the written word and prove our proposition: You cannot accept any part of the bible as message from God unless you accept it all as being sufficient to make us wise unto salvation. It's value for this purpose has been preserved by the providence of God.
Ye often hear it said ...
"... the Bible is still being written ..."
but the apostle Peter stated (2 Peter 1:2-4):
"Grace to you and peace be multiplied in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power hath granted unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that called us by His own glory and virtue; whereby He hath granted unto us his precious and exceeding great promises; that through these ye may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world by lust."
Peter speaks in the past tense as does Jude (Jude 3). Since God "hath granted ... all things" there is no reason that it has to continue to be written. If they had "all things that pertained unto life and godliness," nothing else is required. If this knowledge could save them, it can save us. Has mankind really changed? Is not the same corruption "in the world by lust?" Are there any new sins? Does the Bible not deal with each and every one of them?
Through his precious and exceeding great promises you may become a partaker of the divine nature. Why should we want to look for another source of truth? Only condemnation waits if we should add to it or take away from it (Rev. 22:18-20).