This is now the fifth post in a brief series on the biblical view of the Bible. In this post I would like to briefly examine what may be the most neglected attribute of Scripture in the life of evangelical Christians and churches today – the sufficiency of Scripture.
To say that the Bible is sufficient is simply to say that it is adequate or enough for what we need. We do not need something else, or something extra. When it comes to life and godliness, we need no substitute or supplement to the Word of God. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 the Apostle Paul writes,
“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.” (ESV)
Paul there tells us that all Scripture is “profitable” (or useful) for such things as teaching, reproof, correction, and training. (Have you ever found yourself being reproved or corrected by Scripture? If so, that’s a good thing – it means that God’s Word is doing it’s job in your life!) But notice that Paul also tells us the purpose of Scripture in all of that teaching, reproving, correcting, and training – it is that the man of God may be “complete” and that he may be “equipped for every good work.” So God’s Word is enough; it is sufficient to build up believers and mold us to be the people God wants us to be, and to be able to do His will.
Individual believers and churches in general are constantly being tempted to rely on something other than Scripture or at least something in addition to Scripture, to do the work that God has called us to do. We are tempted to put our confidence in all kinds of other things that we are told “work.” (We are constantly being tempted by pragmatism.) But it is really the Bible alone that is sufficient for faith and life. It is in the Bible alone that we learn the gospel of salvation in Christ. It is in the Bible alone that we learn what God would have us to believe about Him. It is in the Bible alone that we find the will of God for our lives when it comes to ethics and morality, marriage, family, church, society, and even government. It is in the Bible alone that we are sufficiently instructed how to properly pray, worship, and make disciples of all nations.
So if we say that we believe the Bible, let’s act like it. Let us seek to apply it to our lives, our families, our churches, and our community. And let us rely upon it alone to know and do the will and work of God. Nothing else is sufficient; nothing else even comes close.