Thursday, September 18, 2014

Recovering the Sufficiency of Scripture

One thing that is vital for Christians to recover in order to be faithful to God is a firm belief in the sufficiency of Scripture. There are many passing fads. Sometimes Christians get hyped up about them. But only one thing remains necessary for truly knowing God: a commitment to his revealed truth in his Word. 

In other words, the Bible is enough. We don’t have to spend time going to see the latest movie about heaven to learn about it; we already have truth revealed in the Word of God. It is critical that we recover a firm belief in the sufficiency of Scripture to avoid chasing down every passing fad. I believe that a firm adherence to the sufficiency of Scripture is most pleasing to God. 

The following exhortations from Book 1 of John Calvin’s Institutes are helpful reminders of the sufficiency of Scripture, 

“...let us use great caution that neither our thoughts nor our speech go beyond the limits to which the Word of God itself extends....And let us not take into our heads either to seek out God anywhere else than his Sacred Word, or to think anything about him that is not prompted by his Word, or to speak anything that is not taken from the Word...let us remember here, as in all religious doctrine, that we ought to hold to one rule of modesty and sobriety: not to speak, or guess, or even seek to know, concerning obscure matters anything except what has been imparted to us by God’s Word. Furthermore, in the reading of Scripture we ought ceaselessly to endeavor to seek out and meditate upon those things which make for edification. Let us not indulge in curiosity or in the investigation of unprofitable things.”

and a final word for pastors,

“The theologian’s task is not to divert the ears with chatter, but to strengthen consciences by teaching things true, sure, and profitable.”

Sounds like the same advice an older, godly mentor once gave to his successor,

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and is 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 Tim 3:16-17 ESV).

Obviously, recovering the sufficiency of Scripture means that we spend a lot of our time actually reading, studying, meditating, delighting--and most importantly--obeying the Word of God.