Thursday, February 16, 2017

Revelation of God – Part 4 – Biblical Sufficiency

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2 Timothy 3:17-18 “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. That the man (and woman) of God may be complete, equipped for every good word”

Continuing from the last post, this article on the revelation of God elucidates that according to the doctrine of Scripture encapsulated in the Latin tern “sola Scriptura (by Scripture alone), Scripture is the only infallible rule of faith because the Word of God is the “theopneustos” (God breathed) special revelation that we use today, then no man-made rule of faith can supersede Holy Scripture. There is no higher court to which we can appeal for faith and practice, for there is nowhere else besides Scripture where we can simply find God’s voice today. By definition, God is the highest authority possible.

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That God’s Word is inspired does not mean that He dedicated it or that He overrode the personalities, gifts, and stylistic choices for the human authors through whom the written Word of God has come to us. It does mean that God worked in and through these authors such that their words are His words. The Creator of heaven and earth, who spoke the Cosmos into existence, can do this, and did. So “sola Scriptura” leads us to the doctrine of biblical sufficiency. To say that Holy Scripture is sufficient is to say that the Bible contains all that we need for determining what we must believe and how we are to live before all-powerful, all-knowing and all-seeing God’s. Scripture must be interpreted if we are to understand what we are to believe and how we are to act, but the sufficiency of Scripture indicates that we need no other source of special revelation for faith and life in addition to the Bible.

Ephesians 2:8-10 “For it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourself, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared for us in advance.”

Having affirmed that God’s Word is profitable for “teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness”, the Apostle Paul explains that Holy Scripture is enough to make us “complete, equipped for every good work.” Scripture in its totality is all that is needed so that we will be completely prepared to serve the Lord. A good work is anything that is pleasing to God, so cover from determining sound doctrine to knowing the deeds the Lord requires us as proof of our faith. Being equipped for every good work requires understanding the doctrinal foundation of God-pleasing actions and the actions themselves, as is seen in the New Testament moving from presenting doctrine that must be believed to practical applications and moral instruction. To be complete means to be one in whom there is nothing defective. To avoid being defective with respect to faith and life, we must study Holy Scripture and put its teachings into practice.

Isaiah 55:11 “So shall my word be that goes out from my moputh, it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

We are tempted to look for God’s holy Will and Way in places other than the one place He has revealed it – His Word. As we ponder the will of God for our lives, we must be careful to follow the guidance of Scripture. Scripture cannot fail to teach the truth. It is sufficient to give us the principles we need to know to please God wherever we are and whatever we are called to do.

Proverbs 30:5-6a “Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words.

In Christ, Brian

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