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1730. The Sufficiency of the Scripture

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
March 15, 2024 6:00 pm

1730. The Sufficiency of the Scripture

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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March 15, 2024 6:00 pm

Dr. Stuart Scott of the Bob Jones Seminary preaches a message that Scripture is able to completely equip a believer for every good work.

The post 1730. The Sufficiency of the Scripture appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.

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Welcome to The Daily Platform. Our program features sermons from the doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture. It's a critical doctrine, as all of them are, and we need to know all of the ways it is sufficient and what it's sufficient for. But I can tell you that in 25 minutes it seems like an insufficient amount of time to deal with the sufficiency of God's Word.

But I imagine every speaker would say the same thing. So this will be more of a brief survey, sort of an overview. It'll be like skipping a rock on water and I'll touch down about six different times, and each time I touch down on a particular topic of sufficiency, there's a whole lot more there than I can address this morning. And there's a danger trying to address a topic like this. This is where the big battlefield is in the area of counseling today. What is God's Word sufficient for as it pertains to the Christian walk and life? We're reminded that doctrine is good and essential. It's a very foundation of what we believe and how we live. If we don't see right or live right, we definitely will not believe right. We just don't see right or live right if we don't believe right. On the other hand, information alone will not equal transformation.

You can hear all day long you could hear God's Word presented, but it's doing the Word, not just hearing alone. Today we're going to take a look at this doctrine of sufficiency. I brought with me a manual This is a car manual. It is for one of our cars, a Honda Accord. It is not an exhaustive manual. It doesn't tell me every screw in the car, how thermostat works in the car. But the manufacturers of this manual had a design and purpose. They wanted to have a sufficient manual for the owner of the car that he would need to know or she would need to know.

All they need to know about operating the car itself and their understanding of it. It's not exhaustive, but it's comprehensive. Well, in a similar way, God's Word is a sufficient manual for us and for specific purposes. We look at God's Word and it claims to be comprehensively sufficient for matters of salvation and matters of sanctification or the Christian life.

Sometimes it's summed up in the phrase for life and godliness. Now there are important questions today. They're often asked.

I hear these. I see them written at times attacking or at least me questioning the sufficiency of Scripture. How complete or comprehensively complete is it? And questions like this. How can the Bible be sufficient when we quote need and use so much information that's not contained in the Bible? Another question.

Isn't all truth God's truth? So what's the problem with integrating man's thoughts with the Bible's teachings? Another question. Doesn't mankind have many serious problems? I mean mental illness that seems to go deeper and broader than the scope of Scripture? Another question. Doesn't man have neural circuit problems and chemical balances that they've been scientifically proven and in need of medication and therefore it can't be handled with counseling from the Bible? Or another question. How can Scripture be sufficient to address sanctification in the Christian's life in this fallen world if it doesn't even mention in the Concordance problems like ADHD, bipolar, schizophrenia?

How can it be sufficient if it doesn't address these kind of problems? Well, I wish I had the time to go in each one of those questions and answer them, but I think each one of you does need to answer them biblically for your future ministry. Now these really can't be answered unless first we have a proper posture of our heart and mind in relationship to the Word of God. There is one posture, these critics, people who look down at the Word of God. They're proud, they're arrogant, most often they're unbelievers. They think they can look at the Scripture and they can decide what is inerrant, what's authoritative.

They're outside usually the faith, the critics. Now that's one wrong view, posture of the heart and mind before God and His Word. Another posture is coming alongside of God's Word. This is very popular in our church today, our church is I should say.

This is still a proud and arrogant approach. The reader is still the authority and they're judging the Bible on what they think, what they believe versus what God says and what they ought to believe. But then there's the right posture which is actually underneath God's Word. And this is where God has the last word.

He created all things, don't you believe and don't we think and should think that He has the best understanding about us, what we need, basic needs, how to be saved, how to be sanctified. In Psalm 99, the psalmist said we exalt the Lord and we worship at His footstool, a humble, teachable posture before God and His Word. So let's listen to what he has to say. One passage, text on sufficiency, and there are four or five main texts. You have them there. The first is that we'll look at here is Psalm 19. Psalm 19.

Whoops, went back. There we go. Psalm 19. And this is David, he's writing and in the second half of this psalm he's speaking about the Word of God.

And he says the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statues of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart and the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever and the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold. Sweeter also than honey in the honeycomb and moreover by them is thy servant warned and in keeping of them there is great reward. Every time God gave revelation and history, it was sufficient for His people at that time.

That's generally speaking about sufficiency. But when all of it was finally given and the book of Revelation was finalized, then in a particular way it's a complete, comprehensive sufficiency now that he gave to his children. Then you have Psalm 19.

It would have taken 200 PowerPoint slides to put that one on. So I just put Psalm 119. We're not going to read it, but when you do read it, that is a psalmist.

It could have been David, could have been Daniel. Who lived his life according to the Word of God. The sufficiency of scripture in his life. Every area of his life would be traced back to the scripture. Almost in every verse in Psalm 119. His mind and heart were marinated in the law of God. Good example to us on how to live.

Listen to us. All things that pertain unto life and godliness. Now there's a purpose. God gave us his word. Everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Christ that we find in scripture. So again, all things that pertain unto life and godliness. And even towards the end of that passage, talking about experiences that Peter had on the Mount of Transfiguration, he says, but we have a more sure word of prophecy.

There's something more sure than our experiences. And that's the comprehensive, sufficient Word of God. This is the key text, 2 Timothy 3, 15 through 17. God says again through the Apostle Paul, and I'm going to open up here to this passage. All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable, useful for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction and righteousness. That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. The nature and work of God's word in salvation and sanctification. So here in this passage, you see the source.

The truth that he's talking about is scripture. And we see it that it's profitable for salvation in verse 15. It's able to make thee wise unto salvation.

And then you see it's useful, suitable for four things. It teaches us what's right. It corrects us in the sense of it reproves you, then stands you up in the right direction, corrects you.

How to make things right and then to train you in how to walk right in a way that pleases the Lord. It's suitable for sanctification as well. Salvation and sanctification.

The term, defined and explored. That one, well it's actually two words, it almost sounds redundant when you read it in verse 17. It's sufficient and it's comprehensively so.

It fully, completely furnishes you and your Christian life to be saved and to be sanctified. Now when I first hear the word sufficient, it doesn't strike me as comprehensively perfect in what we need. For example, can you imagine going up to a girl here on this campus and saying, hey I heard you were dating Bill.

What's he like? And she says, well he's sufficient. I'm not sure we'd be very excited for her. Or a young married couple and she spends hours and hours fixing a meal and thinks this is going to be it. He's really going to love this and says, well what do you think? And he says, well it was sufficient.

I think they probably need counseling that night, personally. But you know, Jesus said to Paul, sufficient is my grace for you. Everything you need. Grace plus anything, our new and improved grace. My grace is sufficient for you. It's comprehensively all that is necessary is found here in God's word.

What a major doctrine that we need to review. It means to be completely furnished. Often it was used to say when a ship went out for a journey that it would be sufficient. It was comprehensively sufficient. Everything that was necessary for that long journey was on that ship. Everything that they needed. In 1640-ish, 46, 151 theologians came together and wrote a confession of faith called the Westminster Confession of Faith.

And this is what they said about the scripture. The faith is either expressly set down in scripture or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from scripture under which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the spirit or traditions of men. One of my colleagues up at Southern Seminary, Dr. Greg Allison, in his book, 50 Core Truths of the Christian Faith, he writes, everything that Christians need to please God fully. Everything we need. It is all there that's necessary.

I'm thrilled to be here at Bob Jones in many ways for many reasons. But one that kind of took me back, I've not seen this before, an institution that put together a belief statement. It's an official belief statement for this school on biblical counseling, the philosophy of biblical counseling.

And let me read this on sufficiency. Bob Jones University embraces the Bible's teaching that the scriptures are inspired by God and therefore are infallible, inerrant, and authoritative on every subject they address. What a wonderful statement.

So biblically accurate on matters of salvation and sanctification. And to have that as one of the key statements for this institution sets it apart. I don't know of another institution that has a belief statement stated like that, a document on their website.

I'm just so thankful for the administration and leadership that agreed to put that together and put it out as this is where we stand. On the comprehensive sufficiency of God's word. Not exhaustive. It doesn't tell us everything about everything.

It's just what it claims to be sufficient for. Matters of salvation and sanctification. Now there are dangers that attack this doctrine.

Beliefs, practices. I came across a few statements from, in my field in the area of counseling, Dr. Gary Collins in his book on psychology and theology. He writes, quote, we can and must draw from other non-biblical sources if we want to understand human beings more completely and intervene to bring about maximum change through counseling. So he's saying, the Bible's not sufficient. We have to go outside and take man's wisdom and findings and observations and add it.

Two other psychologists, Dr. Stanton Jones and Dr. Richard Butman in their modern psychotherapy book write this. While the Bible provides us with life's most important and ultimate answers as well as the starting point for knowledge, they're saying it's not enough here. It's just the starting point for knowledge of the human condition and then they said it is not in all sufficient guide. Well God says it is. They say it's not.

Well who are we going to believe? And that's why the posture of how we approach God's word is so important. We bow underneath what God says and humbly accept and then we explore and find how it ministers to our lives.

There are different ways and attacks, again they come in different forms. One way is adding truth to scripture, somewhat truth. Truth in quotes. A very popular phrase, all truth is God's truth, sees truth as if it's all equal in certainty and authority.

Intuition, I feel something's true. Psychology, philosophy, sociology, more of the soft sciences for the most part. Then you get into the hard sciences and empiricism and then the Bible. And they almost look at it like the golden corral.

They look at it like a buffet line. I take some of each and put it all together and that's what I believe. Well when God gave us truth, he didn't give us truth in equal certainty and authority. If it is true. It comes in descending levels.

Descending levels of certainty and authority. And God's word sits all by itself. It's revelation. It's God-breathed. It's not empiricism. It's not the soft sciences.

It's not intuition. This is God-breathed. This is 100% accurate. It's 100% authoritative.

It's unlike anything else out there. When God speaks, that's it. Let God be true and every man be found to be a liar if it's in contradiction. So you have God's revelation, 100% certain, 100% authoritative, then you drop way down to empiricism. This is man discovering things and it's more reliable in the sense it's hard science. But it's questionable. It changes over time. Different things do. And then you drop down further in certainty and authority with man observing man. Usually unsaved man observing unsaved man and then telling us what's normal.

And the worst level would be intuition. I feel something's true and that's where our culture is at. Relying almost entirely on that. So adding scripture is problematic. Dr. David Paulson said, every psychology proposes a system of truth and ministry. It must be evaluated as such.

He says, he writes, they all have a way of salvation, a way of sanctification and a support system. So we have to evaluate everything that's written out there. Dr. Heath Lambert said, the issue has not been is there helpful information out there outside the Bible. The issue is more about is it relevant?

Is it accurate? And does it encroach on the territory that rightly belongs to the realm of Christian ministry? Also, other ways that attack is misusing and twisting scripture. This was a promise calendar, March 10th. This was supposed to be the promise of the day. If you worship me, we'll all be yours.

Contextually, that was a problem. Satan said that. That was Satan tempting Jesus. This is not a good promise for Christians to claim each and every day. But twisting, misusing scripture, that attacks the sufficiency of scripture. Or going outside of scripture in mysticism, thinking God's going to communicate to me outside of scripture. Impressions, feelings, checks in my spirit, inner voices, all of those kind of things go outside of scripture. God didn't tell us that we'll be guided that way. He told us we'd be guided by his truth, commands and principles and applied to our life. Once you leave scripture, there's no sure way to know it's God. And there's no safeguard from error once you leave the Bible.

So what's the impact? Oh, that's a quote by R.B. Kuiper, a theologian in 1900. It's the essence of mysticism to separate the operation of the Holy Spirit from God's objective word. That's mysticism. It's subjectivism in the religious realm. It just takes you outside the scripture. And then you're in real trouble.

Let's see here. The impact to the gospel message. If you add to scripture, subtract from scripture, you contaminate the power of the gospel of Christ. You don't add to perfection.

If it's complete, comprehensively sufficient, you don't add to it. It doesn't need anything else to it in the matters of which it claims to be sufficient for in salvation and sanctification. It has a great impact on the church.

It's a practice in its advancement. We dare not believe that God shortchanged the church for 1800 years before Sigmund Freud came along. That they didn't have enough information to work through problems in their lives or to be saved.

No, they did. They had the word of God and it was comprehensively sufficient then. If we believe it's not sufficient, we won't mine out all of the comprehensive and rich truths of scripture. They're saying it doesn't seem to be real answers for real people with real problems. But in fact, there are.

There are. God has given us in his word real answers for real people with real problems. And then for our personal lives. One theologian writes this, the truth of the sufficiency of scripture is of great significance for our Christian lives. We're going through all the writings of Christians throughout history or through all the teachings of the church or through all the subjective feelings and impressions that come to our minds from day to day in order to find out what God requires of us. His word is His will for us. We don't have to be going outside of it. We just read, study it, meditate on it, and apply it. It's comprehensively sufficient.

God's word alone is that complete, comprehensive, sufficient word for us. I want to talk here about just an illustration. This is a guy in Texas. I think he's still alive.

He's a retiree, Emil Nodel from Belleville, Texas. Oh, he's just out looking garage sales and estate sales on the weekends. He said he didn't need anything, but he was out one Saturday in Missouri City, Texas, looking around the various things that were out.

Let's see. You can just see all kinds of things at the estate sale, on the yard, in the field, in the garage. He came across this one dresser. He said he didn't need it, but it was over 100 years old, 125, 150 years old, and it had a marble top. And he said, I think I can redo that thing.

And with a marble top, I could probably make some money. On the side, it had 300 and some dollars, but it was marked out for $100. He got the cash. He got a friend to take it. Whoops. Yeah, he wanted to first check, make sure all the drawers were empty. And he got his friend to lift it up on the truck, and when he did, he heard something, something rattling around in there. So he put it back down on the ground.

Whoops. And it's not three drawers there. There's a little light-colored drawer at the bottom. And so he had a found the latch underneath the dresser, opened it up, and what you find inside was over $20,000 worth of gold, silver, jewels, banknotes. I mean, this guy had found a treasure in what most people thought was empty.

Well, he was pretty happy that day, as you can imagine. He didn't keep it. He gave it all back to the estate people. He said, this all belongs to the family. He said, I paid for the dresser.

I didn't pay for that. It's amazing, an integrity like that. But you know what? We often approach God's word like this. Well, it just seems to be empty on things.

It's not. It takes time to look at the various issues that we face, but God has given us this complete, comprehensive, sufficient word. And just because we have this word doesn't make us all knowledgeable of everything and the most skilled. We have to practice it. We have to study his word.

What is that problem? What's going on in that person's life? What does the Bible say? How do we minister skillfully to people? But God tells us, from a child that is known, the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation, right, and profitable for doctrine, reproved correction, for instruction, and righteousness, the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. So we find his word, as Jeremiah said, and it becomes a joy and a delight of our heart when we read it, muse on it, meditate, and apply it.

But it's not that the word is life. It's that the word takes us to Christ, who is our life. Jesus said, it's not the Scriptures that you find that you have eternal life in Scriptures. It's the Scriptures bear witness of me.

When we look at the comprehensive sufficiency of Scripture, it takes us to our sufficient Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen? Let's pray. Father, thank you for this time.

I know it's been quick. Oh, I wanted to drill deep on so many different things, but I pray that it would be strengthening to my brothers and sisters in their faith that we would go forth, even if we don't have all of the answers, we know where they're at. Study them, mind them out, delight in our Savior, apply them in our own lives and to one another's life for our eternal good and for your glory. Bless each one this day. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-15 21:23:06 / 2024-03-15 21:31:38 / 9

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