I would like to address an issue that has been on my mind for a very long time, perhaps too long. It has to do with the sufficiency of the Scripture in modern times. Is the Bible sufficient in all matters concerning a follower of Christ (a Christian) in their emotional, physical, and spiritual lives? Is the Christ of the Bible sufficient for all matters pertaining to life? Is Jesus and His people (the Church) all that we need in our daily walk with God?
Of course, to address all three of these questions accurately and exhaustively would take so much more than a simple blog post. It would take a book or even a series or volumes of books to address these issues to any degree, however succinctly. After all, we have over 2000 years of Church history and the writings of the Church fathers to wrestle with. Historic persons like Josephus, Justin Martyr, Thomas Aquinas, Augustine, John Calvin, Martin Luther, etc., have written massive volumes of literature for a believer in Christ to study and learn from.
We also have the seemingly unending publications of science, the arts, the humanities, and so forth. So where does one start? With the historic piece of literature that has stood the test of time – the Holy Bible, the authoritative and absolute truth of the Word of God.
Let us look at the Bible’s claims. The Apostle Peter stated:
By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 2 Peter 1:3 NLT
In the book of 2 Timothy 3:16-17 we read:
16All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. NASB
These claims are complete and all-embracing. The Word of God is sufficient for life and godliness, equipping and preparing us for every good work. That includes our emotional, physical, and spiritual lives. The Bible claims it is sufficient to bring healing to the whole person.
The Word of God via His Spirit (the Holy Spirit) produces an emotionally balanced and psychologically stable person.
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Galatians 5: 22-25 NASB
Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. John 17:17 NLT
The Bible goes even further and warns followers of Christ not to turn to the world’s wisdom since it is opposed to the wisdom of God.
1How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
2But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:1-2 NASB
In the book of Isaiah 55:8-11 (NASB) we read:
8“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.
9“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
10“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
11So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
The prophet Jeremiah cried out:
For my people have done two evil things: They have abandoned me – the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all! Jeremiah 2:13 NLT
In the book of Corinthians 1:18-31 (NASB) the Apostle Paul compares the wisdom of God to the wisdom of men:
18For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
19For it is written,
“I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE,
AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE.”
20Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; 23but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, 24but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 27but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, 28and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, 29so that no man may boast before God. 30But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, 31so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THELORD.”
As followers of Christ, we are to depend solely on God and His Word to grant us wisdom and carry us through the trials of life.
7The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
8The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.
10They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
11Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward. Psalms 19:7-11 NASB
The Psalmist spoke of God as his hiding place, the very One who preserved him from trouble:
6Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found;
Surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him.
7You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble;
You surround me with songs of deliverance.
8I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;
I will counsel you with My eye upon you.
9Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding,
Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check,
Otherwise they will not come near to you.
10Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
But he who trusts in the LORD, lovingkindness shall surround him.
11Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous ones;
And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.
If you are like me, a follower of Christ for many years, you probably have the tendency to read the commentary of a post such as this, but gloss over the quotations of Scripture. People often do this because of either their familiarity of such passages or an internal resistance to pause in their busy lives to reread and meditate upon the aforementioned Scripture. Remember, as a follower of Christ, ours is a living relationship with the God of all creation. Therefore, I would encourage the reader to go back and reread the Biblical passages once again. Meditate and reflect upon the Scripture and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart about His sufficiency in every aspect of your life. God bless you.
Stay tuned for Part 2.