Recently, I had the privilege to preach for a former student, Pastor Chris Casillas, just outside of Denver, CO. He had scheduled a “Scripture Sunday,” with the intent of emphasizing some of the characteristics of the Word of God. Specifically, we dealt with Scripture’s reliability, preservation, and its sufficiency. It was a blessing to be with this young church and to sense their hunger for God’s Word.
In dealing with the sufficiency of Scripture, Psalm 119 is a great place to start. The psalmist has taken every letter of his alphabet and started eight verses (so, eight verses begin with Aleph, eight begin with Beth, etc). In this lengthy psalm, the major topic is the Word of God (statutes, precepts, commandments, testimonies, law, etc). As the writer exhausts his alphabet, the reader is left with the impression that he has not exhausted the subject of God’s Word.
Consider some applications for today’s believer as he ponders the sufficiency of Scripture:
- Because Scripture is sufficient, it provides information on what and how we are to think as well as what we are to do
- Because Scripture is sufficient, we are not to add anything to it, take anything from it, or view any other book as an equal authority (no need for a Word of Knowledge or any “new” revelation)
- Because Scripture is sufficient, we are not required to believe anything about God that is not revealed through it (Gnostic gospels, “Lost” books, modern-day visions, etc)
- Because Scripture is sufficient, it alone (whether by explicit statement or implicit principles) defines what is sin
While the psalm covers much ground, three thoughts are repeated concerning the Scriptures.
- The Word of God brings life.
- The Word of God brings liberty.
- The Word of God brings light.
Luther stated that, “A simple layman armed with Scriptures is to be believed above a pope or cardinal without it.” He was correct. God has given to us, through His word, all that pertains to life and godliness. We are able to “search the Scriptures,” for in them we think we find life. These blessed words point us to Christ, provide comfort for the weak, direction for the lost, answers for the confused, and sustenance for the hungry. It is sufficient for matters of faith and practice.