Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Sufficiency of Scripture

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God's Word alone is sufficient:


1. To guide our character and behaviour unto good works by the grace
of the Holy Spirit:


Psalm 119:105  Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-8  For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality;  that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honour,  not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;  that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you.  For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

Ephesians 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Romans 6: 12-14   Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.  Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

2. To show us our sin (disobedience unto God), and our need for Christ:
Romans 3: 9-12

What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin,  as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”


Acts 10: 42-43   "And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
Ephesians 1:7  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.

3.  Change the course of history:

Romans 13:1  Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.


Jeremiah 1: 9-10   Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth. See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow,

to build and to plant.”



4.  To create salvation in us:


Ephesians 2: 4-9   But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

John 1: 12-13   But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

5.  Warn us about false teachers in the church:

Jeremiah 23: 16  Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord.

Matthew 7: 15  “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

Mark 13: 22   For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect.

1 John 4: 1   Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.


6.  For evangelism:

Isaiah 55: 10-11   “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
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.
"

Romans 10:17   So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.


7.  Shows us the character and attributes of God:


  • as Creator:   Isaiah 40:28  Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God,  the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary;  his understanding is unsearchable.
  • as Saviour:  Hosea 13:4   But I am the LORD your God from the land of Egypt;
    you know no God but me, and besides me there is no saviour.
  • as Judge:   Psalm 7:11  God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.
  • He is holy:  Leviticus 19:2  “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy."
  • He is faithful:  Deut. 7:9  Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations
  • He is gracious:   But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness
    . (Psalm 86:15 )
  • The immutability of God:  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17 ESV)
  • The self-sufficiency of God:  nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. (Acts 17:25 ESV)
  • The love of God:   So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. (1 John 4:16 ESV)
  • The incomprehensibility of God:  Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!  “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counsellor?”
     (Romans 11:33-34 ESV)
  • The omnipresence of God:  If I ascend to heaven, you are there!   If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. (Psalm 139:8-10 ESV)
  • The wisdom of God:  "In order to change the course of things your servant Joab did this. But my lord has wisdom like the wisdom of the angel of God to know all things that are on the earth.” (2 Samuel 14:20 ESV)
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8.  Shows us the glory of God in Jesus Christ:

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (Colossians 1:15-20 ESV)

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high   (Hebrews 1:3 ESV)


9. The eschatological reality of heaven and hell:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:1-4 ESV)

And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:12-14 ESV)

10.  Creation

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
(Genesis 1:1-3 ESV)

Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.
(Psalm 102:25 ESV)

The heavens declare the glory of God,and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. (Psalm 19:1 ESV)

11. The fallen and temporal nature of man

The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5 ESV)

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. (Psalm 51:5 ESV)

As for man, his days are like grass;  he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,  and its place knows it no more. (Psalm 103:15-16 ESV)

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. (Romans 5:12-14 ESV)


Contrast these examples with the errancy of the world's philosophies and religious systems which Scripture describes in this manner:

1.  Foolishness and vanity:

For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How the wise dies just like the fool! So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind.  (Ecclesiastes 2:16-17 ESV)

For it is written,  “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. (1 Corinthians 1:19-21 ESV)

2.  Idolatry:

All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame. (Isaiah 44:9 ESV)

The idols of the nations are silver and gold,   the work of human hands. They have mouths, but do not speak;  they have eyes, but do not see; they have ears, but do not hear,  nor is there any breath in their mouths. Those who make them become like them,
so do all who trust in them
. (Psalm 135:15-18 ESV)

"Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field,  and they cannot speak; they have to be carried,  for they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them,  for they cannot do evil,
neither is it in them to do good.”(
Jeremiah 10:5 ESV)

3.  Ascetism:

 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8 ESV)

If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations—“Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh. (Colossians 2:20-23 ESV)


4. Created by the devil:

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44 ESV)


5.  Adulterous:

 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (James 4:4 ESV)

For they have committed adultery, and blood is on their hands. With their idols they have committed adultery, and they have even offered up to them for food the children whom they had borne to me. (Ezekiel 23:37 ESV)

My people inquire of a piece of wood,  and their walking staff gives them oracles.
For a spirit of whoredom has led them astray, and they have left their God to play the whore. They sacrifice on the tops of the mountains and burn offerings on the hills, under oak, poplar, and terebinth, because their shade is good. Therefore your daughters play the whore, and your brides commit adultery (Hosea 4: 12-13)


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