Yours in Christ: Pastoral Letters from Resurrection, State College

The Bible Is … Enough (The Sufficiency of Scripture)

Dear Resurrection,

The third attribute (essential characteristic) of the Bible you need to know as a Christian is that the Bible is sufficient. That means that the Bible is enough—enough for our salvation, enough for our worship, and enough for the Christian life.

First of all, the Bible is enough for our salvation. Romans 10:17 says that “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” As we saw last week, God’s “general revelation” to us in nature is enough to make us aware of our guilt, but it doesn’t give us the solution. It’s the Bible that teaches us how sinners can find forgiveness and eternal life through faith in Christ. And when you have the Bible there is no additional information needed for a person to be saved—no additional holy book or publication (like the Book of Mormon or the Watchtower of the Jehovah’s Witnesses); no additional human authority or tradition (like the pope or the magisterium of the Roman Catholic church). The Bible is enough to tell you how to find salvation from your sin through faith in Jesus Christ.

Second, the Bible is enough for our worship. Some people would say that in our worship we can do anything we like as long as the Bible doesn’t specifically forbid it (this is known as the “normative principle” of worship). But since God is God and is sovereign over His own worship, it makes a lot more sense to say we should worship God only the way He has specifically instructed us, not add on practices or rituals that we’ve come up with on our own (this is known as the “regulative principle” of worship). Jesus warns against “teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9). In our worship, we need to keep in mind the sufficiency of Scripture—that the Bible is enough to teach us how to worship God.

Finally, the Bible is enough for the Christian life. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says that Scripture is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” That means you do not need any special, individual revelation from God in order to know how to go about your life as a Christian. The Bible does not teach you to expect prophetic insights, revelatory dreams, supernatural words of knowledge, or still, small voices from God to guide you day by day. No, God’s word to you is contained in the Scriptures alone. So don’t look for new revelation from God. The Bible really is enough.

Grace-Based Action Point

We are always being tempted to elevate some other voice other than the Bible to a place of influence in our lives that ought to belong to the Scriptures alone. Sometimes it’s the self-help gurus of pop culture. Sometimes it’s a set of social or political beliefs. Sometimes it’s our own common sense or feelings. We need to be reminded that the Bible is enough—enough to teach you how to know God, to worship God, and to honor God in your life. Don’t spread shallow roots among many different sources of spiritual authority. Sink deep roots in the word of God because the Bible is enough.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Simmons