The Sufficiency of the Scriptures
If you owned a perfect automobile — flawless exterior, immaculate interior, sound structure, and unbreakable mechanical components — that was guaranteed to never fail and to meet your every vehicular requirement, would you ever need to purchase another vehicle? If you lived in a perfect house — plenty of room to spare, solid foundation and structure, infallible plumbing and electrical work, and impeccable furnishings — that was guaranteed to satisfy your every residential need, would there ever be a need to purchase or build another home? If you had the perfect job — enjoyable work, generous salary, liberal benefits package, flexible schedule, ample paid vacation time each year, and great relationships with co-workers and supervisors — that was guaranteed to abundantly provide for you and your family until your retirement and beyond, would you ever need to look elsewhere for employment?
When something sufficiently meets our needs, we don’t need a new one, whatever it happens to be. The only time that we must obtain replacements or supplements is when the originals fail to suffice for their intended purposes. But so long as the original works properly and fulfills our needs, there is no cause to secure another.
The Scriptures, the inspired words of God, are perfectly able to meet every spiritual need we encounter. In fact, they are divine guaranteed to do so. Note the following words of the apostle Paul:
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
With the inspired and recorded Word of God we have a perfect, infallible, and sufficient spiritual guidebook. The Lord Himself has provided the guarantee of its ability to meet our every spiritual requirement. The Scriptures provide all that we need to know in order to please God, and Jesus said that those words are the standard by which we will be judged:
“He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.” (John 12:48)
With all that we know about the perfection and authority of the Scriptures, why do some feel the need to supplement and/or replace them with their humanly-devised creeds, manuals, and rulebooks? Do they find God’s Word to be lacking in some way? Have they found a need that the Scriptures cannot meet? No, there is nothing wrong with the Scriptures. They are the epitome of perfection because they originated in the perfect mind of God.
Those who write, distribute, and promote supplements and/or replacements of human origin do so, not because there is a need, but because there is a desire. Some people will buy a new automobile, build a new house, or take a new job when there is nothing wrong with what they have, just because they are tired of the old one or because they want the new one. Similarly, many write new “standards” (which are not standards at all) just because they don’t like God’s standard or because they think we need something “new and improved”. Paul spoke of these attitudes and conduct:
“…The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
But we must always respect the completeness and perfection of God’s Word. The Scriptures are the standard by which we will be judged, and it is entirely irreverent to attempt to replace and/or supplement that which divine wisdom has revealed. We need to cast aside all humanly-devised creeds, manuals, and rulebooks. As always, our appeal is simply this — let’s get “Back to the Bible”!