by Lasserre Bradley, Jr.
If we accept the words of the Apostle Paul addressed to Timothy that all scripture is given by inspiration of God, it would seem reasonable to believe that God has given us a book which is sufficient.
No part of it needs to be taken away, and nothing is to be added.
Paul specifies that scripture is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).
The Bible gives us a thorough doctrine, or body of teachings; it communicates the objective truth God wants us to know.
Whether we are talking about the character of God, the deity of Christ, the gift of salvation, or life after death, the scripture provides us with the information we need.
The Lord doesn’t leave us to speculate or to form confessions of faith based on human reasoning, but tells us what we need to know on these vital issues in his own inspired Word. We see too that the Word is profitable for reproof and correction.
It will be used by the Holy Spirit to bring about conviction.
When a person is thinking incorrectly or acting sinfully, there is a resistance to those scriptures which are convicting.
Obviously human nature responds more favorably to the idea that my problems have developed because of a difficult childhood or a lack of self esteem. The concept of being personally accountable for our actions, admitting we are wrong, repenting of our sins doesn’t fit the mold of current philosophies. But God uses his Word to a positive end. If one is deeply convicted and brought to true repentance, the result is a change that will bring great benefits to that life, and honor to God.
And then the Word provides instruction in righteousness.God’s Word provides instruction, not suggestions. Many times a person will say, “I will do anything to fix this problem I am dealing with,” and yet reject the clear instruction God has provided.
The excuses are many. Some will say, “I just don’t believe that will work in my case,” and others will admit, “That is a change I am not willing to make.” On the other hand it is such a blessing to see a person whose heart is tender toward the Word and who will readily receive its counsel.
What victories are won, what joy is found in embracing and following the instruction which God Himself has provided for us!
Conflicts can end, relationships can be restored, peace can be enjoyed -- all by doing things God’s way.
Some will complain, “I really want to do what God commands but I am just too weak.” But scripture points us to the solution: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).
You are right. If you try to change by sheer determination and will power, you will fail. But how wonderful to know Jesus Christ has promised to be with us and give the strength we need as we abide in Him.
When we see the value and sufficiency of the Scriptures, we cannot help but be amazed at how many professing Christians want to add something to them or reject them entirely.
Some counselors are bold in their declaration that human psychology combined with the scriptures can take you farther than either of them can alone. But God, our Creator, knows all about us. He knows what makes us tick. He knows all about our fallen nature and deceitful heart.
How could we imagine than another fallen sinner would provide better information than the One who made us?
God’s warnings are very explicit. “Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me…Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion” (Isaiah 30:1,3). The result of going to the world for help is confusion and indeed confusion abounds in this day.
There is far more concern about personal comfort than there is about the glory of God. More concern about success and prosperity than about holy living. More concern about man’s approval than about God’s. The Psalmist declared, “Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors”(Psalm 119:24).
Where do you go for your counsel?
There is a lot of it out there today. Some of it is free, some you have to pay for, but if it is not the counsel of God’s Word it is worthless.
David said he not only relied on the testimonies of God for his counsel but he delighted in them. He took pleasure in reviewing God’s revealed will. He said God’s words provided light, gave hope and were sweeter than honey.
How comforting to be reassured that God is the God of hope. “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Romans 15:13).
In the midst of the conflicts and stress that plague God’s people in this evil day, you can lose sight of the fact that there is hope in the Lord. There is hope because God is the sovereign ruler of heaven and earth and he is able to intervene and change things that with man would be impossible to change.
There is hope because God has promised to never forsake you, and to give you the strength needed to get through the most difficult of times even when circumstances do not change.
There is hope because he is the God of mercy and has promised to forgive when sins are confessed.
And there is hope because the God of hope has given us his Word which can make such a dramatic difference in our life.
It is sad some people are unable to translate what they hear preached from the pulpit into practical principles for everyday living. In a time of crisis they forget that there are answers in the Word and resort to the counsel of the world which only complicates a life that is already disrupted. They embrace humanistic thinking which not only distorts their view of God but changes the whole concept that our purpose here is to honor God in all we do.
The question can well be asked today as it was by the prophet long ago, “Will a man leave the snow of Lebanon which cometh from the rock of the field? Or shall the cold flowing waters that come from another place be forsaken?” (Jeremiah 18:14). While is seemed incredible that the people would turn from the cold flowing waters—walking in communion with God and enjoying his fellowship—they had in fact forgotten him and were then caused “to stumble in their ways from the ancient path.”
May we today not turn from the refreshing waters of God’s Word but respect it as the one authoritative source of the truth which we so desperately need.
God’s Word is sufficient. It needs no additions or alterations.
Never turn to the broken cisterns of human reasoning since we have a book given us by the Lord of heaven and earth.
© Baptist Bible Hour
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