Of The Holy Scriptures
Chapter 1, Paragraph 6
“The whole Counsel of God concerning all things necessary for his own Glory, Man’s Salvation, Faith and Life, is either expressly set down or necessarily contained in the Holy Scripture; unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new Revelation of the spirit, or traditions of men.”
2 Timothy 3:15-17. What are the Scriptures able to do?
Galatians 1:8,9. Should other gospels be preached?
Is the Book of Mormon or Doctrine and Covenants, both used by Mormons, a reliable guide to salvation? What about the writings of Ellen G. White, who influenced Seventh-Day Adventism? Or the teachings of Ann Lee, founder of the Shakers? They may have different beliefs, but they all claim to follow the same set of Scriptures that Christians do.
There are differences between those groups and Christians, though, important ones. Mormons, Seventh-Day Adventists, and Shakers all had prophecies and revelations supposedly given to them by God. Thus they adopted various beliefs and practices that veered away from the clear teaching and logical deductions contained in the Bible. Looking at Galatians 1, we read that it doesn’t matter who is doing the preaching – if that preaching is pointing you to a Gospel that is not the one found in the Scriptures, it is false and those preaching it are accursed. Those are scary and harsh words! Yet they show just how important Scripture is, how powerful Scripture is, and how grievous is any teaching that deviates from it.
“Alright,” you may argue, “so Scripture is to be my authority in religion, but what about everyday life? The Bible doesn’t help me explain mathematics or teach me geography or politics. Does that mean I shouldn’t pay attention to those things? Or does the Bible have no authority in those matters?”
All that you need to know for God’s glory and your salvation, faith and life are found in Scripture. While it may not teach you explicitly about the world we live in, it does provide a framework and guidelines to aid us in how we approach learning and living in this world. Sam Waldron in his 1689: A Modern Exposition writes:
When we remember that the area of religion and ethics is the supreme sphere of human life and knowledge, we become increasingly aware of the magnitude and value of this doctrine of the sufficiency of the Scriptures. Though it is not an assertion of the omni-sufficiency of the Scriptures, it is saying that they are sufficient to be the basis and starting-point for every other scientific endeavor. The Scriptures are not a textbook of biology, but they sufficiently provide those ethical and religious perspectives basic to any proper science of biology.
So value Scripture highly. Recognize its place as “the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving Knowledge, Faith and Obedience.”
Questions to Consider
- If you haven’t memorized 2 Timothy 3:16-17, take some time to do so.
- Have there been “new revelations” or “traditions of men” that you have followed?