Oldham Woods Church of Christ

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The Bible Is Enough

Awhile back I read an article entitled “Why the Bible Is Not Enough”. The writer based his premise on disproving the old Protestant Reformation dictate of “Sola Scriptura”. Simply put, the Bible is the only authoritative source for Christian faith. The article, which was severely misleading, attempted to convince the reader how interpretation of scripture and instruction was not up to the individual reading the inspired word of God. In other words, it attempted to sell the point that man was not intelligent enough to understand it on its own merit.

This particular teaching solicits an objection to be raised to it. Sincerely believing the Bible to be the work of God naturally leads one to believe in its all-sufficiency. It has the power to produce faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. John 20:30-31 NKJV “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” Also, Romans 10:17, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” The Bible is sufficient to provide man with all things that pertain to life and godliness (1 Peter 1:3). The sufficiency of the scriptures furnish man completely for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” The scriptures are sufficient to make one wise unto salvation. 2 Timothy 3:15 “and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

Along this same false teaching for the insufficiency of scripture also comes the argument that the Bible is the center of division. We especially have seen this developing over the last three decades and lately in our cultural social politic. Those who care about what God says about right and wrong are ostracized and accused of being narrow minded because an attempt is made to follow the scripture. The religious world is divided, but the division is not over what the Bible says but what the Bible does not say. The Bible is the only true source for real unity. If the world can depart from man’s opinions and unite only under Christ, it could be unified. This unity can only be achieved by accepting the Bible alone for what it says and not under some man-made tradition. Unity under a flag of traditions of man will never happen and will always be in opposition to the commands of God. Matthew 15:3, “He answered and said to them, "Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?” Verse 9, “and in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” The Apostle Paul writes in Colossians 2:8, “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” The Bible is not the cause of religious division. The cause is man’s unwillingness to accept the instruction of God in the Bible.

Thirdly, this position places God in a situation where He is not thought to be wise enough to write a book that man can understand. The pure audacity of this position suggests that man can do for man what God could not do. This would put man before God. Once this place of self-elevation is reached then it is natural for those who propagate this false teaching to then blame God for all religious division. How absurd! What is demonstrated in this line of thought is a misunderstanding of division in the religious world. The very people who claim “Christianity” bring accusation against the wisdom and knowledge of God.

The final point is that this position is in direct contradiction to the teaching of God’s word. Some people, those in the article I referred to at first, say that man cannot understand the Bible. This is not true. I have already said that to say this would cast a poor reflection on the wisdom of God and would be a contradiction of the Bible itself. Consider the following passage: Ephesians 3:3-5 “how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets.” Notice what is said here. The apostle Paul received a revelation from Christ through the Holy Spirit. This revelation was written down in words. And when we read (not when someone interprets) – but when we read – we may understand. The Bible was written by the apostles under the guidance of the Holy Spirit that we may read and understand!

The real truth here is that the Bible is enough. All mankind needs to turn his attention to what God says to us in His Book. Do not be deceived, the Bible can be understood (Ephesians 3:3-5). It pertains to all things of life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3) and it will furnish a man completely (2 Timothy 3:16-17). To believe otherwise is to reject the word of God.

Ron Morris
(Adapted from a 1998 article written by Tom Bunting)