- Sermon Notes
The Sufficiency of Scripture
June 12, 2022
The sufficiency of scripture should touch the very core of our being, it touches the very core of the divine purpose of God in revealing Himself to us. The most important thing in the world is not just truth, but divine truth, the word that comes from God. It alone –
- Saves people from eternity in Hell.
- Sanctifies believers, which moves us from patterns of sin to patterns of righteousness.
- Enriches our life at every level in every relationship.
- Instructs us on how to interpret the world; a Christian worldview so that we deal with the world from reality, not from opinion or fantasy or intuition.
We cannot know God apart from His word.
- We cannot know Christ or ourselves or understand the universe or its creation apart from what God’s word says.
- We cannot know history or social life in the world apart from the divine perspective.
- We cannot take a position on issues surrounding us without concerning ourselves with what God’s word says about it.
So everything that gives us truth to understand living in this world, both in our sinful life, and its consequences, as well as the glory of our salvation; all dependent on our understanding of God’s word and our personal confidence in it.
Where does your passion for life with God in it line up with making His truth known to others? The Bible says in Hebrews 4 that the Word is sharper than any two-edged sword.
Dwight L. Moody, the great American Evangelist…
Those words are just as true today as over a century ago.
When we talk about the sufficiency of scripture, we mean –
- The Inspired Word – God caused the exact words to be written down in the Bible just as He wanted them.
- The Inerrant Word – Because the Word is from God they are without error in everything they say about everything.
We share verifiable proof at Calvary all the time – so inerrancy is a position that educated people, intellectually or otherwise, can hold without apology. Some of us may be more challenged than others to convey this but it is the fact, nonetheless!
If the Bible really is what it claims to be, if it is the inspired, the inerrant word of God, then you have to ask yourself a very important question.
What is your responsibility as you walk and live through life? How does the Bible’s truth impact your life as you live Monday through Saturday? How does it mold your worldview, your voice on every topic being debated across this country?
The background of our text is also about the schemes of the enemy – but mixed within these verses I want to focus on taking God at His word.
I. The Bible Has Total Authority
Make no mistake about it, we are in spiritual warfare. This encounter with Jesus becomes an example for us because it reveals not only the schemes of our enemy, but our response.
v4; Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God.”
As the inspired Word of God, the Bible is the words that came from the mouth of God. The reason it has authority is it came from God Himself.
A. Let God’s Word have authority in your life
- We have become familiar with Executive Orders – from the President of the United States – they bring immediate authority, not just fancy paper and ink, but because they come from the Chief Executive of the United States of America.
- Same is true with the Bible, it has immediate authority because it comes from the Chief Executive of the Universe. Like a President’s actions, many, multitudes if you will, don’t like what the Bible has to say on many topics either, this is nothing new.
- These facts do not change their authority. Posting a position on social media indicating your support for ungodly things doesn’t change God’s authority.
In fact, Jesus’ answer to the enemy is powerful as He quotes from Deuteronomy.
Deuteronomy 8:3, He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
How would you describe the authority God’s Word has in your life?
- The Bible has authority over all in human society even though our culture may not listen. Scripture speaks about every facet in society:
- Over Abortion
- Homosexual rights
- Faithfulness in marriage
- Grounds for divorce
- Pre-Marital sexual behavior
- Business ethics
- Integrity in government and the work place
To name just a few that regularly confront us.
God has a righteous will about every single one of these issues and any nation that hopes to see God’s unrestrictive or unbroken blessings, better take seriously the authority of the Bible.
Including the foundation of social policies, not just its system of jurisprudence.
B. Testing God’s authority is a losing proposition
In our text the enemy even quotes scripture as part of his temptation. It gives us insight into the enemy’s schemes, but it’s a misuse of God’s Word.
What should burden us as followers of Jesus Christ is how many christians campaign for God if you will, in their spiritual circles, or in politics, but we often see spiritual schizophrenia as those believers change their circles or as soon as politicians get into office and begin to make policies.
Our halls of Congress are full of these people – the White House is often full of these people – carrying bibles on Sunday but no sign of it Monday – Saturday.
2 Timothy 2:15, Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a worker who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
God did not write the Bible so we could carry it to church on Sunday for 90-minutes. God wrote the Bible so that we could carry it into our life and those activities we are involved in; from the neighborhood to the board room.
It was written so we could use it for the very fabric of a moral society that needs to walk with and please God. This is the message that we, as followers of Jesus Christ need to share, that if we want the blessing of God on people’s lives, it all begins right here with the sufficiency of scripture in their life and our life.
James 4:3, You ask and do not receive, because you ask with the wrong motives, so that you may spend what you request on your pleasures.
C. Follow God for the Blessings Assured
Joshua 1:7, Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the Law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may achieve success wherever you go.
We do not have control over how people chose to live and believe in this country, but we do have control over how we live. And what God is telling us through Joshua is that we are to live our lives in conformity with His Word.
As you know, people come to my office to talk about what’s going on in their lives, in their marriages, at work and the many things that have created crisis in their lives.
- People don’t often come to my office to tell me everything is going great. So of course, I ask them why did you do that thing, make that choice, why do you think you did that?
As followers of Jesus Christ please understand that the authority in our lives is no longer how we feel or what people tell us to do, or reacting without self-discipline.
- When you became a Christian or when you do, one of the most important adjustments to our lives is to accept and take God at His Word; to embrace the sufficiency of scripture.
What a blessing when people come in and give testimony to me about how things have turned around, that amazing events have taken place, and there’s really no explanation but that God changed hearts.
Testimony after testimony about doing what God told them to do and the unexplained blessings that resulted. I have no authority in my counseling but to bring it back to Jesus.
As followers of Jesus, we have a higher authority.
- Reasons why we should operate with integrity.
- Watch our eyes & our words around the opposite sex.
- Reasons why not to sleep with an unmarried boy or girlfriend before marriage.
Why should we do these things?
Because you and I are subject to a higher authority, God’s authority, it is a decision we made when we chose to invite Him into our life.
II. Success Rests In The Scriptures
Joshua 1:8, This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will achieve success.
Where do we get wisdom, understanding and insight; David writes in Psalms, by mediating on the Word of God.
Ok, so where do we go for all this wisdom and understanding for success and avoid tripping over mistakes?
What does David say; we get it all from meditating on and following the precepts of the word of God.
Psalm 119:105-108, Your word is a lamp to my feet. And a light to my path. I have sworn and I will confirm it, That I will keep Your righteous ordinances.
I am exceedingly afflicted; Revive me, O Lord, according to Your word. O accept the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord, And teach me Your ordinances.
We all know billions are being spent on efforts to find a successful formula for living life.
If you want a formula, don’t spend a fortune. Simply start by reading and doing what Proverbs says.
A. The truth about the other side of the grave
I recently retired from service with Public Safety Chaplaincy for Hillsboro Police & Fire. Over the years, I met many families who haven’t given any thought to end of life preparations – particularly details triggered by the loss of older family members.
Why is that? Nobody wants to have this conversation – death is a difficult topic yet we will all face it – 100% of us.
But here’s something far more important than families having this conversation and making these plans for their loved ones…
- Be sure to prearrange your eternal destiny! Where are you getting reliable info to do that?
If the bible is the inspired, inerrant word of God, if it is sufficient, it is the source of reliable truth about the other side of the grave and what does it tell us?
- People live on in heaven.
- There are only two landing pads; heaven or hell.
- Whichever one you land on, it will be for eternity.
- Only way to land on heaven’s pad is to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
The Bible is airtight on this. I am not conveying my opinion or any other pastor here; it’s all about the sufficiency of scripture.
John 14:6, Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.
Today, more than ever, our country gets upset about John 14:6. People say we should be encouraging and allowing everyone to do their own thing to unify instead of divide.
B. Build your foundation on truth
Some are offended by our confidence, our claim to be absolutely correct, but there’s no debate, we should be filled with the hope of God.
We are all for unity – but divine truth must always be our foundation. If the foundation is built on lies, God will not be mocked or deceived.
So when someone takes issue with the biblical teaching of a topic they don’t like or makes them uncomfortable, tell them how much God loves them. He loves them too much not to share truth on every platform even when He offends.
But remember, why would we expect non-believers, who so far have chosen the other landing pad, to agree with us? There are a lot of folks who God calls us to love, who are headed for the wrong landing pad.
Some people just don’t want to hear the truth as Jesus recorded it. Truth doesn’t change because someone yells louder or posts disagreement on social media or participates in lawlessness.
The good news is the Bible is the inspired & inerrant Word of God – from it we find:
- Total authority for life as followers of Jesus Christ.
- The secret to living a successful life.
- Reliable truth about the afterlife and we use it to prearrange heaven for us.
If you are not a believer in Jesus this evening, I pray that you are pursuing divine truth and will stop by the prayer room and pray with us.
1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after He had fasted for forty days and forty nights, He [a]then became hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4 But He answered and said, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil *took Him along into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and he *said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written:
‘He will give His angels orders concerning You’;
‘On their hands they will lift You up,
So that You do not strike Your foot against a stone.’”
7 Jesus said to him, “[b]On the other hand, it is written: ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
8 Again, the devil *took Him along to a very high mountain and *showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; 9 and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and [c]worship me.” 10 Then Jesus *said to him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and [d]serve Him only.’” 11 Then the devil *left Him; and behold, angels came and began to serve Him.