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The Word is Enough

Do we really believe that God has given us what we need in this book? Or do we think we have to supplement the Bible with other man-made things? Do we need sociological techniques to do evangelism? Do we need psychology and psychiatry for Christian growth? Do we need extra-biblical signs or miracles for guidance? Is the Bible’s teaching adequate for achieving social reform?

The reason I believe this is important is because it is possible to believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice, and yet neglect it in our daily lives because we think it is not great enough for today’s demands.

Psalm 19 speaks of the wonderful revelation of God in nature. But then it continues, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes” (vv 7-8). The revelation of God in nature is wonderful, but it is limited. By contrast, the revelation of God in Scripture is perfect, trustworthy, right, radiant, pure, sure, precious, sweet and rewarding. Would it be possible for the psalmist to more effectively emphasize the complete sufficiency of God’s word?

In Matthew 4 we discover the sufficiency of the word of God in times of temptation, for it was by quotations from Deuteronomy 8:3, 6:16, and 6:13 that Jesus withstood Satan. Jesus did not reason with Satan without Scripture. He did not resort to supernatural power or ask God for some special sign or intervention. He knew the Bible, stood on it and used it forcefully.

Second Timothy 3 is the same. Paul is warning his young protégé against the terrible times coming in the last days. They will be days like ours, in which people will be “lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.” And if that is not terrible enough, they will be days in which these vices will be found even in the churches. For they will be found among those “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” (vv 1-5).

What is Timothy to do when such days come? Surely Paul must have some secret new weapon, some unexpected trick for him to use. No, instead of something new, we find Paul recommending what Timothy has had all along—the word of God—because the Bible is sufficient even for terrible times like these.

— James Montgomery Boice