The Sufficiency of Scripture

As Protestant Christians, we are a Sola Scriptura people.  For those of you that haven’t brushed up on your latin lately, that means we are Bible men and women.  As in, Scripture Alone is the foundation for our faith.  Sadly, it seems my generation does not care much for it.  Obviously, they think Scripture is important, but not important enough to seek out and dig into.  We think Scripture is important, but just not all that useful, you know?  Scripture is important, but doesn’t make much sense.  You know?  There’s nothing wrong with supplementing the Word of God with something else.  Something more life giving.  So we surround our selves with other things.  And what is happening?

We are drowning in a sea of anecdotes, of new revelation from the Holy Spirit neither audible nor discernable as true or not.  We are drowning, sucked into a whirlpool of anything to do our work for us.  We are begging others to do the work of exposition, exegesis, and prayer for us that we may easily know the best Christian clichés that make us sound holier than our time in the Word of God reflects. Many times we get caught up in thinking that our ability to make Scripture ‘easy’ for ourselves and others to understand comes from a lacking in personal holiness or standing with God.  We love to ‘encourage’ others by telling them to work hard out of gratitude to Christ; instead of what we ought to be doing, which is reminding one another of our full, complete credited perfection in our standing with God through Christ.  Only then do we seek holiness.

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I am fighting the battle of not being ‘that guy’.  But at risk of being a ‘meanie’, I’m going to.  I was reading a twitter feed for a local campus ministry today.  I won’t name them, simply because I do not feel like it.  Figure it out.  Anyway, it said some fun things.  Here are some examples:

  • When I want what God wants, I become unstoppable.
  • The more vulnerable we allow ourselves to be with our secrets, the more people stop seeing us for our good deeds and start seeing God in us!
  • The problem with the church is that they don’t get people involved, they are to exclusive instead of being inclusive to Gods Glory.
  • Everyone has an opinion about everything you do in life. Make sure that you are only listening to the ones that love you and care about you.
  • God gives us chances to change our life, but we are too busy believing in the perception that we think we are to notice.
Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not judging the heart behind the tweets.  I don’t even know who is tweeting them. But I think they are a fine example of people who are taking the Word and making it what they want.  Are these little tweets Satanic?  Certainly not!  Are they gospel centered? Also no.  
You see, we want clichés.  We think they are more relatable than Scripture.  And let me say also, there’s nothing wrong with anecdotes or summaries of the gospel or Scripture.  But it certainly seems that one has replaced the other.  I had lunch today with a good friend, one Mr. Will Haynes.  He and I were talking about the deep need for this campus to know the DEEP truths of Scripture.  It has become quite obvious, he said, that people simply do not care.  They just want simple truths to make them feel good about themselves and get them through the day.  I agree.
There was a time when people needed to hear that God wants them to do the impossible.  I do not think that time is over.  But what if we changed these tweets around to what is really needed?  What if they said the following? (compare with the above):
  • But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26 ESV) [P.S. He was answering ‘Who then can be saved?’ not ‘How can we get 300 people to our laser light show worship service’]
  • “…the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel.” (Mark 1:15)
  • The problem with the church is everyone seeks their own glory.  We would rather start our own para-church ministry on a campus with at least 40 of them than serve in a God-ordained institution. (Not sure that would fit on twitter.)
  • God has spoken.  Seek out the Scriptures.
  • In Christ, our perfection in God’s eyes has been fulfilled.  As we look to the cross, our lives are being transformed.  It’s not about our ‘effort’.

I am a bit nervous about this post, to be honest.  I don’t mean to scapegoat anyone.  But I’m tired of seeing Auburn students carrying around “Jesus Calling,” a book where a woman claims to have direct revelation from the Holy Spirit, making those who do not feel less holy than she and undermining the Word.  I’m tired of hearing students say “I don’t believe in a God who would…” as if God is subordinate to our whims of who he should be.  They might as well say, “I’m too lazy to seek out the true character, word and will of God”.  

[If you want to see what this looks like, check out @scottywardsmith on twitter.  Woah.]
So what’s the solution?  
The Truth.  
Not a metaphysical or theoretical truth, but The Truth.  The God-man himself, Jesus Christ.  We must look to Christ. In Exodus 14, the people essentially ask Moses “Why have you led us out into the desert to die?  Were there no graves left in Egypt?”
And how does he respond?
And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”
The LORD said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward.
(Exodus 14:13-15 ESV)
It has never been about your effort, your anecdotes, or your inability to see the truth of Scripture.  God has always acted disproportionately to the ability of man.  And I think, if we do as the Isrealites did, looking to the salvation of the Lord, which does not depend on us, we shall go forward.  Currently, it seems we are running in circles.  May we go forward, seeking earnestly the God who has saved us through the Scriptures he has given us- not wishing to be unique, special, or and individual or but only to be found in Christ.
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(1 Thessalonians 5:23 ESV)

2 thoughts on “The Sufficiency of Scripture

  1. catchmeifyoucan says:

    Griffin, this blog is the best blog you've written yet. Speaking the truth in love, devoid of arrogance. A side note, while you state that “There was a time when people needed to hear that God wants them to do the impossible”,I agree with that statement, and I think it's true of us today- we still need to hear this. HOWEVER, I think it is important to make the crucial distinction between needing to know this and WANTING to know this… I don't believe there has ever been a time when mankind wanted awareness of the impossibility of God's requirements for us.

    Like

  2. Sorry, I hoped to be clear that that time has now ended, but just that it is not the primary message.

    Like

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