The Sufficiency of the Scriptures when it comes to Spiritual Knowledge, Salvation and Faith in Jesus

But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 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.” (2 Timothy 3:14-15)

Notice what Paul did not say was responsible for Timothy’s knowledge and salvation and faith in Jesus from his childhood.

He did not say it came from…

  • the Talmud (a.k.a. the catechism).
  • the Mitzvah (a.k.a. a creed book).
  • the Oral Torah (a.k.a. oral traditions).
  • the Sanhedrin decrees (a.k.a. man-ordained councils).

Where did Paul say Timothy gained his knowledge and salvation and faith in Jesus from? The answer is the Holy Scriptures of God. And why is that? What is so unique about the Holy Scriptures compared to all other writings? Paul himself answers the question in the very next verse:

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.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

If we want to know the mind of God when it comes to having the proper spiritual knowledge, salvation and faith in Jesus that’s available then we must go to the place of instruction that has been breathed out by the Spirit of God Himself – the word of God (a.k.a. the Bible).

When it comes to doctrine (spiritual knowledge), when it comes to reproof and correction (salvation), when it comes to instruction in righteousness (faith), and our relationship with Jesus, the Spirit of God uses the word of God to remake us into the image of the Son of God. And any other “mold” (i.e. catechisms, creed books, oral traditions and council proclamations) provided by man is a mold that will fall short, for their mold reproduces people in their image instead of God’s Son (Matthew 23:15, 2 Corinthians 3:18).

So if, according to Paul (a man who was well versed in all of the additional man-made writings and traditions of his day), the Scriptures of God were sufficient for Timothy when it came to his spiritual knowledge, salvation and faith in Jesus, then why would anyone today want to say anything else is additionally needed?

I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” (John 16:13-14)

#inspiration-of-the-bible, #sola-scriptura, #sufficiency-of-the-bible, #the-holy-scriptures, #the-word-of-god

People Hang on His Every Word

While I cannot praise the beer industry for its product, I have to admit that beer companies rank near the top in coming up with memorable commercials. One of them has recently been making some funny twists to several clichés and attributing them to “the most interesting man in the world.” One of these went this way: “people hang on his every word—even the prepositions.”

The last half of Luke 19 describes Jesus’s “triumphal entry” into Jerusalem. The last two verses tell that He was teaching on a daily basis in the temple while the chief priests and scribes were trying to figure out how to kill Him. They couldn’t come up with anything, though, because according to verse 48, “All the people were hanging on to every word He said” (even the prepositions! J).

As a curious side note, people are divided over Jesus’s prepositions, or at least the ones the apostles left for us in the name of Jesus. The most prevalent error proclaimed by the denominational world stems in part from a misunderstanding of the word “for” in the invitation of the first gospel sermon recorded in the book of Acts. “Let every one of you repent and be baptized for the remission of sins.” Does that word for mean “because of” or “in order to obtain”? Millions of people believe it means the former, when a thorough study of the New Testament would indicate the latter. But that’s not the point I was intending to make—we’ll get back to the trunk of the tree now.

“All the people were hanging on to every word He said.” I bet many of those people would be present for that first gospel sermon a couple of months later; I bet many of them would respond to the gospel and be baptized for the remission of their sins. Several years down the road, I bet many of them were racing to the assembly to be present for the first public reading of Mark’s account of the life of Jesus (or Matthew or whoever’s gospel came first). I bet many of them did what Jesus’s mother did by treasuring these things, pondering them in their hearts (Luke 2:19). God, forgive us when we get into such a routine that we don’t think about You or the Words You have left for us. Help us realize that the Scriptures are the most valuable resource on this planet, and may we “hang on every word.” – Joshua Gulley

Josh is a member of the church at the Smithville Church of Christ and a teacher of music at the High School level

#appreciation, #faith, #gospel, #jesus, #scriptures, #the-word-of-god, #translation-of-prepositions

Random Thoughts (and a few links) for the Weekend

Doc Phillips, who is one of the fellows here in TFR, wrote a post on his congregation’s blog that includes some powerful examples of some individuals hunger for the word of God and then makes a couple of applications for the American culture to consider. Check it out sometime. I’m going to use it in our bulletin soon enough.

It has been said and asked, and rightly so, “Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle toward heaven.” (Proverbs 23:5) Talk about a timeless truth that still preaches! In a recent story about the Navy’s first supercarrier, the USS Forrestal, it was revealed that this ship, which once wore the title of the world’s biggest ship ever built, could be set to be sold for a penny – yes, I said one little lowly ole’ American penny! The ship “which took an estimated $217 million — nearly $2 billion in today’s dollars — to build” didn’t necessarily see its value fly away, but it sure did sink like a rock while staying afloat, didn’t it?

The “pope” recently took action against a “bishop” who was living in a multi (and I mean multi) million dollar residence according to this story. It was said that “pope” “Francis has made clear he expects his bishops to live simply, setting as an example his own humble lifestyle.” I guess that’s his way of saying no one is allowed to live in a more expensive residence or carry a bigger cross made of solid gold than him!

This coming Sunday morning in Bible class we’re going to look at the basic layout of the Tabernacle of God that Moses and the children of Israel built. We started the study last week and I think it’s going to continue to be a profitable one. The Tabernacle has a lot of shadowy, not dark but shadowy, lessons that can be revealed and learned by today’s Christians through the light of the Gospel (Hebrews 8:5; 9:9, 23 and 2 Corinthians 3). From learning to have the proper mindset toward sin, God and the atonement that He offers to the way that Jesus can be seen in the Tabernacle’s furnishings I’m looking forward to studying this series out with my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Look for a way to help someone see the Way today!

#links, #pope, #random-thoughts, #riches, #tabernacle, #the-word-of-god

It Never Needs to be Sharpened

The spiritual hearts and minds of people may grow dull, but the word of God never needs to be sharpened! If it only stayed on the pages of the Bible the conscience of man would never be cut, but by being cut the Bible reveals that the conscience of man can be brought down into its pages by the Spirit of God! It takes a fight to win a soul for God and God provides the tools for the battle!

because God’s word is living, active, and sharper than any two-edged sword. It penetrates to the point that it separates the soul from the spirit and the joints from the marrow. It’s able to judge the heart’s thoughts and intentions.” (Hebrews 4:12 – CEB)

Therefore, pick up the full armor of God so that you can stand your ground on the evil day and after you have done everything possible to still stand. So stand with the belt of truth around your waist, justice as your breastplate, and put shoes on your feet so that you are ready to spread the good news of peace. Above all, carry the shield of faith so that you can extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word.” (Ephesians 6:13-17 – CEB)

#bible, #god, #gods-word, #hebrews-412, #sword-of-the-spirit, #the-word-of-god