Tuesday, October 02, 2007

God’s Own Defense of His Word

By John MacArthur @ http://www.sfpulpit.com

BibleRecently, the good folks at Bible Bulletin Board posted a two-part series that John preached just a few weeks ago, on the authority, sufficiency, and inerrancy of Scripture (from Psalm 19). The transcripts can be read here (Part 1) and here (Part 2).

The entire sermons are worth a read, but here is a short excerpt to give our readers a taste.

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We are living in a time, as I pointed out in our last study together, when the sufficiency of Scripture is under unique assault. The move to psychology as a necessary component in solving man’s problems indicates that the Bible in itself is not enough [in the view of many]. The search for methods found in the world’s economics and the world’s businesses and the world’s techniques, and the world’s strategies to apply in building the church are an indication that the Scripture itself is [considered to be] not enough for the life and growth and expansion of the church.

The demand for political power as the key to the church’s influence, as the key to revival in a society and in a culture is testimony to the fact that among some people the Bible itself is not sufficient. The cry for miracles, the cry for signs, and wonders, and new revelations and supernatural activities is another indication that the Bible in and of itself is [considered] not enough to demonstrate the great power of God. The invention of a synthetic gospel, a pop gospel of prosperity and indulgence and sensuality and success and self-fulfillment and self-indulgence is another testimony to the fact that there is a lack of confidence in the sufficiency of Scripture to do its work of changing lives.

All of these really are a demonstration of the tragic worldliness of the church. When the church has to design its ministry around non-biblical things, it has abandoned its confidence in the Word of God and thus has brought reproach upon God who Himself affirms the absolute sufficiency of His Word. It forces us to ask this substantially foundational question: Is the Scripture enough?

Is it enough to do the work of evangelism? Is it enough to do the work of sanctification? Is it enough to solve the problems of the human heart? Is it enough to build and extend and advance the church? Or do we need to concede that the Scripture has its limitations that have to be overcome by psychology, by human wisdom, and strategy, by political clout, by new revelations, by wonders and signs? Do we have to somehow overcome the stigma of the gospel by inventing a more popular message that will be acceptable to people? Is the Bible so lacking in its own power and sufficiency that we have to apply human wisdom and human technique to help God overcome the natural resistance of a fallen world?

Well the answer to that question about the sufficiency of Scripture is given by God Himself in Psalm 19. Let’s return to Psalm 19. In fact, there are many, many places in the Scripture where its own sufficiency is attested, more than one could exposit, probably, in a lifetime. But here is one that is a great and rich and comprehensive summation. Here is God’s own witness, God’s own revelation as to the sufficiency of Scripture.

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