The scriptures are “all sufficient” in making one a Christian. Anyone can take the Holy Bible, and rightly discern it, and be saved. However, the Scriptures are not sufficient for everything.
The Bible Is Not Sufficient To Teach One How To Be A Protestant Or Catholic
The scriptures were not designed for that goal. One will not learn how to be a Protestant by studying the Scriptures. One will not become a “good Catholic” by searching the bible. Why not? Because the Bible was not written for those reasons nor does it mention or defend their doctrines. In fact, it contradicted their doctrines.This is why most protestants have man written manuals to lead them to their doctrine. This is why the Catholics have their own bible.
Many honest, sincere, but mistaken people want to please God in a denominational church. The doctrines and instructions that “confirm” one in the Lutheran Church do not make that person a Baptist. If one follows and obeys Baptist doctrine, he does not become a Methodist. Methodist doctrine makes Methodists. Baptist doctrine produces Baptists. Presbyterian doctrine produces Presbyterians. How could one learn to become a “Southern” or a “Missionary Baptist” by reading only the Bible? Could one take the Bible alone and find out how to become a member of the United Pentecostal Church? No, the Bible is not sufficient for those ends. It is not written to teach one how to be a member of any denominational church.
One will not discover how to become a member of any cult by reading the word of God. To be a Mormon, you must follow the doctrines of Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon. It requires ‘Studies in the Scriptures’ and the ‘doctrines of the Watchtower Society’ to make one a Jehovah’s Witness. One must accept something in addition to the Bible in order to be what they are. These groups do not believe the Bible is all sufficient or complete. Thus, they deny the all sufficiency of the Scriptures.
The Scriptures Are Sufficient
To Teach One How To Be Saved
One can be saved by reading the Bible only. If he never reads the creeds or catechisms of men, he can find what he must do to be saved by reading the Scriptures. “Sirs, what must I do to be saved” (Acts 16:30,31). “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:37,38).
John wrote “that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through his name” (Jn. 20:30,31). Further, Peter said that God “Has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3). So, one can be saved by taking the Bible alone. One can be saved without ever hearing of Joseph Smith, Herbert W. Armstrong, Ellen G. White, Billy Graham, the Pope, or any denominational preacher, teacher, or self proclaimed prophet. Can the same be said about the Bible?
The Scriptures Are Sufficient
To Teach One How To Be Faithful Unto Death
The apostle Peter tells the Christian to add to his faith virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity. He then commands him to “give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if you do these things, you shall never fall (2 Pet. 1:5-10). The Scriptures, therefore, are complete; they are all that is essential for the child of God to continue in a saved condition.
The Scriptures are sufficient to equip one completely unto every good work. “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 perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Tim. 3:16,17).
If revelation apart from the Bible is necessary, to whom should we go? Should we listen to the Pope and follow the traditions of Catholicism? Should we follow Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon? Should we receive the doctrines of Ellen G. White and Seventh Day Adventism? Should we seek revelation from the “prophets” of Pentecostalism? Should we follow Mohammad and receive the Koran? “Lord, to whom shall we go?” Once one turns from the all sufficiency of the Scriptures, he is obligated to prove to us where we can obtain true revelation.
If the Bible is not sufficient, it is not even a good book because it claims to be all that is necessary. If we need latter day revelation to be saved, what happened to all who died in centuries past without these modern revelations? If latter day revelations are of God, why do present day prophets who claim to be directed by the Spirit, contradict the words of the Holy Spirit in the Bible? Jesus said, “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved” (Mk. 16:16). Some today who claim to speak by the Spirit deny this (Acts 2:38). The Bible says there is “but one body” or church of Christ (1 Cor. 12:20 ff; Eph. 1:22,23; 2:16; 4:4; Col. 1:18,24). Yet, most all modern day “prophets tell us that one can join the church of his choice. Some women preachers say they speak as the Spirit leads them as the apostles did. When they preach, they do the very thing the Spirit in the Bible tells them not to do (1 Tim. 2:11,12; 1 Cor. 14:34,35)! If they speak by the Spirit of Christ, why do they contradict the Spirit in the Bible?
If latter day revelations are being given, why do the speakers contradict one another? The apostles and prophets of the Bible taught the same things (1 Cor. 15:11 f; Eph. 3:3-6). Can one imagine Peter contradicting Paul, or James denying Matthew, or Luke teaching the opposite of John? No, the Spirit who spoke through them was consistent throughout the bible because he received all he revealed from one source, God Almighty (Jn 16:13). However, Pentecostal prophets and others contradict one another. Some say there is one person in the Godhead (United Pentecostals). Others (Assembly of God) say there are three persons. Some say they can and should “take up serpents.” Others say it is wrong to “tempt God” by doing so. If all these people are speaking by the same Spirit, why do they contradict one another? Is God the author of confusion? God forbid!
Conclusion: The Scriptures are all sufficient to the salvation of your soul. Men who alter or amend them in any manner are accursed (Gal 1:6-9). The scriptures are the words of God, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles (very words) of God” (1 Pet. 4:11). Let us all learn not to go beyond that which was written (1 Cor 4:6). Let us not be guided by the wisdom of the world, but by the revelation of the Spirit contained within the scripture. “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Cor 2:12,13). Let God and his Word be truth and every man and their doctrines be a liar (Rom 3:4). Let us not be tossed about by every wind of doctrine and by the philosophies of men, but let us be guided unto all truth by the doctrine of Christ and His apostles, contained within the all sufficient Holy Word of God (Eph 4:14 ff; Col 2:8; Jn 16:13)!