The word, “sufficient,” means, “enough; equal to the end proposed; adequate to wants; as much as is needed”. So, is the bible sufficient to guide us to salvation? Most denominations think not. Nevertheless, what saith the scripture?
Sufficient To Make One A Denomination?
The Scriptures are complete for their intended purposes. However, the Scriptures are not sufficient for the following:
To Teach One How To Be A Protestant Or Catholic. They 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 scripture. Why not? Because the Bible was not written for those reasons.
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 begets 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 modern 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 read the writings of Ellen White in order to become a Seventh Day Adventist. One must accept something in addition to the Bible in order to be what they are. These groups do not believe the Bible is sufficient or complete. Thus, they deny the all-sufficiency of the Scriptures.
The Scriptures Are Sufficient
To Teach 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 you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (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). Are the Scriptures sufficient to that end? Or did John fail? 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 or Ellen G. White. Can the same be said about the Bible?
To Teach 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.
To Equip 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). That says all that is needed.
The Scriptures Claim To Be Sufficient
If there were no passages that directly affirmed the completeness of the Scriptures, we would be assured by the material above that the Scriptures assume their own innate finality, authority, and sufficiency. The sufficiency of the Bible is necessarily implied and directly stated.
1. Necessary Implication: “What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: you shall not add thereto, nor diminish from it” (Deut. 12:32). “Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove you , and you be found a liar” (Prov. 30:6). “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8). “That in us you might learn not to go beyond the things which are written” (1 Cor 4:6) Also, see Revelation 22:18,19. These statements imply the all-sufficiency of the Scriptures. If the word of God was not enough, the admonitions and prohibitions in the verses above would not have been uttered. The fact that God forbids addition or subtraction relative to His word indicates that it is all that is required.
2. Direct Statement: “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul” (Psa. 19:7). “Earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” Jude 3). In John 16:13, Jesus promised the apostles that the Holy Spirit would guide them into “all truth.” That truth is the word of God (Jn. 17:17). The Spirit delivered all the truth. If He did not, Jesus was wrong, and the Spirit failed His mission. If He did guide them “into all the truth” we have it in the Scriptures and alleged latter day revelations are falsehoods. (Gal. 1:8,9). Peter’s affirmation that we have been given “all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3) shows that latter day revelations pertain unto death and ungodliness. If there is another revelation today that has to do with life and godliness, Peter was wrong when he said God “has given” it all.
Conclusion: The Scriptures are all-sufficient. Men who alter or amend them in any manner are accursed. They are the word of God, and, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God” (1 Pet. 4:11). We do not need anything more or anything less than the Word of God in order to be saved. Any addition to God’s Word is an abomination to God and will not be accepted toward our salvation. In fact, it will condemn us, not save us when we use anything but the bible. Salvation comes not by the wisdom of men but by the power of God which was delivered by the church unto all the world (1 Cor 2:5 ff; 1 Cor 4:13; Eph 4:10).