Quick-Hit Doctrine: The Sufficiency of Scripture

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Quick-Hit Doctrine: Short posts on the basics of Christian Theology.

The doctrine of the sufficiency of scripture states that all we need for the knowledge of salvation and the Christian life is contained within the Bible. We do not need any new revelation from God to understand these things or to live in the way God expects us to live (2 Timothy 3:16-17). As John Frame puts it, “Scripture is clear enough to make us responsible for carrying out our present responsibilities to God.”* 

This foundational doctrine helps us keep the Bible in its proper place as the final authority. Tradition and the teaching of others may be helpful, but they have no final authority over the Bible. They are helpful only in so far as they match the truths of scripture. This doctrine also shows us that the Bible is relevant to each one of us. While everything there is to know is not included in the Bible, all that is needed to live a life in Christ that glorifies God is made plain in the Scriptures. For example, the Bible doesn’t give you a how-to guide for mowing your lawn or performing heart surgery, but it does guide us toward doing such endeavors in a way that honors him. Most importantly, Scripture clearly points us to Jesus for salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone to the glory of God alone.

As we seek to grow in Christ and minister to others, the sufficiency of scripture serves as an anchor to ensure that the help we find and offer is not merely worldly wisdom, but guided and tested by the voice of God in the scriptures. We do not find the power to grow within ourselves. We can nourish our souls and speak words of help and hope to others. Perfect and true words of joy, revival, wisdom, enlightenment, salvation, reproof, correction, training, and righteousness are found in the scriptures (Psalm 19:7-11, 2 Timothy 3:15-17). Therefore, the best way to put the doctrine of sufficiency to practice is to saturate ourselves in the word of God.

See also: Colossians 2:8, Jude 1:3, Galatians 1:8, John 10:27 & The Sufficiency of Scripture (Article) by Carl Trueman

*John Frame, The Doctrine of The Word of God, 226.

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