Alongside the fact that we need Scripture in order to be saved and know God’s will for us is the fact that Scripture is all we need in order to know the good news of Jesus and in order to know God’s will for our lives. Scripture is necessary, and it is also sufficient. The Bible “contains all the words of God we need for salvation, for trusting him perfectly, and for obeying him perfectly” (Grudem, Systematic Theology, 127).
“Need” is a strong word. There are lots of things we want and lots of things we would enjoy, but the list of things we need is probably far shorter than we would often like to admit. In light of that fact, is it fair to say that we “need” the Bible? Is it right to say that the Bible is “necessary”? It certainly is fair and right. While God’s existence – and some of His character – can (and are) known by all people whether they have the Bible are not, the only way a person can know the good news about Jesus and have certain knowledge of God’s will is through hearing the Word of God. In that sense, God’s Word – as given to us in the Bible – is absolutely necessary and essential for the most significant parts of life.
The Bible is God’s Word. He has spoken to us and revealed Himself, His ways, and His will. This is an incredible blessing. The infinite, all-powerful, all-knowing Creator and Ruler of all things has seen fit to make Himself known to finite, weak, and sinful creatures. What a good gift!
That said, it is easy to recognize that parts of the Bible are difficult to understand. There are many things it says that have left people confused over the course of history, and there are many people who disagree about its teachings. Even Peter acknowledged that parts of Paul’s letters were “hard to understand” (2 Pet. 3:15). Does this mean we can never truly understand the Bible or that the “average” person needs an “expert” to interpret the Bible for them?
The clear answer to these questions is “no”.
The Bible is God’s Word. That means it is our authority. And it also means the Bible is inerrant – without error in anything and everything it says. Even though this has been the predominant view of the Church throughout its entire history, there are many today who question such a claim. Can we really say the Bible is completely and entirely true? Can we really affirm that every single Word of the Bible is trustworthy – including even its scientific and historical claims? Yes, we can.
Why do we care so much whether the Bible is God’s Word or not? Can’t we just read it like any other good book of helpful advice? Can’t we just take what we find useful and ignore the rest?
Not exactly. If the Bible – in its entirety – is God’s Word, then refusing to believe the Bible is refusing to believe God. And refusing to obey the Bible is refusing to obey God. Continue reading The Bible Is Our Authority (Scripture, Part 2)
The foundational truth for every Christian is that the Bible is God’s Word. If we do not have a reliable source of revelation, we are left to our own assumptions, and we will very quickly find ourselves floundering in a sea of personal opinions.
Thankfully, God has not left us in such a position. As He has done throughout history, God has ensured that His people have a clear Word from Him (Heb. 1:1). Continue reading The Bible is God’s Word (Scripture, Part 1)