Daily Doctrines: Scripture

The Doctrines of Scripture 

Here's a question for you... why did/do you tell people that they need to read Scripture? Why do you feel it necessary to read Scripture? Maybe you would say one of the following reasons: you want first hand knowledge, to know God better, to know history of the faith, or to may be learn to lead a more moral life. All of which are noble and great reasons!

Yet another reality exists. "We are raising a generation on the spiritual junk food of religious videos, movies, youth entertainment, and comic book paraphrases of the Bible. The Word of God is being rewritten, watered down, illustrated, and dramatized in order to cater to the taste of the carnal mind. That only leads further into the wilderness of doubt and confusion." - Dave Hunt  or As Calvin put it..."The fanaticism which discards the Scripture, under the pretense of resorting to immediate revelations is subversive of every principle of Christianity. For when they boast extravagantly of the Spirit, the tendency is always to bury the Word of God so they may make room for their own falsehoods." In essence a believer who does not actively read Scripture is questionably a believer at all.

Scripture is Clear (Perspicuity): Deut 30:11-14; Rom 10:6-8
As a Pastor and Scholar I am often told by believers and non-believers alike that they don't read their Bible because it is difficult and unclear. While I agree that some passages or even whole books in the instance of Revelation, are very difficult to fully understand. The Perspicuity of Scripture reminds us that as a believer and the presence of the Lord gives basic clarity to believers. One great passage that gives support for this doctrine comes from a side conversation with Jesus and the disciples in Mark 4. He told them that the parables do not make sense to the onlookers, but they do have meaning and clarity for His followers. Likewise, the Holy Spirit helps us understand the basics of all Scripture. At the time of the Reformation, Roman Catholics said that lay people could not read Scripture on their own or properly understand it. The Reformers did say that the basic message of salvation is sufficiently clear that anyone can understand it, either by reading it or by talking to a pastor about it.

Scripture is Necessary: (1 Cor. 2:6-13)
The doctrine of Scripture’s necessity simply means that without God’s Word we have no relationship with him. As I stated earlier a Christian that is not actively studying/reading Scripture may not indeed be a Christian... it is our lifeline. Without God's commands, guidance, and leadership he is not our Lord. Without his word, we have no realization of our sin problem or Christ's gift of salvation, so he cannot be our savior.

Imagine if a sick person were to visit a doctor and then the doctor ask what they've been eating... "I don't have time to eat, I'm way too busy." or "I don't like how food tastes, I'd rather not eat." Any doctor would immediately question the sanity of this sick person. Yet, when we discuss the necessity of Scripture we do not take it as seriously.

Scripture is Authoritative: (Psalm 138:2)
The doctrine of Scripture’s authority remind us that God’s word stands above all rulers, and rituals. Though I love catechisms, and sound doctrinal statements They must be founded on Scripture. Scritpure must reign even over human experience.

Scripture is Sufficient: (2 Tim 3:14-17)
The doctrine of Scripture’s sufficiency, means Scripture provides for us all the words of God we will ever need. I went to a Pentecostal High School and there I constantly encountered people who "had a new word from the Lord." Their intent was to provide new insights into God's timing, promises, provision, or even new traditions to be added to the church. Scripture itself tells us not to add or subtract (Deut. 4:2, 12:32, Rev. 22:18-19). And it tells us clearly not to put human tradition on the same level as God’s word, as the Pharisees did (Deut. 18:15-22, Isa. 29:13, Matt. 15:1-9, Gal. 1:8-9, 2 Thess. 2:2). Human tradition is not a bad thing. But it is not God’s word. When we try to put it on the same level as God’s word, we are saying that God’s word is not enough, that it is insufficient. Likewise the people who claim to have new prophecies.

The church I currently pastor is filled with families who admitted to not raising their children to have a personal practice of reading and studying Scripture. I believe the lack of Scripture in these lives is the direct result in them not being in the faith now. Scripture is clear, necessary, authoritative and sufficient for you to build your life on and around. To not have Scripture in one's life is most likely be because one is not a believer or if they are a believer the lack will result in a shallow walk with Christ.

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