All Sufficiency and Every (Part 1)

Sufficient. What does that mean? Here are some definitions:

1. Being as much as is needed.
2. Archaic. Competent; qualified.
3. Enough to meet the needs under the law of a situation or a proposed end.
4. Of a quantity that can fulfill a need or requirement but without being abundant.

All Scripture Is Breathed Out by God
You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. – The Apostle Paul

Christ’s Glory and the Prophetic Word
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; – The Apostle Peter

For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. – The Apostle Peter

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. – The Apostle Peter

Whew.

Deep breath time…ok. Let me briefly recap. Paul’s aim in life was to live a Godly life in Jesus by continuing to learn and live out the sacred writings, which equip the man of God for every good work. Laying down this rubber on the road has to eventually bring us screeching to the word “every”. Does all always mean all? Does every every time mean every?

Next Peter tells us the way to purify our souls is to be obedient to the truth, and then, ever the realist, he shows us what that looks like. Love. Peter then tells us we have the prophetic Word which we would do well to pay attention. This could be as close to an understatement as the The Word of God gets. Lastly we have all things that pertain to life and godliness from the knowledge of God’s Word.

John Calvin comments thusly: If we give due weight to the consideration, that the word of the Lord is the only way which can conduct us to the investigation of whatever it is lawful for us to hold with regard to him–is the only light which can enable us to discern what we ought to see with regard to him, it will curb and restrain all presumption. For it will show us that the moment we go beyond the bounds of the word we are out of the course, in darkness, and must every now and then stumble, go astray, and fall.-John Calvin, The Institutes of Christian Religion

I think this quote from Calvin sums up the point of this blog. In my conversations and thinking recently, I cannot escape the conclusion that many, many of our problems today fall under the category of *not* living out the teaching of The Bible on the sufficiency of said Bible. This has different degrees of course. We, myself included, give admirable lip service to this doctrine. We read our Bibles consistently. We attend Bible studies. We read books about the Bible. We pray. And then we go about our lives like God hasn’t told us single thing about how to live our lives becuase it is too much effort or it makes us feel uncomfortable or it just flat out goes against our sinful nature. Or we wait for signs and wonders, God to personally speak to us because, well, obviously there is more he needs to tell us than what is in the Bible, right? Or we say, well, God doesn’t speak to this, so I guess I can do whatever I want to do. And then what happens? We stumble, go astray, and fall.

Every. Every good work. Every. Every. Every. What does every include? How does every affect how we worship? How does every affect our relationship with our spouse or best friend or our children or our parents? How does every effect our evangelization efforts? How does every affect our work at our job? How does every effect everything?

These are very random thoughts about this subject. But I want every thought to be taken captive to obey Christ.

Sufficiently yours,
Russ

Stay tuned for Part 2 (hopefully)

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