Articles

Sufficiency of Scripture

The authority of God's Word has been under attack since the beginning of time (Gen. 3:1). While it is devastating to see the world, in its hatred and distaste for Christ and His Word, denigrate the Scriptures, it is perhaps more infuriating when such attacks come from those who profess some sort of faith in Christ.

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There is no shortage of ways in which people today claim the Lord of the universe has spoken personally and directly to them outside of Scripture. These professions of personal revelation are perhaps one of the most dangerous daggers being wielded in the visible church today. Once the man (or worse, the woman) on stage or behind the pulpit claims that he (or she) has received a personal word from the Lord, the authority of God's true revealed Word as found in Scripture is thrown under the proverbial bus. After all, who can argue with "Thus saith the Lord"?

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Every living thing which God creates requires food. The life that God imparts needs sustaining and nourishing. It is so with animal and vegetable life—with birds, beasts, fishes, reptiles, insects, and plants. It is equally so with spiritual life. When the Holy Ghost raises a man from the death of sin, and makes him a new creature in Christ Jesus, the new principle in that man's heart requires food, and the only food which will sustain it is the Word of God.

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Far too many professing evangelicals today are willing to undermine and compromise the inerrant, infallible, authoritative Word of God. It simply is not popular for a man to state unabashedly that the Bible is true, that it means what it says, and that men are subject to the truths contained within it.

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Doctrine

Doctrine matters. Regardless of the common seeker-driven battle cry that “doctrine divides” or “Jesus didn’t die for correct theology,” the reality is that doctrine does matter. In spite of the postmodern attempt to eschew the importance of doctrine and of truth, the genuine Christian knows that, without a right knowledge of the truth, a person cannot be saved. Doctrine matters.

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Every believer is commanded by God to exercise discernment. How, then, does one cultivate this necessary ability to discern? Through a true and thorough knowledge of the Lord. And how does one obtain this? By prayerfully, diligently and carefully studying and reading the Word of God. This Word is, after all, God-breathed and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16, 17). But there is another means beyond just personal Bible study by which one hones his discernment, and that is by hearing God's Word preached rightly by faithful men of God.

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To attempt to wrap one's brain around the innumerable and magnificent attributes of our God is a feat which shall never be fully accomplished this side of glory. Yet our mighty God, the Creator and Sovereign King, has revealed Himself in His Word.

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"But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

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There is a difficult but marvelous truth to be found within the pages of Scripture: You, dear Christian, cannot save anyone. Nor can any sinner save himself. No matter how pithily or poetically one asks Jesus to "come into his heart," no matter how many zeroes are written on the check, no matter how piously the Lord's Table is approached, no matter how many Bible studies one participates in, no matter how many sermons one hears, no matter how many Bibles one owns, no man can bring himself to the point of salvation, nor can any man hold himself responsible for saving another. Salvation is a work of God.

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The Bible tells us that there are many counterfeits in the world: counterfeit Christs, counterfeit gospels, counterfeit prophets, counterfeit Christians and counterfeit faith. It is a sad reality that the pews (or stadium seats) of many churches are filled with those who profess to know Christ and to have been saved by Him, but whose lives fail to bear even the tiniest speck of fruit to demonstrate that faith. Rather, their lives stand in direct contradiction to the Gospel by which they claim to be saved.

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