Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

The Sufficiency of Scripture, Pt. 1
Grace to You (GTY) ministries ^ | December 29, 1985 | John MacArthur

Posted on 10/22/2013 8:55:09 AM PDT by redleghunter

Now something in particular has triggered my interest in this study and I'd like to speak to that, if I might, for a few moments. There is, I believe, a strong and pervasive and somewhat subtle strategy unfolding today among those who call themselves "evangelical Christians." This is being masterminded by the arch enemy, Satan, and sadly being bought into by many many people in evangelical churches. This subtle strong strategy basically is an attack on the sufficiency of the Word of God. Now in all times and seasons, the Word of God is under attack. And we have to be somewhat careful and somewhat wary and somewhat watchful to discern how it's being attacked. I believe presently the attack on Scripture is primarily coming from those who deny its sufficiency for all matters of faith and conduct. One of the great statements of theology, of traditional evangelical theology is that the Scripture is adequate for all matters of faith and conduct. That is being attacked today.

Let me briefly describe what I mean by that with some illustrations from various angles. First of all, in the last few years in the church, there has grown to be among church leaders a great preoccupation with what I would call "worldly management technique." With all of the books being written on successful corporations and successful styles of management and leadership and so forth, the church has perked up its ears and gone after that really as if it were the very life of the church. There are many who bow, as it were, to the gods of worldly management technique. Churches are learning those kinds of methods as if they were the keys to building the Kingdom of God. And in a very subtle way, this is an attack on the adequacy of Scripture, as if to say, "Knowing the Word of God and understanding its principles and the principles taught therein related to the growth of the church is not adequate and we must go to the management techniques and the systems of success the world uses in its corporate environment and transfer those to the church if we want the church to really grow and develop." I believe this is a subtle attack on the sufficiency of the revelation of God for the matter of the growth and development of the church.

Secondly, another angle that I've been recently concerned about is that there are many people who feel the Scripture is not a sufficient diet for the saints of the church and there must be along with it a certain amount of entertainment. And churches are spending a lot of money to entertain people. We have developed because of our penchant for entertainment in our society a sort of a Christian celebrity list. We are heavy into entertainment which is costing the church when you include Christian TV entertainment, billions and billions of dollars of the Lord's money. And it is, in a sense, a concession to those people who do not believe that the teaching and the study and the learning and the application of the Word of God is an exciting enough diet. In fact, there are many people who seem rather bored with the things of God revealed in Scripture and are really in desperate need of some entertainment. And there is in that, I believe, an attack on the sufficiency of the Word of God to bring to the life of believers all that is needed not only for the matter of spiritual battle but for the matter of joy and fulfillment in life.

Another area of great distress to me is the area of, I suppose what we could call, mysticism, or the occult. I believe in evangelicalism, if you look closely and you'll hear more of this on Tuesday night when you hear from Dave Hunt, but I believe if you look closely at evangelicalism today, you will find in many places people becoming preoccupied with the occult. They don't think that's what it is, but in fact that is indeed what it is. They are reaching into the world of mediums and demon spirits and the devil himself because they are searching for supernatural power, supernatural experience, ecstatic experiences. They are searching for miracles and signs and wonders. There are schools now teaching courses in signs and wonders. There are people saying that we can never reach the world with the gospel unless we can raise the dead and heal the sick and call down fire from heaven and do all kinds of supernatural things. Peter Wagner recently said at the American Association of Bible Colleges Convention, quote: "The simple gospel is no longer adequate without signs and wonders," end quote. We cannot reach the world, he is saying, with just the Word of God. We have to have signs and wonders and he is talking, along with many others, about finding the power source and delving into supernatural powers to do miracles and create these signs and wonders


TOPICS: Evangelical Christian; Religion & Culture; Theology
KEYWORDS: bible; scriptures
This is the first part of sermon delivered by John MacArthur back in December 29, 1985. We see what he describes in the first few paragraphs fully entrenched today.

The above is a portion of a larger sermon text. At the linked site to gty.org is an audio file you can listen to instead of reading. It is also available on the GTY App. The full sermon in text is also available at the link above.

I will post Pt. 2 in a few days.

1 posted on 10/22/2013 8:55:09 AM PDT by redleghunter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: ViLaLuz; Elsie; daniel1212; Hoodat; metmom; Vision; CynicalBear; Iscool; GarySpFc

PING


2 posted on 10/22/2013 10:39:32 AM PDT by redleghunter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: redleghunter

Scripture has its place but it is not the end all and be all some make it. If Jesus believed in writing, He would have done so. It is recorded that He wrote only once and that was in sand. Jesus believed in teaching through people, warts and all. The Bible content was not selected and canonized until centuries after Jesus. God the Father wrote on stone and then used Moses and David for messages. Scripture is what it is, the Word of God, but even Scripture does not claim to be the only way God communicates with us.


3 posted on 10/22/2013 10:57:09 AM PDT by ex-snook (God is Love)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ex-snook
"Scripture is what it is, the Word of God, but even Scripture does not claim to be the only way God communicates with us."

If someone receives a communication from God and it is different or changes what is revealed in Scriptures, which one is to be followed?

4 posted on 10/22/2013 11:19:19 AM PDT by redleghunter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: redleghunter
>>If someone receives a communication from God and it is different or changes what is revealed in Scriptures, which one is to be followed?<<

I know I would follow the commendation of Paul to the Bereans.

5 posted on 10/22/2013 12:08:04 PM PDT by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: redleghunter
I listened daily to MacArthur for years after i become born again, and was much challenged and edified, and the problems in that article was applicable today.

However, i cannot in good conscience subscribe to cessassionism, and His recent broadside against Pentecostals, while warranted in application against Benny Hinn types, was too broad.

I also think it would do MacArthur (and many other preachers) much good to spend a few years confronting and interacting with souls on the streets with the gospel, as the Lord and the apostles did, rather than being isolated in a church environment. You can become a better preacher and apologist thereby.

With all of the books being written on successful corporations and successful styles of management and leadership and so forth, the church has perked up its ears and gone after that really as if it were the very life of the church. There are many who bow, as it were, to the gods of worldly management technique.

another angle that I've been recently concerned about is that there are many people who feel the Scripture is not a sufficient diet for the saints of the church and there must be along with it a certain amount of entertainment.

Thats the other problem, that of the church becoming like the world.

On the actual issue of the sufficiency of Scripture, it is important to make clear that this pertains to formal and material sufficiency. The former means gospel truth is sufficiently clear enough so that normally a soul could read a gospel message such as Acts 10:26-43 and believe and be part of the regenerate, while the material sufficiency of Scripture refers provides for things such as reason, preachers, the church etc.

The objection of Rome is not so much against the the material sufficiency of Scripture, but against its supremacy, as her supremacy is what is paramount to her.

6 posted on 10/22/2013 12:15:14 PM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a contrite damned+destitute sinner, trust Him to save you, then live 4 Him)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ex-snook; Elsie

God wrote the Ten Commandments.

He is recorded all through the OT as commanding people to write down what He told them.

The Bible is God breathed, Holy Spirit inspired.

Jesus said *It is written....* many times, including when tempted by the enemy in the wilderness and any time He wanted to testify of Himself.


7 posted on 10/22/2013 12:17:29 PM PDT by metmom ( ...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: daniel1212
However, i cannot in good conscience subscribe to cessassionism, and His recent broadside against Pentecostals, while warranted in application against Benny Hinn types, was too broad. I also think it would do MacArthur (and many other preachers) much good to spend a few years confronting and interacting with souls on the streets with the gospel, as the Lord and the apostles did, rather than being isolated in a church environment. You can become a better preacher and apologist thereby.

I too am very cautious with the die hard cessasionism. Who are we to tell the Alpha and Omega that His Power is no longer demonstrated in promoting the Gospel. I would call myself as part of the cautious but optimistic mindset. In JP Moreland's "Kingdom Triangle" he mentions missionaries of all stripes (not just pentacostals) are giving accounts of miracles in areas 'primitive' to the Gospel. BTW, a very good book. But you make the key point...The message of the Gospel IS there in Scriptures.

Agree on your point in getting out on the streets. That is why I think Ray Comfort and The Way of the Master ministries do a good job.

8 posted on 10/22/2013 12:55:59 PM PDT by redleghunter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: redleghunter

Ray and the Way of the Master, not to be confused with Roy Masters ;)


9 posted on 10/22/2013 1:43:04 PM PDT by ViLaLuz (2 Chronicles 7:14)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: redleghunter
In JP Moreland's "Kingdom Triangle" he mentions missionaries of all stripes (not just pentacostals) are giving accounts of miracles in areas 'primitive' to the Gospel.

Praise God. I will try to remember that.

Agree on your point in getting out on the streets. That is why I think Ray Comfort and The Way of the Master ministries do a good job.

Indeed.

10 posted on 10/22/2013 3:36:32 PM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a contrite damned+destitute sinner, trust Him to save you, then live 4 Him)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: ex-snook; redleghunter
Scripture has its place but it is not the end all and be all some make it. If Jesus believed in writing, He would have done so. It is recorded that He wrote only once and that was in sand. Jesus believed in teaching through people, warts and all. The Bible content was not selected and canonized until centuries after Jesus. God the Father wrote on stone and then used Moses and David for messages. Scripture is what it is, the Word of God, but even Scripture does not claim to be the only way God communicates with us.

I strongly disagree with Rome's position regarding the Canon.

“You have to understand that the canon was not the result of a series of contests involving church politics. The canon is rather the separation that came about because of the intuitive insight of Christian believers. They could hear the Good Shepherd in the Gospel of John; they could hear it only muffled and distorted way in the Gospel of Thas miomxed in with a lot of other things.

“When the pronouncement was made about the canon, it merely ratified what the general sensitivity of the church had already determined. You see, the canon is a list of authoritative books more than it is an authoritative list of books. These documents didn’t derive their authority from being selected; each one was authoritative before anyone gathered them together. The early church merely listened and sensed that these were authoritative accounts.

“For somebody now to say that the canon emerged only after councils and synods made these pronouncements would be like saying, ‘Let’s get several academies of musicians to make a pronouncement that the music of Bach and Beethoven is wonderful.’ I would say, ‘Thank you for nothing! We knew it because of sensitivity to what is good music and what is not. The same with the canon.” Dr. Bruce M. Metzger, Ph.D.

11 posted on 10/26/2013 9:39:42 PM PDT by GarySpFc
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson