What do you know about the Bible? Perhaps you know that it contains sixty-six books, divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit. Here are four other truths that can help inform and encourage you in the way you approach the Bible:
1. The Bible Is Necessary
This is called the doctrine of the “Necessity of Scripture.” If God does not reveal to us the truth about Jesus, we can only know enough about God to be guilty of not treating him as God. Romans 1:19-20 says, “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”
2. The Bible Is Knowable
This is called the doctrine of the “Clarity’ or “Perspicuity” of Scripture. That doesn’t mean every part of Scripture is equally clear. It means that all we need to know to be saved and obey God is clearly understandable in Scripture. That’s why Jesus so often held people responsible, as he does in Matthew 12:3, where we read: “He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him…[?]”
3. The Bible Is Authoritative
This is related to several doctrines, such as the ‘Inerrancy’ or ‘Infallibility’ of Scripture. But really, because the words of Scripture are God’s words, and since God has every right to tell us what to think, feel, and do, the Bible has ultimate authority over everything and everyone. Consider what Psalm 2 says about God’s authority, particularly in verses 1-6:
Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
“Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”
He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
“As for me, I have set my King
on Zion, my holy hill.”
4. The Bible Is Enough
This is called the doctrine of the “Sufficiency’ of Scripture.” It means that every single bit of information we need from God to obey him is in the Bible. We don’t need information outside of it to obey God – whether from society or psychology or emotional impressions or anything else. That said, we are bound to obey all of what God commands us to in the Bible! That’s why we read in 2 Timothy 3:16-17:
“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 complete, equipped for every good work.”
There are some things in the Bible and about the Bible that are a mystery. Some things about the Bible will only be revealed in eternity. At the same time, God has revealed many things in his Word, through his Word, and about his Word that we ought to pay attention to. The Bible is necessary, it is knowable, it is authoritative, and it is enough.