In the first teaching in this series, we reviewed the inspiration and authority of Scripture. Hopefully, your little ones were able to grasp the great significance of God’s Word through the previous article, but even if they didn’t, remember that these are little bits of truth that you want to resonate over a long period of time so it all eventually becomes part of their bigger, fundamental understanding of the faith. They don’t have to memorize it all at once, and they don’t even have to get it right the first time. But you can be confident, as a mom, that your work in teaching them His Word will not return void.
Now that we know that Scripture has authority and is divinely inspired, so let’s move on to its sufficiency and infallibility.
To say that Scripture is sufficient is to say that it contains all that we need to equip us for a life of faith and service. It is “good enough” to be all that we need to determine what we must believe and how we are to live before God. There is no other source of special revelation or any addition that we need to be a Christian in this world besides the Bible.
In 1 Corinthians 4:6, Paul writes,
“I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another.”
Here, Paul emphasizes that he is holding himself and his co-laborer, Apollos, to the same standard by which he is holding the Corinthians: to not go beyond what is written. Why? So that no one is fooled into thinking that his or her opinion is of greater value than others. This was in response to one of the issues dividing the Corinthian church. They were favoring the personal views of some Christian teachers over others, but the reality is, as Paul articulated, that Scripture is sufficient. There is no need to “go beyond” book, chapter, and verse in favor of the whims of man.
To reiterate our memory verse from Part 1,
“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.”–2 Timothy 3:16-17
In other words, Scripture alone is sufficient for teaching, for correction, for rebuke, for training in righteousness so that Christians may be complete and equipped for every good work.
Although we may be tempted to seek out God’s will in other places, the one place He has revealed it is in His Word — not in our feelings, not in popes or counsels, not personal revelation, and not any human invention. It alone is sufficient for us to know how to be a parent, a teacher, a sister, a daughter, a friend, a steward, a servant, a wife, an evangelist, and a disciple — and to be like Christ. It is enough to teach us how to please God in whatever circumstances and wherever we are.
Q: What is our only source of truth we need in the Christian life?
A: Scripture alone.
Q: Why is Scripture all we need in the Christian life?
A: It is sufficient for all things.
Q: What does Scripture alone help us to do?
A: It teaches us God’s will and how to be righteous, and it equips us for every good work.
The idea that Scripture is infallible is that it cannot contain error or fault. Scripture isn’t just inerrant in that it doesn’t contain any contradictions, flaws, or mistakes but also because it is infallible — it is incapable of containing such things.
In Matthew 5:17-18, Jesus Himself confirmed this:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law.”
Here, Jesus is emphasizing the perfect and divine accuracy of the Scriptures down to the slightest detail and punctuation mark — and that it would stay that way until the end of time. We can rest knowing that in the same way God breathed the Scriptures out through men exactly how He wanted it to be written, He also preserved His Word through word-for-word translations and manuscripts to maintain its true meaning throughout the test of time. He worked through these men to make it impossible for them to affirm error in the completed product of His Word.
Note also 2 Peter 1:20-21, which says,
“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 reason we can confidently say that Scripture is infallible is because we trust in God’s character. God never lies (Titus 1:2), therefore His Word never lies. God’s Word is perfect (Psalm 19:7) because God is perfect. Without a shadow of a doubt, we can know for certain that His Word is infallible because we rest in His character, knowing that it is His true and perfect Word.
Q: What does it mean to say the Bible is infallible?
A: The Bible cannot contain mistakes.
Q: How can we know for sure that Scripture never lies?
A: Because God never lies.
Q: How can we know for sure that Scripture is perfect and true?
A: Because God is perfect and true.
“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.”–Psalm 19:7-8
Be sure to check back for the next article in this series: “The Trinity.”
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