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The Bible Is All-Sufficient

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The Sufficiency of Scripture

The Bible Is Sufficient Psalm 19:7-9 For many years, people have disagreed upon the importance of the Bible. Now, if you go into any bookstore or do a quick Google search, you'll soon find lots of books that have the word Bible in the title. Lot's of these books won't even contain God's Word, but are just called "the bible" on their particular subject. Some examples I found were the Vegetarian's Bible, the Sewing Bible, the Fashion Bible, even the Small Business Bible. But why would anyone want to call a book the such-and-such "bible"? With all the negative reviews people attempt to give the Bible, why add the word "bible" in their titles? They do so because the Bible is known to be the final word on a subject. There is nothing that you will ever face that's not addressed either by a direct command or by a general principle in God's Word. The Bible contains "everything pertaining to life and godliness," as 2 Peter 1:3 says. The apostle Paul, inspired by God, wrote in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that, "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." Today's Scripture, Psalm 19:7-9, beautifully lays out the sufficiency of the Bible. In these verses, the psalmist David makes 6 statements about the ability of God's Word to address every area of human life, and in particular, every area that believers need to know if we're going to please God. These verses reveal the desire we should have for God's Word while reminding ourselves that God's Word keeps us from sin. Hopefully, by the end of this sermon, the question will be answered: If the Bible is all-sufficient for our needs, what priority should it have in my life? But before we mine out the gems in Psalm 19:7-9, we need to quickly look at verses 1-6 because it forms the perfect backdrop to the Bible's sufficiency. The first 6 verses deal with General Revelation, which is the truth about God that He has written into every atom of creation and made available to every person. Psalm 19 begins with a declaration of truth, "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands." Psalm 19:1-6 makes it clear that God's revelation of Himself seen in creation is both profound and powerful. But General Revelation is also limited. It's enough to condemn the sinner, as Paul said in Romans 1:18-23, by leaving those people "without excuse" who try to reject or even pervert God's Word because they didn't follow creation to the Creator, to whom creation speaks of in the first place. General Revelation is limited because it can't save the sinner. Psalm 19:3 says creation is God's witness, "They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them." We can look at the oceans or the stars and know that the Creator God is powerful. But we have to go to His Word, which is Special Revelation, in order to learn that He has spoken to us and revealed that He alone is righteous, has judged sin, and is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The first verses deal with General Revelation, while the rest of the verses deal with Special Revelation. Psalm 19 teaches us that God is not hiding, but wants to be known and has revealed Himself to everyone. The Bible, like medicine, is designed to address the comprehensive issues of life. A Bible that is falling apart usually belongs to somebody who isn't. And to keep us from falling apart, verse 7 begins the 1st of our 6 statements describing the Bible as sufficient by saying, "The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul." The Law is another word for Scripture, and David says God's Word, or law, is perfect, meaning it's whole and complete. The Bible lacks nothing and is complete in divine truth. But before we proceed any further, I need to clarify something that has caused many people to stumble. To say that the Bible is complete is not to claim that God has told us everything. The apostle John said in John 21:25 that if everything Jesus did while He was on earth was written down and recorded, then "the world itself" could not contain the books this would require. And think about it, John was just referring to a 3-year period of time! Deuteronomy 29:29 says, "The secret things belong to the Lord our God." God's knowledge is inexhaustible, and if God told us everything, then we'd be like God. Those who are saved by faith in Christ will know of God on the other side of eternity, but for right now, God has revealed everything needed to know what God expects from us. "The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul." God's Word restores the soul. It illustrates something being brought back to its original condition. The Bible refreshes and revives us! It's sufficient to take what's broken and restore and refresh it. In my living room, my wife and I have a beautiful antique bench. It's over 150 years old, but you can't tell, because before we bought it, someone took the time to restore it. They sanded the wood, reupholstered the seat, and fixed any cracks. They brought it back to its original beauty, much like how God's Word can make old things new. God's Word "refreshes the soul," but what is your soul? The Hebrew word nephesh (NEF-ISH) refers to the essence of your being; the core of who you are. You know, most people spend their time attempting to fix what they do rather than fix who they are. The Bible deals with your entire being, and it has God's power to turn you inside out so we can see ourselves as God sees us. The First statement talked about God's Law; the 2nd statement goes on to say in verse 7, "The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple." God's statutes refer to His truth revealed in Scripture. In a courtroom, a witness is supposed to tell "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth," but only God's witness is 100% true and trustworthy. It's completely solid, and you can build your life on it. The Word of the Lord is solid like an un-movable rock instead of something unstable and movable like sand. God's Word is trustworthy, and Psalm 19 is your reminder that the Bible can save you a lot of heartache by giving you the ability to discern any situation with the godly wisdom that "makes wise the simple." The 3rd statement is found in verse 8, "The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart." God's precepts spell out things in greater detail so that you can live a well-ordered life. An example of a biblical precept is found in Proverbs 6:1-5. Here we're told not to become what we would call a "cosigner" for another's debts because if the borrower defaults on the debt, the cosigner is held responsible. God's Word tells us by principle to be wise in how we spend our money, and Proverbs 6 digs deeper by telling us more specifically to avoid the trap of someone else's debts. The trustworthiness of God's precepts is that their always right, and they always reveal the correct path you should take. But God's precepts are right, even if nobody else agrees. When the Bible says one thing, and everyone else says something else, then everybody else is wrong. 1 Corinthians 1:21 says the Gospel is "foolishness" to the unsaved world, but it remains the right and only path to take. Jesus taught this in Matthew 7:13-14 when He talked about two roads. One is wide and crowded but leads to destruction, while the other is narrow but has room because of how few people actually take it. When you listen to and obey God's precepts, you'll rejoice in your heart that your following the right road, and you'll be happy. But how do you know when you're on the right path, especially when most people seem to be headed in the other direction? In your mind, you'll know it's the right path because it's the one the Bible prescribes. But you'll also know you're on the right path when you have indescribable joy amid your journey, no matter how difficult or painful it may be. God's precepts give joy to the heart, and the 4th statement that the Bible is sufficient says in the second half of verse 8, "The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes." This verse tells us that the Bible's teaching are divine mandates, which means they are not optional. The Bible is not full of God's suggestions for you to consider and pick through. Most people who hear of biblical law think the Bible contains only 10 Commandments, but this verse is describing that all of God's revelation, the entirety of the Bible, is a commandment that we're all bound by. In this world, we have to obey others. But the problem is that if you're not careful who you obey or what you're obeying, it can quickly lead to disaster because people are not pure like God. God's commandments are free from any and all contamination, and following them will "give light to the eyes," so you can see things more clearly. The 5th statement begins in verse 9, which says, "The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever." The word "pure" means it has no impurities; that it's not defiled. God's truth is without flaw or blemish. As Psalm 12:6 says, "The words of the Lord are flawless." The fear of the Lord is to revere Him. It's to respect God's Word and to seek to live by its commandments and precepts. It's to inspire your heart to become more Christlike, and to remind you that the Bible is complete, meaning you can't pick and choose what you agree with or don't agree with, because as Psalm 119:89 says, "Forever, O LORD, Your Word is settled in heaven." The Bible is always relevant and will never go out of date or need updating. The last of our 6 statements about the Bible being sufficient is not of least importance. The second half of verse 9 says, "The decrees of the LORD are firm, and all of them are righteous." Decrees are divine ordinances. They're divine decrees issued from the bench of the Judge of the World, making the Bible our infallible standard for judging all of life's situations. Because the Bible is the truth of God, you become right with God when you apply it and live by it. So what priority does the Bible have in your life? Hopefully, the rest of Psalm 19 describes your feelings towards God's Word. That "They are more precious than gold and sweeter than honey." Don't let your deathbed become the place you finally realize there's more to life than money. "Taste and see that the Lord is good," as Psalm 34:8 says. Psalm 19 also teaches about the Bible's ability to protect believers from every kind of sin in verses 11-13. These include "hidden faults" that can trip us up, even those we're not aware of, and "willful sins," those sins we plan and willfully commit, "so they don't rule over you." The goal of all this is for you to "be blameless, innocent of great transgression," as verse 13 says. Many Christians are plagued with guilt, which can hinder your relationship with Christ. But remember God's restoration power, and that believers are blameless in the eyes of God because Christ paid your sin debt, making you innocent through His blood. Think of those words and allow it to "restore the soul." Verse 14 ends this Psalm with a great prayer expressing the desire to rightly respond to the truth of God's Word. "May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, LORD, my Rock, and my Redeemer." Everything needed is found within the Bible. It's all-sufficient. Many of you might remember an old Prego spaghetti sauce commercial in which the mother was cooking the spaghetti sauce in a big pot. The pot was full of beautiful looking spaghetti sauce, and the aroma was apparently filling the house. Then the son comes up and looks at his mother cooking the sauce and asks, "Mom, where are the mushrooms?" She says, "It's in there." "But what about the sausage?" "Why, it's in there." "What about the ripe tomatoes?" "It's in there." Prego's spaghetti sauce commercial said their sauce had kick and flavor because of what was inside. Every time the boy looked for something to explain what he smelled, his mother would reply, "It's in there." Folks, If you're looking for victory, it's in the Bible. If you're looking for transformation, it's in there. If you're looking for power, it's in there. If you're looking for deliverance, it's in there. If you're looking for a brand-new you, it's already in there. God has given you everything you need, and you can learn about what's available to you by studying the Word of God. The Bible is something to be experienced as well as known. You don't just want the facts of Scripture; you want the reality of it. You want and need the Bible to take on life, which just so happens to be the ministry of the Holy Spirit who gives life to the Words on the pages within the Bible you're holding. Make spending time with God and reading the Bible a priority in your life, because everything you need, is in there. AMEN 2
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