Recently, I began to incorporate our church’s Confession of Faith in my morning devotions. I’ve been slowly reading each chapter and section and then reading the supporting scriptures. It’s been wonderful to drink in the deep and profound truths of our Confession of Faith. If you are interested, here is a link to our Confession of Faith.
The last sentence of chapter 1 caused me to pause and ponder the authority and sufficiency of Scripture. Matthew Barrett states that biblical authority is:
The doctrine of the authority and inerrancy of Scripture is that, as a corollary of the inspiration of Scripture, the God-breathed Scriptures are wholly true in all things that they assert in the original autographs and therefore function with the authority of God’s own words.– Matthew Barrett
He also tells us what it means for Scripture to be sufficient:
Scripture is sufficient in that it is the only inspired, inerrant, and therefore final authority for Christians for faith and godliness, with all other authorities being subservient to Scripture.– Matthew Barrett
I think Barrett’s definitions would be upheld by most Christians who have a high view of Scripture. Moreover, his definitions are consistent with Redemption Hill’s confession of faith. So here is the troubling trend I see with Christians who have a high view of Scripture. A Christian’s faith is often not at rest when Scripture is clear.
Here is the last paragraph of chapter 1 of our confession of faith. Please take note of the last sentence which is what I want to tease out.
The final judge for the examination and judgment of all religious controversies, decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits can be no other than Holy Scripture delivered by the Spirit. Our faith must rest when Scripture speaks.Confession of Faith 1.10
I don’t know if you have noticed, but Scripture speaks a lot. It is true, Scripture does not address everything, but it tells us everything we need to know about God, sin, and how a person who is a sinner can be reconciled to the holy and just God. In addition, Scripture speaks about the creation of the universe and the second advent of Jesus Christ. Between Genesis 1:1 and Revelation 22:21, Scripture speaks about the principles of godly living, leading to human flourishing. It also speaks about the evils in the world due to sin and rebellion. Scripture speaks on a lot of topics.
So how come Christians are restless even though Scripture speaks clearly on many relevant issues? For example, take the creation of the world. It’s clear God created the world (Genesis 1-2), yet, when you read a biology book and are taught there was a primordial soup or random spark in which everything evolved, God creating ex nihilo gets thrown out the window. Here is another relevant example of the tension between a cultural standard and a standard spoken clearly in the Bible. Scripture is clear about sexuality. God created a man and woman, and a sexual relationship is affirmed in the context of marriage. But what do we see in our culture? Sex between a man and a woman in the context of marriage is viewed as prudish, and everything else is fair game and celebrated. Thus, for many Christians, their faith is not at rest when Scripture speaks due to pressure from the culture.
Be At Peace
The case I want to make is that when a Christian affirms the authority and sufficiency of the Bible, they can be a peace with what God has spoken because what God has spoken is for their good. Thus, the path toward human flourishing is upholding critical doctrines of Scripture and embodying Scripture’s principles. King David was keenly aware of the importance of God’s Word. We read in 2 Samual 7,
And now, O Lord God, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant.
– 2 Samual 7:28
It seems to me that when God spoke David was a rest. He trusted in God, and he knew whatever God said was for his good and God’s glory.