By Brent T. Gupton
Senior Pastor, Meadowview Baptist Church
March 10, 2023
Clarity – at times, an elusive goal for all who seek to communicate. Sometimes we achieve it, and at other times, we do not. As men called to communicate the message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, preachers know the importance of clarity. At a recent meeting of Conservative Baptist Network state chapter leaders, we looked at our Network slogan, Sufficiency. The Bible, alone., and discussed how clearly understood those words may or may not be.
Is our message clear to the people we are trying to reach? Do they have the same understanding of sufficiency as those who crafted the slogan? Do we need to explain it, or do people inherently “get it?” We want to be clear. We need to be clear. When we make a statement, especially a statement about the Bible, we don’t want to leave room for doubt concerning where we stand and what we believe.
It is vitally important that people understand the premise of the slogan. The idea is simple: The Bible is enough. When we read and study God’s Word, The Holy Spirit illuminates the mind of the believer, enabling each person to comprehend the message. The more we study the Bible, the better we understand its message of hope and redemption. In saying the Bible is sufficient, we are affirming our belief that it is complete and enough to guide us through our daily lives.
Sufficiency is also an affirmation of our belief in the inerrancy of God’s Word. We believe “all scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Tim. 3:16). We stand on that. We also affirm our belief that the Bible is our final authority. No other document, philosophy, or ideology has precedence. The Bible alone is our authority. Nothing else.
There are many, however, who promote the use of other “analytical tools” to help define the message of the Bible. Their belief, in effect, is that the Bible is incomplete because it does not teach or support their particular views on some issues. By advancing a belief in the use of human wisdom and the philosophies of men (Col. 2:8), they bring immeasurable harm to the church by undermining the authority of its guiding document, the Bible.
We affirm our belief that the Holy Spirit enables us to understand the message of God’s Word and that no other explanatory helps are needed. As ambassadors for Christ and representatives of the Conservative Baptist Network, we need to be sure we clearly communicate our belief that God’s Word is inerrant, authoritative, and all we need to understand how God expects us to live in faith and obedience to Him and in our relationships with others.