The Bible is necessary for more than knowing the Gospel and getting saved, which my last post demonstrated. It is also necessary for maintaining spiritual life and for knowing God’s will. This is the topic of the two sections of Chapter 7, “The Four Characteristics of Scripture: (3) Necessity,” of Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology which my family and I read in our after breakfast Bible reading time yesterday morning.
These Bible verses show the necessity of the Bible in maintaining spiritual life:
– (Jesus to Satan, quoting Deuteronomy 8:3) “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4, ESV; all Bible quotations are from the ESV).
– (Moses to the people of Israel) “For it [the law] is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess” (Deuteronomy 32:47).
– (Peter to the Christians to whom he is writing) “Like newborn infants, long for the spiritual milk [likely “the word of God” referred to in 1 Peter 1:23-25], that by it you may grow up into salvation” (1 Peter 2:2).
Although all people have some knowledge of God’s will through their consciences, as I’ll demonstrate in tomorrow’s post, that knowledge is often vague and uncertain because of their weakened consciences. However the Bible gives clear statements of God’s will, as the following Bible verses show:
– “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29).
– “Blessed is the man who walks not in counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:1-2).
Thus the Bible is necessary for having certain knowledge of God’s will.
Grudem goes on to argue that the Bible is necessary for having certain knowledge about anything. A philosopher might claim that our not knowing everything requires us to be uncertain about everything that we think we know because some fact unknown to us might prove that what we thought we knew is false. Thus the only way that we can have certain knowledge about any fact is either to learn all facts about the universe or to have someone who knows all facts about the universe tell us the truth about the fact that we want certain knowledge of. Since the latter is what we do when we turn to God’s words in the Bible, it is correct to say that the Bible is necessary for having certain knowledge about anything. My family and I weren’t convinced by the argument, thinking that we can have certain knowledge of some things without the Bible.
On the other hand, we agree with Grudem that the Bible is necessary for having certain knowledge of God’s will. Thus it is necessary for knowing the Gospel (and being saved), maintaining spiritual life, and knowing God’s will.