Attributes of Scripture from Psalm 19

9 07 2012

I’ve had the opportunity recently to preach from Psalm 19:7-14, which happens to be one of the few places in the Bible that touches on all four of the major attributes of Scripture: Necessity, Authority, Sufficiency, and Clarity (or you can use the acronymn SCAN, which I “borrowed” from Kevin DeYoung, to help you remember these four attributes). Anyway, I thought I’d briefly outline some of what Psalm 19 (specifically v.7-9) has to say about Scripture.  Much, much more could be said, but here is a brief outline for your edification:

1. Necessity Psalm 19 begins with the truth that Creation itself testifies that there is a Creator.  However, our default state as human beings is to reject God (Rom. 3:10-11, cf. Rom. 1:19-20) and therefore we cannot know God, gain a proper prospective of Him, ourselves, or the world without Scripture.  In other words, although a beautiful sunset may make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, it can’t point you to Christ, and explain to you the Gospel.  Only Scripture can revive the soul (v.7).

2. Authority In v.7-14 David is specifically referring to the Torah and he says that the precepts, testimony, rules, commandments, and Law that he is speaking about is “of the LORD” (this is repeated 6 times!). In other words, even though Moses wrote the Torah, David doesn’t emphasize Moses’ authorship- he emphsizes God’s.  The infinite, triune, self-sufficient, God of the universe moved in and through human authors to preserve exactly the words that He wanted to convey to mankind. Therefore, to disbelieve or disobey Scripture is to disbeleive and disobey God Himself.

3. Clarity Scripture is refered to as “pure” in the 2nd half of v.8.  It is “clean”, without any darkness in it.  God is not speaking in “Bible Code” or ready to hold us accountable for something He did not reveal to us in Scripture.  No one will be able to stand before God and say “Your Word wasn’t clear enough as to what I was supposed to know and do.”

4. Sufficiency In his Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem says “The sufficiency of Scripture means that Scripture contained all the words of God He intended His people to have at each stage of redemptive history, and that it now contains everything we need God to tell us for salvation, for trusting Him perfectly, and for obeying Him perfectly.

Think of what the Psalm affirms about Scripture- It is perfect, sure, right, pure, and true. Scripture is whole, complete and it is not lacking. It’s trustworthy and convincing. The Spirit uses it to take a simple undiscerning mind and makes it skilled in the vital issues of life. It points us to the One way, Christ,  who is the only source of eternal life. Scripture is undefiled, inerrant, infallible, and does not pass away. It is this Book that is the standard for judging the life and eternal destiny of every person. The Word is reliable.  It gives us the very will of God for our lives!  All of these things testify to the Sufficiency of Scripture, which a “practical” denial of I believe, is one of the biggest problems in many churches today.

Application: So what do we do with this information?  Are we a people who tremble at God’s Word (Is. 66:2)?  Is it in our minds and hearts?  Do we look to the Word as the means by which God saves us, keeps us, and sanctifies us?  If our prayer is like David’s in v.14 “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer” then we must be in His Word…

I believe as a society we have more access to the Bible than any other people in history.  We’ve been given much, yet many people who claim to be Christians know very little about, and give very little attention to God’s Word- what about you? You could start with some personal reflection on Psalm 19 😉




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