Completeness of the Scriptures

According to 2 Tim. 3:16, 17, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." The word perfect means mature or complete. The words perfect and thoroughly furnished indicate that the scriptures completely furnish the child of God with everything that is needed to perform all good works. In order words there is nothing lacking in the scriptures for the child of God. Couple this with the fact that Ps. 12:6 teaches that the scriptures are preserved of God in a completely pure state: "The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. There are no errors in the scripture and they completely furnish us for everything that we need to worship and serve God and to live lives that are acceptable unto God.

What are the consequences of this scriptural completeness for the child of God. First, everything that is needed for worship is included in the scriptures. If it is not in the scriptures we are not to include it in our worship services. Adding to what God has given us is a serious error.

God gave the pattern of Old Testament worship to Moses and the children of Israel. God told Moses to "make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount." They were not to deviate from that pattern, nor were they to add to that pattern. On one occasion two of the sons of Aaron who were priests added to that pattern: Lev. 10:1 "And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord." They were to offer fire from off the altar in their censers, but instead they offered strange fire, which God had not commanded them. God was not pleased with their adding to his words and destroyed them. That should certainly teach us that we are to follow God's pattern and teaching and not alter it or add to it.

On another occasion, King David thought to bring the ark of the covenant up to Jerusalem from the house of Abinadab after that it had fallen into enemy hands and later came back to Israel and was kept in Abinadab's house for a period of time. 2 Sam. 6:1-7, "Again, David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the LORD of hosts that dwelleth between the cherubims. And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart. And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab which was at Gibeah, accompanying the ark of God: and Ahio went before the ark. And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals. And when they came to Nachon's threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God." Man's hands were not to touch the ark of the covenant and the Levites were to bear the ark by the staves through the rings on the side of the ark. Uzzah had violated God's teaching by putting his hands to the ark. In 1 Chr. 15:12, 13, David said, "And he said unto them, Ye are the chief of the fathers of the Levites: sanctify yourselves, both ye and your brethren, that ye may bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel unto the place that I have prepared for it. For because ye did it not at the first, the Lord our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order." There is a due order to the worship and service of God. We should seek that order and follow that which the Lord has taught us.

There is a warning given to those who would add to or take away from the word of God. Rev. 22:18, 19 " For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." It is a serious thing for God's people to add to or take away from the words of the Lord.

Another consequence of the completeness of God's word is that we don't have to go outside the scriptures to interpret the scriptures. This principle is particularly applicable in the book of Revelations. According to Rev. 1:1 the book of Revelations is written in sign language. Many people try to interpret the signs in Revelations based on their knowledge of historical events or based on what they imagine those signs might mean. Many books have been written based on this manner of interpretation of this book. This is contrary to principle of the completeness of God's word. The signs in Revelations and in the books of the prophets are to be interpreted by the scriptures themselves. We are to compare spiritual things with spiritual, that is, we are to compare scripture with scripture for our interpretation of scripture.

In addition, the scriptures give us everything that we need for our personal discipleship. In Matt. 7:24-27 we read, " Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it." The foundation of our lives is to be built on the scriptures. We are to live according to thus sayeth the Lord. There is nothing lacking in the scriptures that makes it necessary to go outside the scriptures to know how to live godly, upright lives.