Pastor John MacArthur teaches on why Christians believe, while non-Christians reject the Word of God. Pastor MacArthur provides a clear, biblical explanation for the source of faith in those who believe.
Copyright 2012, Grace to You. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
When I was a kid, this was part of the chorus of the popular B-I-B-L-E song that I memorized, “The B-I-B-L-E yes that’s the book for me. I stand alone on the Word of God, the B-I-B-L-E.” Who knew that almost 30 years later, I’d still be singing it (and to my daughter) although now with greater meaning? In this short little children’s tune, we actually have a stated worldview and theological stance. Now, I suppose that without knowing the history or meaning of this song one could view it 2 different ways and still arrive at truthful implications. The first, and perhaps the view that I held as a child singing this song, is that to “stand alone on the Word of God” is to stand by oneself. When everyone else is chasing the world and following clever fable’s and myth’s, God’s children are standing on His Word. There is imagery of solitude here; that no matter if we stand alone, by ourselves, on God’s Word, upholding it, defending it, proclaiming it, then we still stand. When I think of this now, I can’t help but picture the great reformer Martin Luther, standing by himself on the truths of God’s Word. His famous words, “Here I stand. I can do no other” no doubt are symbolic of his position on God’s Word as his only foundation. This view is an absolute encouragement to put on the armor of God, “and having done all, to stand firm.” Ephesians 6:13
But I think there is also a second implication, one of equal importance, but perhaps deeper in meaning. Within it is the presence of a great theological truth, i.e. the sufficiency of Scripture. This is something that may not immediately jump out to those singing this song. It certainly didn’t to me as a child.
Perhaps there is no greater single passage on the sufficiency of Scripture than Psalm 19:7-14 as it magnifies the Word of God. Before we look at that passage, let me define my term in using the “sufficiency of Scripture.” Below is a quote from pastor/teacher John MacArthur:
“Scripture is comprehensive, containing everything necessary for one’s spiritual life. Scripture is surer than a human experience that one may look to in proving God’s power and presence. Scripture contains divine principles that are the best guide for character and conduct. Scripture is lucid rather than mystifying so that it enlightens the eyes. Scripture is void of any flaws and therefore lasts forever. Scripture is true regarding all things that matter, making it capable of producing comprehensive righteousness. Because it meets every need in life, Scripture is infinitely more precious than anything this world has to offer.”
As a broad statement, that is the heart and essence of the sufficiency of Scripture, “containing everything necessary for one’s spiritual life.” By implication, if it contains everything for the individual Christian life, then it also contains everything necessary for the government and rule of the local church. God’s Word is sufficient. If we may return to our children’s song from earlier, let us be reminded there is no need to have one foot standing on God’s Word and another on something else. “I stand alone on the Word of God” not being propped up or founded on anything else, especially human wisdom. In reality most churches have gone beyond that and have turned church operation and governance into a game of Twister; Right hand on experience, left hand on pragmatism, right foot on tradition, and left foot on the latest fad or Purpose Driven method. At best there might be a pinkie toe from one foot outstretched to God’s Word. But this cannot be and certainly is a failure to rely on God’s Word as sufficient.
Like the popular saying goes, “On Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand.” God’s Word is faithful and true. It alone should be the source and authority for all we need in our spiritual lives and for ruling our churches because through it God the Holy Spirit illumines the mind toward the will of God and provides wisdom to apply to any and all situations. So stand by yourself on God’s Word and stand on nothing else but God’s Word.
Below is Psalm 19:7-14. I won’t expound on it at this time, but will simply allow God’s Word to speak for itself.
“7 The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the LORD is sure,
making wise the simple;
8 the precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the LORD is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
9 the fear of the LORD is clean,
the rules of the LORD are true,
and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
12 Who can discern his errors?
Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.
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.”