Martyn Lloyd-Jones Monday – Is the Bible Totally Trustworthy?

lloyd-jones

T4G Article II

“We affirm that the authority and sufficiency of Scripture extends to the entire Bible, and therefore that the Bible is our final authority for all doctrine and practice.

We deny that any portion of the Bible is to be used in an effort to deny the truthfulness or trustworthiness of any other portion. We further deny any effort to identify a canon within the canon or, for example, to set the words of Jesus against the writings of Paul.”

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Today I want to quote what Lloyd-Jones has to say regarding the EXTENT of the truthfulness and trustworthiness of Scripture; i.e. does “verbally inspired, inerrant, infallible, and totally sufficient” extend to the whole of Scripture?

You must gird yourselves and your loins with truth. If you do not, you are defeated. And I am asserting and maintaining that truth can be known, that there is an authority. It is not reason, it is not feelings, it is not the Church, any church. It is the book called the Bible . . . .

We all therefore have to face this ultimate and final question: Do we accept the Bible as the Word of God, as the sole authority in all matters of faith and practice, or do we not? . . . Do I pin my faith to, and subject all my thinking to what I read in the Bible? Or do I defer to modern knowledge . . . It is inevitable that we occupy one or the other of those two positions . . . Either my foundation is one of sand that gives way beneath my feet, and I do not know where I am, or else I stand on what W. E. Gladstone called ‘The Impregnable Rock of Holy Scripture’

Why should we return to the Bible, why should we believe it? The first answer, says the Doctor, is that the Bible itself claims that it is this authority. Now there is the stumbling point for many. But, says Lloyd-Jones,

“No man in and of himself can ever arrive at a knowledge of God. This is the whole basis of the New Testament teaching, as it was the whole basis of the apostolic teaching. I cannot understand how anyone can hold any other view who has read the first two chapters of Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians. The Apostle lays down the following as his fundamental position: For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. Then he goes on: For it is written he is quoting from the Old Testament I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? That is to say, where is the man who relies on modern knowledge and science and learning, and on his own ability and on what the philosophers are saying? Then Paul continues: Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? How? Paul answers, “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom by philosophy, by learning, by knowledge and understanding and human reason the world by wisdom knew not God. It had failed to find Him; but when the world had failed, it then pleased God by the foolishness of preaching by what the world regarded as the foolishness of the thing preached, the foolishness of the Gospel and the message of the Gospel to save them that believe. The Apostle states there the whole position; and there is no answer to it.

But people have often asked why, if God intended to send his Son, the Messiah, did He wait so long to do so?

God sent His Son into the world with His message after He had given the world a full opportunity to deliver itself . . . There is no question but that the flowering period of the human intellect in so many senses was reached in that great era of Greek philosophy which preceded the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. There you have man’s ability and thinking at its very best and highest; but it proved quite unable to rise to a knowledge of God . . .

The world by wisdom knew not God : and the reason for that is obvious . . . Paul says that the princes of this world did not know and did not recognize our Lord. We speak wisdom, says Paul, “among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought. Human wisdom, even in its princes, its greatest men, is inadequate; it will never bring us to the truth. It is because God is what He is! And the moment you realize that truth, you see how man can never possibly arrive at a knowledge of Him. How can the finite encompass the Infinite? How can mortal man arrive at a real knowledge of the immortal God, the God who says, “I am that I am, the God who is from eternity to eternity absolute in every respect, the God who is light and in him is no darkness at all ? . . .But when we realize that man is not only finite but also sinful, and fallen, and unclean, and twisted, and perverted, the position becomes still more ridiculously impossible . . .

We are therefore in this position, that by all our efforts we can never arrive at this knowledge of God. Well, then . . . If I am to gird my loins about with truth, how can I find it? There is but one answer . . .God must give it [to] us. It is high, I cannot attain unto it, says the Psalmist (Psalm 139:6) But God, if He so chooses, can give us the knowledge which we desire. And the whole message of the Bible from beginning to end is just this, that He has done so . . . God has done this very thing! That is the whole glory of the message, that is the good news of the Gospel of salvation; God has been pleased to give us this revelation. That is the message of the whole Bible; that is what it is proclaiming from beginning to end. In the beginning God . . . It is an authoritative statement. How does Moses make the authoritative statement? It was given to him. So you find the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews saying that it is through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God. We know it by faith ; it was given; it is a revelation.

Such is the claim of the Old Testament; and the Old Testament in this matter is as important as the New Testament. The two go together, the one leads to the other . . . the Bible is the result of God disturbing men by the Spirit, giving them the message and then enabling them to deliver it in speech or in writing. And the Apostles, writing in the New Testament, about these very things, fully confirm what the Old Testament claims.

But over and above the testimony of the Apostles Paul and Peter to the Old Testament writings, we have our Lord’s own attestation of them . . . He accepts the entire Book [Old Testament] . . . And so He began to take them through the Scriptures Moses and the prophets . . . The Scriptures testify of me (John 5:39) . . . He teaches plainly the authority of the Old Testament . . .

The Old Testament Scriptures are authoritative because they are the Words of God. When you come to the New Testament the same holds good. There is the towering figure of our Lord Himself, with all that He says about Himself, and what He claims for His teaching. He does not hesitate to speak with authority; and the people recognized it. They said that he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes (Matthew 7:29) . . . Before Abraham was, I am, He says. That is His claim everywhere. He commands them to listen because of the unique authority that belongs to His Person, and therefore to His teaching. That anyone could read the Scriptures without noting these claims would indeed be inexplicable were it not that we know how sin blinds, and how sin fills us with such prejudice that we cannot see. The crime today is that people are sitting in judgment, not only on the Scriptures, but also on the Lord of the Scriptures! They say that He was wrong i
n His belief in the Old Testament and that He was a child of His age. They do not hesitate to say that he was wrong in certain claims which He made for Himself. People who speak thus abandon all authoritative utterance, for there is no alternative. The supreme and only authority is the One who is the Son of God and who has come out of the eternal bosom. He was with God. He has looked into the face of God. And He has come on earth and He has revealed God. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he that declared him (John 1:18). And what do we know apart from this revelation?

This is the beginning of the matter, the foundation, the base minimum, the absolute. We either take everything from this, or we have no authority at all. You either submit completely to it, or else one man’s opinion is as good as another’s and that means that you have no authority at all. Before you can ever succeed in girding your loins about with truth, you have to come to God’s Word as a little child, or, to use the stronger word that Paul uses, you have got to come to it as a fool. If any man seemeth to be wise in this world, he says, “let him become a fool that he may be wise (1 Corinthians 3:18); which means Let him say he knows nothing, let him say that his philosophy is of no value to him, let him agree that the world by wisdom knew not God and cannot know God, and that therefore he knows nothing, and is prepared to bend his knees and to look up and receive the divine revelation . . . If you want to be girt about with truth you have to come as a little child, acknowledging not only your weakness and insufficiency and inability and complete impotence; you have got to realize that the Spirit of God must work upon you and enlighten you and cleanse your understanding and give you an anointing before you can receive the revelation that God has graciously been pleased to give us.

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All emphasis is mine.

All excerpts for this post were quoted from:

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, An Exposition of Ephesians 6:10-20 The Christian Soldier, The Scripture of Truth, Baker Books, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1977, chapter 15, pp. 207-220.

About Adrian Warnock

Adrian Warnock is a medical doctor, a writer, and a member of Jubilee Church, London since 1995, where he serves as part of the leadership team alongside Tope Koleoso. Together they have written Hope Reborn - How to Become a Christian and Live for Jesus, published by Christian Focus. Adrian is also the author of Raised With Christ - How The Resurrection Changes Everything, published by Crossway. Read more about Adrian Warnock or connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

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