Students of Scripture are warned, “not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other” (1 Corinthians 4:6, NKJV). This sobering reminder, represented throughout God’s Word, serves as a regulator and brings clarity and comfort to our lives.
The Bible is singularly focused on leading men to God. The unchanging nature of God and Scripture stills man’s fears and provides a united way of salvation. Everyone today receives the same gospel message and is called to the same salvation. Neither has changed in nearly two thousand years. This unanimity brings solace and peace to a world confused by the attempted destruction of absolutes.
Scripture is complete, sufficient, and not in any need of alterations or additions (2 Timothy 3:16,17; Deuteronomy 4:2; Deuteronomy 12:32; Proverbs 30:6; Revelations 22:18,19). The prophet Jeremiah was told to stand before the nation of Israel and speak, “all the words that I command you to speak to them. Do not diminish a word” (Jeremiah 26:2). Paul wrote, “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8). Joshua was told to do “according to all that was written in” the Book of the Law (Joshua 1:8). At the end of Joshua, he was told, “Therefore be very courageous to keep and do all that is written in the book of the Law of Moses” (Joshua 26:3). Likewise, the prophet Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, whatever the Lord says to me, that I will speak” (1 Kings 22:14).
The proper respect for the Bible is exemplified by the attitudes of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does the works” (John 14:10). Later, in John 16:13 we find that the Holy Spirit also does not “speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak.” Knowing the Father as they do, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are warning us that God demands respect for his words.
Peter tells us that we have “all things that pertain to life and godliness” and that we have enough to “escape the corruption of the world” and “partake of His divine nature” (2 Peter 1:3,4).
Therefore, why do we need to wander in the silence of Scripture? If God has spoken, why do we need to go where his voice is not heard? Why would we need to seek other fields? God has not given us a puzzle to unravel. We need not fear that there is something else out there that will decide our eternal destiny; no hidden Scripture, no creeds nor man-made documents will decide our fate on judgment day. Only the Scriptures and our relationship to Jesus will be our judge. And that is certainly far more desirable than the fickle imaginations of men.
Paul’s admonition in 1 Corinthians 4:6 has an answer for why we need not wander beyond Scripture. By staying within the confines of Scripture we will not be “puffed up on behalf of one against the other” (1 Corinthians 4:6). Paul continues, “What do you possess that you have not received?” (1 Corinthians 4:7). When we are only judged on the words of Scripture that we all can possess equally, then no one can be haughty as the sole possessor of truth. Only God’s Word has that title.
A Deep Respect for God’s Word is Irreplaceable