I’m a sola scriptura kinda girl although that wasn’t the case for most of my Christian journey. If you aren’t familiar with the term, Sola scriptura is Latin for Scripture alone. It means that scripture is sufficient to equip the Christian in matters of faith and practice.

It wasn’t until I understood the doctrine of the sufficiency of scripture that my way of thinking drastically changed. More than that, it inspired a deep sense of appreciation for God’s word in me.

I decided to write about this doctrine because it’s an important tenet of the faith. Since it encourages the church to hold fast to the supremacy of the authority of scripture. 

Unfortunately, it’s severely undermined in the church today. that’s why I want to remind you why it’s important for you and me to uphold it.

[Sola Scriptura is defined as] the comprehensive and completed revelation of the will of God for us by which we can be thoroughly equipped for every good work… Such a complete, perfect, eternal, all-embracing, and all-sufficient revelation from God that it will never need amendment, correction, or supplementation.
Joe Morecraft

What is the Sufficiency of Scripture?

The sufficiency of scripture means that the sixty-six canonical books that constitute the Scriptures are all that a Christian needs to be prepared for a life of faith and service to God. 

This means that the Scriptures alone are enough to convey the Gospel, and no other texts are needed to prepare God’s people for a life of faith.

So where do we get an idea like this? In his second letter to Timothy, the Apostle Paul writes: 

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16‭-‬17 ESV

In other words, Paul is asserting that the Scriptures are sufficient in that they are the inspired, authoritative, and inerrant words of God that we require. 

Therefore, our sanctification, growth in righteousness, and conformity to Christ are all provided for in God’s word. We don’t require any more “special revelation” to live the Christian life properly.

A Psalm on the subject of the Sufficiency of the scripture is Psalm 19:7-11. These verses provide the most succinct yet profound testimony of the completeness and sufficiency of scripture. 

David calls the word of God perfect, reliable, right, pure, enlightening, true, and altogether righteous. By doing this, he illustrates how complete the Word of God is. He even goes ahead to add that it’s more to be desired than fine gold. 

This refutes the belief that God’s Word must be supplemented with extra-biblical knowledge to be effective.

Related: Why is the Bible considered the word of God?

What about Seeking God’s Will?

For a large portion of my life, I believed that to know God’s will for my life I needed to ask Him to reveal it to me through other supernatural means. I fervently prayed for a sign, an audible voice, a dream, a prophetic word, or something along those lines.

I wanted to know precisely which church I should attend, who I should marry, or which career path to take. And since Scripture doesn’t contain that kind of clear advice, I thought seeking answers outside the confines of Scripture was the right thing to do.

I know many Christians have found themselves in the same scenario. Usually, it’s out of the fear of making a mistake or missing out on God’s will. 

However, nowhere in the Bible has the Lord instructed us to seek His will in such a manner. Although scripture doesn’t cover every topic in detail, it enumerates for us the principles of God that can guide us when we are making any decision.

This means we are free to choose any path we wish provided it does not violate His word. So next time you wanna know God’s will about something remember this advice from Justin Peters, ” If you want to hear God speak, read your Bible. If you want to hear God speak audibly, read your Bible out loud.

We need to make peace with the fact that the Bible doesn’t necessarily tell us what we want to hear but what we need to hear. The Bible simply provides us with enough direction to live lives that are fully honoring the Lord.

I’ve discussed this in more detail in our blog post on Should Christians Look Outside the Bible to Discern God’s Will? Please feel free to check it out to learn more.

Threats to the sufficiency of Scripture

The sufficiency of scripture suffers many attacks. Those who reject it claim that the Bible and its teachings are insufficient for leading a Christian life. Sadly, many of them come from within the body of Christ. 

The church seems to find it necessary to supplement the Bible with new extra-biblical revelation, mysticism, worldly methods of attracting crowds, entertainment, and even psychology.

And yet no other revelation is to be viewed as being equal to or in competition with the Word of God. Even if it comes from a revered pastor, theologian, Bible teacher, or denomination. 

The fact is that we are not expected to come up with a new revelation. Rather, we are required to declare something old and timeless that Jesus and the apostles taught.

No matter how highly we esteem a preacher, Our standard of authority must be the Word of God
Justin Peters

In addition to this, the Bible sternly warns against adding or subtracting from scriptures:

You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you. Deuteronomy 4:2 ESV
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. Revelation 22:18‭-‬19 ESV

This means there is no need for more revelations, visions, prophetic insight, or subjective spiritual experiences, for a Christian to be equipped for godliness. Sadly, the church has placed these things on a pedestal while the Bible takes a back seat. 

But this isn’t new. Paul addresses a similar issue in the book of Colossians when the sufficiency of the Bible was questioned and combined with extra-biblical knowledge that was rife with error. He says this:

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. Colossians 2:8 ESV

When He wrote to the Galatians, he highlighted the gravity of presenting a doctrine that is not supported by the Bible in the following verses:

But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:8‭-‬9 ESV

Another verse in support of the sufficiency of Scripture is found in Jude:

Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. Jude 1:3 ESV

Note here that Jude uses the words “once for all”. Because by the time he was writing his epistle to the church the content of the faith had already been established in the early church.

Therefore this was an encouragement to fight against any teaching that was contrary to what had already been handed down to them. In other words, what had been delivered to them was enough.

Furthermore, the writer of Hebrews asserts that “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world” This means that God has spoken to us with finality through His son Jesus Christ who is the Word of God made flesh.

Additionally, the apostles, guided by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, taught us all that we need to know in the epistles. Providing a comprehensive guide for living a life of faith which points us again to the “once for all” faith that they entrusted to the Church.

Contrary to human beliefs, God’s Word is accurate and fully comprehensive. Believers don’t need to look for anything more than God’s wonderful revelation in His word. All we need to do is study and follow it. Scripture is enough.

I have covenanted with my Lord that He should not send me visions or dreams or even angels. I am content with this gift of the Scriptures, which teaches and supplies all that is necessary, both for this life and that which is to come. 
Martin Luther

However, this doesn’t discount the value of sermons, seeking advice from fellow Christians, commentaries, or Christian books. All of these can be very beneficial in understanding the Bible.

However, let’s not forget that while they may be useful, they are not infallible. That can only be said of the Holy Scriptures therefore, they should be subject to its authority.


The sufficiency of scripture is a conviction that should be deeply embedded in the heart of every Christian. 

The Christian only needs the Bible to comprehend the attributes of God and man, as well as the concepts of sin, heaven, hell, and salvation through Jesus Christ alone.

God has decided to completely reveal Himself through His word. Therefore, we should be confident in its authority and power to equip us to pursue a life of godliness.


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  1. avatar

    Yeees…and how will you know God without His own word?
    Well put out…thank you❤

    1. avatar
      Wanjiru Ng'ang'a says:

      You’re welcome Kut. I’m glad you agree.

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