Is God’s Progressive Revelation Still Progressing?

Biblical Authority Devotional: Infallibility and Inerrancy of Scripture, Part 4

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The Scriptures must be seen as totally sufficient for all instruction in life.

Now therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. (Ephesians 2:19–20)

Today’s big question: is God’s progressive revelation still progressing?

There are two contractors in my family, and both are very good at what they do. I have often found myself thinking of how skilled they are as I walked around one of the homes they just completed. Sometimes I even had the opportunity of spending time helping them on a building site. Each of them would take particular care in the first part of building a home. They would carefully measure the correct depth for the foundations and ensure all the steel reinforcement was in just the right place before pouring concrete. Finally, after the last of the concrete was poured and smoothed over, we would stand and gaze over the construction slab. The slab was now set in stone, immoveable and finally ready for the house to be built upon it.

The church is very much like that house. In fact, Paul reminds us that we are the house of God in today’s verse (Ephesians 2:19–20). We should, however, pay particular attention to the foundation of that house. The foundation for the church is that of the apostles and prophets with Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. As we look at the Bible, we see this truth: the finality of Scripture is centered in apostolic authority (Luke 11:48–49). That is, the writers of the New Testament had either been direct witnesses of Jesus Christ as apostles or they had scribed or interpreted for those apostles.

All writers of the New Testament, from Matthew to Revelation, had unique apostolic witness of Jesus. Not only this, but the Scriptures themselves speak with finality. Nowhere in the Scripture do we find a reference to any progressive revelation coming in the future, and the book of Revelation gives us a very clear statement of finality in itself from the last apostle, John (Revelation 22:18). The final slab has been completed, and the depth of the foundation is great and solidly reinforced. It’s time to build the church.

We should think about what these verses tell us, not only about the finality of Scripture and the teaching on which the church is built but also what that means about the sufficiency of Scripture. If God has given us His perfect Word through the teaching of the prophets and the apostles (as the Bible clearly shows), and if this is now final because there is no further direct apostolic witness, then surely God has given us all we need. The Scriptures must be seen as totally sufficient for all instruction in life. It should therefore be no surprise that Paul also writes in 2 Timothy 3:16 that all Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness—equipping us for every good work. So, we should never look for more special revelation because we already have it.

Today’s big idea: our foundation in the prophets and apostles is full, final, and sufficient.

What to pray: ask God to help you trust Him at His Word and look for no other.

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