Saturday, 8 October 2011

What Does It Mean For The Scriptures To Be Sufficient? By Tim Stranske

Thanks for the question. A very short answer comes from II Peter 1:3. He has granted us all things that pertain to life and godliness. At the end of the section in verse 10 Peter says"For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." So Scripture tells us everything that we need to know to walk pleasing to God and enter into heaven. II Timothy 3:16-17 says something similar when it tells us that Scripture is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness, and then goes on to tell us that it will leave us equipped for every good work. 
We might at first think that a passage like this focuses Scripture on the religious, without making claims on the rest of life or thought. However, in telling us how to live in a way that pleases God, Scripture ends up speaking to many areas that might not appear to many to be religious. Psychology sometimes claims to have an understanding of men's nature and motives for action, and therefore also a strong claim to speak about how we should evaluate the actions of others. However, Scripture makes claims about these things that supersede what psychology claims, because we need to believe what Scripture says in order to please God. When the question arises whether humans are naturally good or not, Scripture gives us the answer in Romans 3. If we believe something different, then I John 1 tells us that the truth isn't in us. We could find many other examples of evaluating people's behavior where we would have to chose between a psychological and biblical explanation, and we can be confident that Scripture provides us an answer we can be sure about. However, psychology also speaks to many things that Scripture doesn't clearly speak to and that don't appear to be necessary to pleasing God. As long as we Scripture as our certain source of truth, we may gain much benefit from studying psychology.

I like the summary applications in Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology:

1. The sufficiency of Scripture should encourage us as we try to discover what God would have us to think (about a particular doctrinal issue) or to do (in a particular situation. We should be encouraged that everything God wants to teach us about that question is to be found in Scripture. This does not mean that the Bible answers all questions that we might think up, for "The secret things belong to the Lord our God." But it does mean that when we are facing a problem of genuine importance to our Christian life, we can approach Scripture with the confidence that from it God will provide us with guidance for that problem.

2. The sufficiency of Scripture reminds us that we are to add nothing to Scripture, and that we are to consider no other writings of equal importance with Scripture.

3. The sufficiency of Scripture tells us that God does not require us to believe anything about himself or his redemptive work not found in Scripture.

4. The sufficiency of Scripture shows us that no modern revelations from God are to be placed on a level equal to Scripture in authority. 

5. With regard to living the Christian life, the sufficiency of Scripture reminds us that nothing is sin that is not forbidden in Scripture either explicitly or by implication.

6. The sufficiency of Scripture also tells us that nothing is required of us by God that is not commanded in Scripture either explicitly or by implication.

7. The sufficiency of Scripture reminds us that in our doctrinal and ethical teaching we should emphasize what Scripture emphasizes and be content with what God has told us in Scripture.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009


The 8th edition of the annual Lagos Bible Conference was held for 2 days, Friday 6th and Saturday 7th November, 2009. A total of 10 lectures were delivered by 8 lecturers to Pastors and friends who responded to the invitation sent out by word of mouth and A4 fliers. (The Lagos State Government ordered that the 12ft x 4ft Flexi banner announcing the conference be taken off the sites)

A total number of 200 pastors and friends attended in each of the 2 days.
This is the highest average attendance in the 8 years of the conference in Lagos.
The theme of the conference was “Earnestly Contend for the Faith” taken from Jude 3.
Pastor Chris Buss of the Metropolitan Tabernacle, London, UK, brought one message based on the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah was presented as an example to pastors and believers of how to stand up for the glory of God in a Christ denying environment like ours in Lagos, Nigeria. Nehemiah had a personal relationship with God which inspires and enhances in one, capabilities for both spiritual and human management. Nehemiah had a burden for suffering people and for the need to rebuild Jerusalem and the ruined temple of God in Jerusalem. Believers and particularly Pastors, need to desire and pray for the graces given to Nehemiah to labour for the Lord in our generation.
Pastor Joe Jacowitz of Christ Bible Church, St. Ramon, California, USA, brought 2 messages on the Gospel of the Glory of God. The Gospel being a received gospel must be transmitted to souls in its pure form, in total dependence on God the Holy Spirit, for the effectual deliverance of sinners and for the glory of God. All the elements of the gospel must be preached in love. And Pastor Joe brought out 10 elements of the gospel. (God, Sin, the Law, Vanity of Life, Heaven and Hell, New Birth, Grace, Repentance, Faith, Salvation in Christ).

Pastor Stanford Murrell, of Redeeming Grace Ministries, Micco, Florida, USA, brought 2 messages on the 2 pillars of the Reformation – Sola Scriptura and Solus Christus. The participants were challenged to see that the prevalent belief in 2009 of a “rapture” of believers and a withdrawal of the Holy Spirit from the world was a teaching from the kingdom of darkness and a departure from Sola Scriptura, and a return to the dark ages. From the response of many to this challenge, we are grateful to God for honouring His name in the Conference. Brother Stan proclaimed to all that Christ Jesus is the only Saviour, His is the only Sacrifice, He is the only Mediator. Indeed “burdens are lifted at Calvary”.

Pastor Paul Crossley of Tinshill Free Church, Leeds, England, UK, brought one message on witnessing: reminding all that personal witnessing remains a command to all in the church. All believers ought to be involved one way or another in the Great Commission in our immediate communities by personally witnessing.

Pastor Ani Ekpo of Christ’s Reformed Baptist Church, Port Harcourt, Nigeria, brought one message on Soli Deo Gloria, God’s glory alone, also tracing the historical foundation of the pillars of the Reformation. The practices in the church during the dark ages that led to the Reformation have come back into the Church in Nigeria, hence the need to emphasize the pillars of the Reformation that God used in reviving the Church. The Reformers lived and died for Scripture alone, Christ alone, Faith alone and Grace alone, because they saw that these principles gave all glory to God and none to man.

Pastor Abiodun Longe, the retired General Overseer of the Upper Room Baptist Church, Ketu-Lagos, who encountered Sovereign Grace Doctrines through reading and the television Ministry of Dr Peter Masters, brought one message on Sola Fide, Faith alone. The participants were challenged to re-think their stand on the grace of faith which is a gift from God, and never native in any individual outside of Christ Jesus, our Lord.

Pastor Femi Sonuga-Oye, fresh from London Theological Seminary, and an elder of Sovereign Grace Bible Church, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria, brought one message on the Doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints-that God is able to uphold all that God has saved. The ever present power of God will keep those He saves till the end. Saved ones will persevere in the faith, out of love for the Lord, who saved them, and for the sake of His glory.
The tenth message was brought by Pastor Tony Okoroh of Sovereign Grace Bible Church, Ikeja, Lagos Nigeria reminding participants of the Sovereign Grace of God expressed in the Doctrines of the Total depravity of man and the Unconditional election of sinners to salvation.

Books received from Metropolitan Tabernacle London, UK, and from Mount Zion Bible Church, Pensacola, Florida, USA were distributed free to many of the registered attendees. More stock of books are being expected from Port Harcourt to be distributed later to registered participants. The stock arrived a bit late for the Lagos Conference. All that came received a free CD of Dr. Stanford Murrell’s written works. There were other CDs of recorded music and sermons from the USA given out to as many as registered for the conference.
We, in Lagos, Nigeria, testify to the goodness of God in the many ways things were provided for the conference.

The venue was offered free by the Shepherdhill Baptist Church, Obanikoro, Lagos, whose Pastor, Rev. Israel Kristilere assisted greatly in word of mouth advertisement of the conference. Books and financial contributions came from friends, abroad and local. Indeed our God is faithful. We look to Him to bless the words spoken and distributed.

We have endeavored to defend and protect the faith “once for all delivered unto the saints”. The battle is His. Ours is to abide and be strong in Him, and in the power of His might.

EGYPT: Christians Persecuted

Please Pray

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Little Daddy

What do you make of this?

Though those who removed the landmarks of God's grace are now talking about the unfathomable decay in the society not minding the fact that sin is a reproach to any nation. Britain and many other nations (Nigeria not exempted) are reaping whirlwind of corruption they have sown through weird and anti-God policies.

Yet no nation can tell (preach) Britain that it has abandoned the God they preached to the world years back, especially if you are from the other side of the divide because you are likely to get a response such as your country or continent needs God more than the Brits do; besides how much of the gospel do you know anyway, if not a cap in hand gospel.

That nation is dying at an alarming rate, strangely some console themselves with false promise of coming revival, but are lackadaisical towards evangelism, preaching ecumenical peace when there is no peace. Ignobly Churches are trudging on for years without pastors; they'd rather the status quo was maitained than to have foreigners speak to them (this is not to say there are no foreigners preaching there).

Sin is no longer an issue because it depends on what you consider as sin, the Church is more than careful to preach about sin otherwise you will be labelled a bigot, holier than thou, hate preacher etc. But the Bible says don't be deceived God is not mocked, what a man sows, he will surely reap. This is not limited to Britain or western world, we also have such cases, but we are too perplexed with misrule to think of this evil, a clear case of disobedience to God's law and warm embrace of lawlessness.

Read Lev. 26: 14-34 and see how God deals with nations; to conclude that the law was given to Israel only, is to be ignorant of the fact that Israel was meant to show the world an example of how to live a godly life, however, to avoid subjective interpretation of the natural law in human conscience,  it became codified as  written law for all mankind .

What do we do? if this tingles your ear, it is not a time to say I reject this for my children, IT IS A TIME TO PLEAD FOR GOD'S MERCIFUL INTERVENTION TO STEM THE TIDE OF LAWLESSNESS and not to leave us to a reprobate (self destruct) mind

Debate over boy dad, 13

Debate over boy dad, 13
© ITN 2009
A boy who became a father aged 13 has provoked a fierce political debate over the high rate of teenage pregnancies in the UK.
The case of baby-faced Alfie Patten - who was aged just 12 when the baby was conceived - exemplified the "complete collapse" of parts of society, it has been claimed.
Conservative leader David Cameron said it showed a worrying trend of "children having children" that had to be stopped, while Children's Secretary Ed Balls said it was "an awful case".
The furore was sparked after Alfie and 15-year-old Chantelle Steadman brought Maisie Roxanne into the world at the Eastbourne District General Hospital, East Sussex.
The UK has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Western Europe, but figures show the number of conceptions among under-16s fell by 1,000 in 2006 to 7,826, compared to ten years earlier.
Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, who runs the Centre for Social Justice think tank, said the birth highlighted another case of "broken Britain" where "anything goes".
He said: "It's not being accusative, it's about pointing out the complete collapse in some parts of society of any sense of what's right and wrong.
"There is no opprobrium any more about behaviour and quite often children witness behaviour that's aggressive, violent, rude and sexual. It's as if no-one is saying this is wrong."
Prime Minister Gordon Brown did not comment directly on the case but said "all of us would want to avoid teenage pregnancies".
Mr Cameron said: "It is really worrying that in our country today you've got children having children.
"Obviously we all hope that these very, very young children will grow up and be good parents, but frankly parenthood isn't something that they should have been thinking about. That's what's gone wrong and we've got to put it right."
Mr Balls said: "It's just an awful case. It's unusual, it's very rare, but you look at that young lad being a dad when he is so young - and also the teenage girl - and you think it's not right, this looks so terrible. It has got to be sorted out.
"I want those kids to be safe and also the young child as well, and I want us to do everything we can as a society to make sure we keep teenage pregnancies coming down."
"I think like most parents, like most people, I saw that photo today and I was appalled. It's just not right."
Eastbourne Tory MP Nigel Waterson said the birth raised "huge" questions about sex education and the sexualisation of British society.
East Sussex County Council said the teenage parents would be supported with intensive monitoring and health visitor support

Friday, 19 December 2008

Annual Report

Dear members and friends of Sovereign Grace Bible Church.

As we end 2008, join me in thanking God for His faithfulness and loving kindness.
He has kept us, in our journey to heaven, drinking from Ephesians 3: 14-21, especially from the words in verses 16 to 19. “That He would grant (each of us) according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in (each of our hearts) by faith that (we), being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that (we) might be filled with all the fullness of God.”

The need to know the love of Christ and be filled with all the fullness of God was our main theme and desire in our sermons in 2008.
The 2008 Bible Conference in Lagos and Port Harcourt in the providential disposition of God re-emphasized this need, that we stay in the gift of the love of Christ and wait for the fulfillment, in each of us, of His promise, to fill us with all the fullness of God.

In the New Year, 2009, we shall endeavour to continue to remind us all of the need to maintain the love of Christ, as God wills and directs. Please pray that faith may arise in us all, as God is gracious to us, that we may show in whatever sphere of work we are engaged in, that Christ Jesus lives in each of us by faith. May we disperse in our surroundings the fragrance of Christ Jesus, Our Lord. Amen.


Blessed Children Ministry: Sister Ori and Pastor Tony came back from the 2008 School of Theology at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in the UK with the conviction that collecting children is key in the ministry to children in Ikeja. Members have recently begun to go out to register the children to be gathered. On the first going out to register children, 18 names (between ages 4 and 12) were registered. And this from just 4 streets in the Anifowoshe, Ikeja urban area. How the Lord had gone before us in this, is manifest.

We hope to register more in 2009 and gather them. We do face a peculiar problem, which is that many of the children aged 5-9 or more, cannot read or write; some of them are not attending school due to poverty. Please pray for patience and diligence for our teachers who have to combine teaching Bible Knowledge with teaching reading and writing skills, to see these children read the Bible by themselves. Please pray that the Lord would send our way, committed members to help the 3 teachers, who do the gathering and teaching for now. Thank the Lord for the resources of schemes of work, curricular and other teaching aids received from the London Metropolitan Tabernacle and Mount Zion Bible Church Pensacola, USA and gifts for children from Pastor Stan Murrell of Redeeming Grace Ministry, USA.

Christ Pastor’s Seminary: 20 students have been taking courses since 2007. They have all gone through Church History (from AD33 to AD1517), Methods of Bible Study (1 and 2) using materials from Mount Zion Bible Institute. The seminary launched in Nov 2006, was to be a CD configured seminary with on-line responses. But due to the state of public electricity and poverty in Nigeria, many do not have access to PCs. Courses continue to be given out in books/booklets, from Mount Zion.

In 2009, courses would continue to be given out using materials from Mount Zion. In the first quarter, it is planned that students would do “New Testament Survey” and a course on “The Great Tribulation”. In addition to private studies each student would be expected to read and summarize 2 books from Metropolitan Tabernacle. Peter Masters “Do we have a policy” and “Unlocking the Ten commandments”. Also, each month, during the meeting time, class lectures would be given on Pastoral Theology for the first half of the year (4 Lectures).

Please pray that God would give the gift of repentance to these many Pastors whose base is the Bible plus other unbiblical ideas. May God grant that they remain teachable and be given ability to drop erroneous practices. Pray that the mentors would be sensitive to what the Lord has begun doing in the lives and ministries of these students and that there would be the compassion and resources to dish out requisite “messes” as God would direct, to as many as have received our witness. Genesis 43:34.

Eldership: Please join us in thanking the Lord for guiding the membership of Sovereign Grace Bible Church to nominate Femi Sonuga-Oye, to the eldership of the Church, which, since we were organized in 2002, has yet, only 1 Elder. Brother Femi is at this time, away studying at the London Theological Seminary, and God willing, will begin ministry work among us after his graduation in June 2009. Brother Femi joined the church in 2004/2005 and has ministered among us before going to the UK for further studies. God willing, Femi’s ordination to full-time gospel ministry would be in November 2009. Please pray for Bro. Femi and for his ministry in the church, to be approved of God with much fruitfulness.

Community Evangelism: In 2008 we knocked on as many doors as were in the houses visited in our evangelistic efforts, most Saturdays, from Anifowoshe Community is a typical urban slum of an underdeveloped country. Most houses have shops and ware kiosks lining the streets, but housing families inside. Most rooms have on the average 6 persons per family made up of 70% children.

Please pray, that we be faithful in our witness to this community, to the sufficiency we have in our Lord Jesus Christ. Pray that the Lord would be gracious to us, in granting that many would see Him, as sovereign Lord to be revered and depended upon. We minister among many trapped in the teaching of salvation by own works; many who believe that Pastors can get, on their behalf, solutions, to problems of poverty, disease, unemployment, etc.

Ministry to the brethren: Please pray that God may restrain Satan from using Lagos urbanization difficulties to hinder our brethren in SGBC, from the constant use of the means of grace. Pray that, in it all, the Lord’s longsuffering grace and patience would abound to us for repentance and steadfastness in the faith.
Personal: I look forward to having my wife join me fully from January in the ministry especially to children and to women in Anifowoshe Ikeja. She is resigning from a teaching job she has kept these many years. She had kept the job to help with the payment of bills. As she resigns, we look to God to meet all our needs.

I also look forward to having Bro. Femi join fully in the work after his graduation in June 2009.
Please pray for me, for fruitfulness in the power of the Holy Spirit. Much self shows up in the work especially in the lack of patience with the brethren.

I desire the mind that was in Christ Jesus in ministry, the one that was also in Joseph the son of Jacob; while in Potiphar’s house. Please pray.

And may God hear you and answer you and bless you in 2009.

In His matchless grace ,
Tony Okoroh