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                          "THE GOSPEL OF JOHN"

             The Insufficiency Of The Scriptures (5:37-40)

INTRODUCTION

1. The all-sufficiency of the Scriptures is an important doctrine...
   a. For the Scriptures are completely adequate - 2Ti 3:16-17
   b. God has provided all that we need for life and godliness - 2 Pe
      1:3
   c. We do not need further revelation, we have the faith delivered
      "once for all" to the saints - Jude 3
   -- Thus we have that which is able to build us up and give us our
      inheritance - Ac 20:32

2. Yet there can come a time... when the Scriptures are insufficient...
   a. When despite its power, the Word of God is unable to save
   b. When despite diligent study, it does not benefit those who search
      through it
   -- There can be a time when the Scriptures are insufficient!

3. We find such an occasion in the gospel of John...
   a. When Jesus was confronted by unbelieving Jews - cf. Jn 5:16-18
   b. Who had rejected various sources bearing witness to Jesus - cf. Jn
      5:33-36

[In what serves as our text (Jn 5:37-40), we learn when and how the
Scriptures can be insufficient, as it proved to be in the case of the
Jews...]

I. HOW THE SCRIPTURES PROVED INSUFFICIENT FOR THE JEWS

   A. THEY DILIGENTLY SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES...
      1. As indicated in our text - Jn 5:39
         a. The KJV has Jesus commanding them to search the Scriptures
         b. The ASV, NKJV, NASB has Jesus acknowledging their study of
            the Scriptures
         c. "The form here can be either present active indicative
            second person plural or the present active imperative second
            person plural. Only the context can decide. Either makes
            sense here, but the reason given 'because ye think' (clearly
            indicative), supports the indicative rather than the
            imperative." - Robertson's Word Pictures
      2. The Jews were diligent students of the Scriptures
         a. Moses was read in the synagogues every Sabbath - cf. Ac 15:
            21
         b. "Hillel used to say, 'More law, more life...He who has
            gotten himself words of law has gotten himself the life of
            the world to come' (Talmud). In their zeal for the
            Scriptures the Jews had counted every letter of them,
            expecting to find life in the laws and precepts..."
            - McGarvey's Fourfold Gospel
      -- One could hardly be a more diligent student of the Scriptures
         than the Jews!

   B. YET THE SCRIPTURES DID NOT BENEFIT THEM...
      1. They were unwilling to believe in Him of whom the Scriptures
         testified - Jn 5:39-40
      2. Failing to believe in Jesus led to the Father's Word not
         abiding in them - cf. Jn 5:38
      -- Unwilling to believe in Him of whom the Scriptures testified,
         the Scriptures proved insufficient to be the Word of life for
         them!

[How sad that many Jews who had the benefit of receiving "the oracles of
God" (Ro 3:1-2) and studied them so diligently fell short of receiving
their true benefit.  Yet the same occurs often today...]

II. HOW THE SCRIPTURES CAN BE INSUFFICIENT FOR US TODAY

   A. WE MAY BE DILIGENT STUDENTS OF THE SCRIPTURES...
      1. Indeed we should be diligent students of the Word!
         a. The gospel is God's power to save - Ro 1:16
         b. The Word of God is living and powerful - He 4:12
         c. The Word is able to save our souls - Jm 1:21
         d. The Word is able to make one born again - 1Pe 1:22
         e. The Word is able to help us grow - 1Pe 2:2
         f. The Word is able to give us that inheritance among those
            sanctified - Ac 20:32
      2. Many people are diligent students of the Word!
         a. Every denomination has its scholars, people well-versed in
            the Word
         b. People read the Bible daily, study it in church frequently
         c. Some can even quote entire sections from memory
      -- Many are like the Berean Jews in their study of the Scriptures
         - Ac 17:11

   B. YET THE SCRIPTURES WILL NOT BENEFIT US...
      1. If we do not have faith - He 4:1-2
         a. We may come short of our promised rest
         b. Like the Israelites who fell in the wilderness
      2. If we are not doers of the Word
         a. If we are only hearers, we deceive ourselves - Jm 1:21-25
         b. If we are only hearers, we will not stand in times of trial
            - Mt 7:24-27
      -- Unless we believe and obey the Word of God , it remains
         insufficient to save us!

CONCLUSION

1. The Word of God is truly all-sufficient..
   a. To do the work God designed it do - Isa 55:10-11
   b. To bear fruit in the noble and good heart - Lk 8:11,15

2. Yet "people of the Book" (as the Koran calls Jews and Christians)
   should take heed...
   a. The Word cannot bear fruit in some hearts - Lk 8:12-14
   b. We must let the Word lead us to Him Who is the giver of life - cf.
      Jn 5:40

Indeed, "the all-sufficiency of the Word" must be understood in its
context, for the Word alone does not save.  To be saved we also need
faith (Jn 8:24), we need blood (Ep 1:7), we even need water (Ep 5:26),
the last being an allusion to baptism where the Word, God's grace,
Christ's blood and our faith comes together to provide remission of
sins! - cf. Ac 2:38; 22:16
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