Posted by: Standing Solus Christus | October 19, 2006

Why it’s Sufficient

Today we continue our review of Article 7 of the Belgic Confession and we want to focus on why the canon of Scripture is sufficient.  As we’ve developed in previous entries, God has spoken in a progressive nature throughout history.  However, a point in time came when the fullness of time arrived and His special revelation reached its culmination.  This climax is reached in the incarnate Word, Jesus Christ. 

In his Institutes John Calvin very effectively explains this in the following:

But when the Wisdom of God was at length revealed in the flesh, that Wisdom heartily declared to us all that can be comprehended and ought to be pondered concerning the Heavenly Father by the human mind.  Now therefore, since Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, has shone, while before there was only dim light, we have the perfect radiance of divine truth, like the wonted brilliance of midday.  For truly the apostle meant to proclaim no common thing when he wrote, “In many and various ways God spoke of old to the fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has begun to speak to us through his beloved Son”  [Heb 1:1-2].  For Paul means, in fact, openly declares, that God will not speak hereafter as he did before, intermittently through some and through others; nor will he add prophecies to prophecies, or revelations to revelations.  Rather, he has so fulfilled all functions of teaching in his Son that we must regard this as the final and eternal testimony from him.  In this way this whole New Testament time, from the point that Christ appeared to us with the preaching of his gospel even to the Day of Judgment, is designated by “the last hour” [1 John 2:18], “the last time” [1 Tim 4:1;1 Peter 1:20], “the last days” [Acts 2:17; 2 Tim 3:1; 2 Peter 3:3].  This is done that, content with the perfection of Christ’s teaching, we may learn not to fashion anything new for ourselves beyond this or to admit anything contrived by others 4.8.7 (Emphasis Mine)

In Christ, we have the pinnacle of God’s special revelation that brings a kind of grand finale.  The progression of special revelation then comes to a climactic end with the completion of the New Testament written by the authorized agents specially commissioned by Christ Himself.  The New Testament encompasses the scope of Christ’s teaching that must be preserved for His Church for all time.  Once this is delivered, there is no longer a need for further information or a succession of the apostolic office. 

We should be satisfied with “final and eternal testimony from him” and not “fashion anything new for ourselves”.  Is the Church doing this now? 

In our next entry, we would like to further address why we should conclude that this apostolic office has ceased.


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