The Sufficiency of Scripture: Psalm 19:7–9

When accompanied by the ministry of the Holy Spirit, the Bible is entirely able to accomplish all that God desires to do upon the earth (Is 55:10–11). It is clearly seen in Psalm 19:7–9, where we find dix descriptions of His Word –– “perfect,” “sure,” “right,” “pure,” “clean,” “true” –– along with the effects produced in the one who receives it –– “restoring,” “making wise,” “rejoicing,” “enlightening,” and creating the “fear of the Lord.” These verses describe the many-faceted nature of the all-sufficient Scripture. 

1.  Restoring the Soul
Scripture is “perfect” –– that is, whole, complete, comprehensive, and sufficient. The effect of the Word, when explained and brought to bear upon one’s life, is seen in its supernatural ability, “restoring the soul” (Ps 19:7a). Scripture is so powerful, David writes, that it converts and transforms the entire inner person. This radical change works from the inside out, restoring man at the deepest level of his existence.

2.  Instructing the Simple
Scripture is represented as the “testimony of the Lord” (Ps 19:7b), meaning that it contains God’s outspoken witness to man. The Bible speaks frankly, openly, and directly. The Word is “sure,” indicating that is is absolutely reliable, trustworthy, unwavering, and immovable. The Scripture is always “making wise the simple.” In other words, it provides God-given insight to those whose understanding and judgement have not yet matured: “Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever mine. I have more insight than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my medication. I understand more than the aged, because I have observed Your precepts” (Ps 119: 98–100).

3.  Rejoicing the Heart
The Word is “right,” meaning that it makes known the right and proper path to take in life. Its effect is “rejoicing the heart,” producing great gladness (Ps 19:8a). The Scriptural truth is so all-sufficient that it even causes the fearful or depressed heart to be glad. It gives true happiness and lasting contentment, which only God can give.

4.  Enlightening the Eyes
These commands of the Lord are “pure,” meaning that they are illuminating. They make the dark things of life come to light, brining eternal realities into focus. Scripture gives light to those who are in darkness concerning the ways of God. The psalmist writes, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Ps 119:105). “I have chosen the faithful way; I have placed Your ordinances before me” (Ps 119:30). God guides His people by His light-giving Word.

5.  Enduring Forever
The law is “clean,” without any impurity, devoid of any flaw. Every facet of Scripture is “enduring forever,” meaning that it is permanent and eternal, lasting throughout time and ages to come. “Forever, O Lord, Your Word is settled in heaven” (Ps 119:89). “Of old I have known from Your testimonies that You have founded them forever” (Ps 119:152). “Every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting” (Ps 119:160).

6.  Righteous Altogether
Scripture is “righteous altogether,” containing the revelation of divine righteousness to man and producing righteousness in those who obey it: “Your righteousness is an everlasting, and Your law is truth” (Ps 119:142). The Scripture is right, speaks what is right, and produces what is right.

Psalm 19 is a clear picture into the reality of the sufficiency of Scripture. Showing us that it is sufficient for everything we need in this life as we are conformed to the image of Christ and grow in godliness. In this new year, take God’s Word into your mind and heart and allow it to transform you from the inside out.

Steven J. Lawson is the President of OnePassion Ministries. Dr. Lawson is also the Professor of Preaching at The Master’s Seminary and Teaching Fellow with Ligonier Ministries. The author of numerous books and articles.