I was scheduled to present a paper at the annual ETS meeting this year in Rhode Island, but again with a new wife and a new ministry, I do not really have the time or the finances to make the trip. But instead of wasting some great material from John Gill on the Sufficiency of the Scriptures, let me reproduce a brief exerpt from his sermon titled “The Scriptures: The Only Guide in Matters of Faith” (Preached at the Baptism of several persons in Barbican, November 2, 1750).
About the way of Salvation; if that is the affair the doubt is concerning, look up to the way-posts, look into the word of God, and read what that says; search the scriptures, for therein is the way of eternal life; life and immortality, or the way to an immortal life, is brought to light by the gospel. The scriptures, under a divine influence, and with a divine blessing, are able to make a man wise unto salvation, and they do point unto men the way of it: it is not the light of nature, nor the law of Moses, but the gospel-part of the scriptures which direct to this; there will shew you, that God saves and calls men with an holy calling, not according to their works, but according to his purpose and grace; that it is not by works of righteousness done by men, but according to the mercy of God, that men are saved; and that it is not by works, but by grace, lest men should boast (2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 3:5: Eph. 2:8,9). That it is a vain thing for men to expect salvation this way; that it is a dangerous one: such who encompass themselves with sparks of their own kindling shall lie down in sorrow: and that it is a very wicked thing; such sacrifice to their own net, and burn incense to their own drag. These will inform you that Christ is the way, the truth, and the life; that he is the only true way to eternal life; that there is salvation in him, and in no other: the language of them is, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved: these words, Salvation alone by Christ, salvation alone by Christ, are written as with a sunbeam on them; just as the way-posts, set up in places where two or more ways met, to direct the manslayer when he was fleeing to one of the cities of refuge from the avenger of blood, had written on them in very legible characters, refuge, refuge.
John Gill (1697-1771)