Sola Scriptura: Scripture Alone
Series: The 5 Solas on the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation
Isa. 40:8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.
“Faith will start tottering if the authority of scripture is undermined.” Augustine
The Five Solas (alones) are slogans that came out of the Reformation that capture the essence of Christianity that was retrieved in the reformation. We’ve covered so far that we are saved by grace alone and that we receive this grace by faith alone. God’s word alone – The Bible alone is the final and decisive authority for God’s people.
The goal this morning is for us to go home more committed that we make our stand on what God has said.
Because you will stand or fall based on what you believe about the bible and how you respond to what it says. This will make or break your life. So where do you stand?
Where Jesus Stood:
What did Jesus believe about the Bible (Kevin DeYoung)
- Jesus held Scripture in the highest possible esteem. He knew his Bible intimately and loved it deeply. He often spoke with the language of Scripture. He easily alluded to Scripture. And in his moments of greatest trial and weakness—like being tempted by the devil or being killed on a cross—he quoted Scripture.
- His mission was to fulfill Scripture, and his teaching always upheld Scripture.
- He never disrespected, never disregarded, never disagreed with a single text of Scripture.
- He affirmed every bit of law, prophecy, narrative, and poetry. He shuddered to think of anyone anywhere violating, ignoring, or rejecting Scripture.
- Jesus believed in the inspiration of Scripture, down to the sentences, to the phrases, to the words, to the smallest letter, to the tiniest mark.
- He accepted the chronology, the miracles, and the authorial ascriptions as giving the straightforward facts of history.
- He believed in keeping the spirit of the law without ever minimizing the letter of the law. He affirmed the human authorship of Scripture while at the same time bearing witness to the ultimate divine authorship of the Scriptures.
- He treated the Bible as a necessary word, a sufficient word, a clear word, and the final word.
- It was never acceptable in his mind to contradict Scripture or stand above Scripture.
- He believed the Bible was all true, all edifying, all important, and all about him. He believed absolutely that the Bible was from God and was absolutely free from error. What Scripture says God says, and what God said was recorded infallibly in Scripture.
- Jesus submitted his will to the Scriptures, committed his brain to study the Scriptures, and humbled his heart to obey the Scriptures.
- In summary, it is impossible to revere the Scriptures more deeply or affirm them more completely than Jesus did. The Lord Jesus, God’s Son and our Savior, believed his Bible was the word of God down to the tiniest speck and that nothing in all those specks and in all those books in his Bible could ever be broken.
Where the Reformers Stood
- The Catholic Church’s view of Authority: Equal parts- The Bible, Church Tradition, The Magisterium.
- The controversy over The Selling of Indulgences
- Luther’s understanding: That “Scripture alone contains all things necessary for salvation, communicates them effectively, compels one’s conscience, determines doctrinal truth, and commands the church’s allegiance above all other earthly powers and authorities, including councils and popes.” Kevin VanHoozer Biblical Authority after Babel
The Bible at this time in history was not available to the common people and was not regularly preached.
Contributions of Wycliff, Erasmus, Tyndale, Luther in retrieving the Bible and restoring the preaching of God’s word to the Church.
LUTHER: “Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they often err and contradict themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. I cannot do otherwise, here I stand, may God help me, Amen.”
Where do we stand?
Doctrines of Scripture:
- The highest authority, so much that to believe and obey them is to believe and obey God himself and to disbelieve and disobey them is to disbelieve and disobey God himself.
- It is inerrant in the sense that all it affirms is true and it does not affirm anything that is contrary to the truth.
- It is clear enough to lead any person to know the grace of God who seeks Him with a humble heart.
- It is necessary for knowing the Good News, for maintaining spiritual life, and for knowing God’s will.
- It is sufficient in that it contains all that God intended for us to know in order to be saved, to trust Him fully, and to live a life of obedience.
Walk it Out:
So, where do you stand? How do you make decisions? On what authority do you base your life? What is the functional authority in your life? Is God’s word the final and highest authority in your life? If not, what is?
Take some time to look at the categories below and find scriptures that will help you make decisions. What does God’s Word say about:
- Your relationships - who to be friends with? What company to keep? Who to date? Marry? How do you decide what to do when things aren’t going well in a friendship? In a marriage?
- Your resources - How do you decide what to do with your life? Your time? Your free time? Your leisure? Hobbies? Your money? Your gifts and talents?
- Your convictions - When to go along with the crowd? When to stand against it? Where to live? Where to go to church? How to raise and disciple your children?
- Your character - are we fatalistic and think "we are who we are” - or does God’s word have anything to say about who we should be?
- Your priorities - how do you determine them? What’s the rubric you use?
- Your responses - If you have been hurt? Mistreated? Taken advantage of? How do you determine your response?