Sola Scriptura

Date: 10/26/2014
More audio from All Saints Church
Type: Sunday Sermon
Topic: Scripture
Organization: All Saints
Price: FREE

Sola Scriptura: The Scripture Alone is the Standard

The Bible’s Claim about the Bible’s Authority - For Thou hast magnified Thy word according to all Thy name. “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them; and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. And regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. (Psalm 138:2; John 17:17; II Tim. 3:14-17; 2 Peter 3:15–16)

Psalms 19:7 The law of the LORD YAHWEH is perfect, restoring the soul;

The Presuppositional Conception of the Necessity of the Bible’s Authority - “God identifies the Scriptures as his Word. And he himself, as he tells us, exists as an internally self-coherent being (Van Til DF, 205). “The Christian-theistic conception of an absolute God and an absolute Christ and an absolute Scripture go hand in hand. We cannot accept one without accepting the others” (VT CTE, 28). “No proof for this God and for the truth of his revelation in Scripture can be offered by an appeal to anything in human experience that has not itself received its light from the God whose existence and whose revelation it is supposed to prove (VT DF, 108-109). In other words, in the nature of the case, God’s Word must be true, given the character of God. We could not know this apart from His self-revelation; further, all the knowledge we claim presupposes (consciously or unconsciously) this foundational reality, since only the Christian worldview provides for the conditions for knowledge.

The Reformers Conclusion about the Bible’s Authority - Though the Roman Catholic The Council of Toledo (1229) put the Bible on the Index of Prohibited Books, the Reformers championed God’s written Word alone as our ultimate authority. From the days of the proto-Reformer, John Wycliffe (1320s-1384), there was a strong desire to turn away from Traditions (not found in Scripture) and go to the font of truth, God’s Word. One of the high water marks of the Reformed declaration of this truth was in 1521 at the historic interrogation of Luther at a city named Worms. He declared his conscience to be captive to the Word of God saying, “Unless I am overcome with testimonies from Scripture or with evident reasons — for I believe neither the Pope nor the Councils, since they have often erred and contradicted one another — I am overcome by the Scripture texts which I have adduced, and my conscience is bound by God’s Word. . . .  Here I stand.” The amazing story of the English Bible . . . . Coverdale's "Great Bible", called that because of its size, was published in 1539 and had over 21,000 copies printed in seven editions in only a single year. Working under the patronage of Thomas Cromwell, Coverdale had submitted his Bible via the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, and it was published with the authorization of King Henry VIII...

How should we then live?

1) Take a moment and give thanks to the Lord for the abundant way His Word has been translated and preserved for us in English.
2) What are some ways you could take better advantage of the Word of God readily available to you?
3) Timothy learned the Scriptures from childhood. Are there any children that you could influence to learn the Word? How could you be more influential to lead them?
4) If you believe that Scripture is the final authority for faith and life, what are some rivals to its practical authority to speak in your life? (Like too much time listening to the world through TV, radio, news, etc.)

 

Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more