Sola Scriptura

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The principle of sola scriptura (Sounds like Solely scripture, right? Right. It means “scripture alone”) is that the Bible has all the information needed for salvation and holiness. Done. Over. No other book is required for our understanding of God. We should only be interested in those things that are either directly written in the Bible, or logically derived from what’s in there without somebody else adding a little on the way.

Now, the idea of sola scriptura comes with sub-headings, things that are included when you are talking about sola scriptura.  As follows: inspiration, divine authority, clarity, efficacy, and sufficiency.

‘Inspiration’ means about what you’d think it’d mean: the Bible was completely inspired by God. If someone translates it dishonestly to say what they want it to say, okay that’s not inspired anymore. Assuming, however, that they are translating what was originally written truthfully, the Word is the Word of God.

‘Divine authority’ is similar: we need to take every word of the Bible and read it, believe in it, live it like it were the Word of God, because it is. Yes, some bits are metaphorical and some are parable, but each. word. is. Him.

Clarity! This one is fun, hard to believe sometimes, and absolutely, totally, wonderfully true. The Bible is clear. It is freely accessible to you, barring any special needs you might have. If you are an ordinary person, approaching the Word with faith and humility, speaking the correct language (miraculous though Bible reading may be, I can recommend not trying to read it in Chinese), you will be able to get what the Bible is getting at. The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. It is very near to you.

‘Efficacy’ is the one with a weird name. I had to read a bunch about it, and I still don’t know why the Naming Committee called it efficacy, but what they mean here is that scripture creates a need for more scripture: that this book is NOT “just a book,” and that the reading of these words changes the minds and souls of the people reading them. Part of that change is a hunger for more Scripture.

Last, but not least, ‘sufficiency’: Scripture is complete all by itself, lacking nothing. You don’t have to add stuff to make it whole. It is enough for every good work.

So, what do you think about these ideas? Don’t ask your heart, ask your Bible:

Deut 29:29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

Isa 55:11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

1 Cor 4:6 I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another.

Luke 21:33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Ps 119:130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.

Published in: on October 1, 2013 at 1:22 pm  Comments (1)  

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