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Monday

Sola Scriptura Continued

I am studying my way through the five solas that emerged from the Reformation.  I looked at some of the biblical basis for sola scriptura in this post and will finish up in this post.  I want to look at some of the other biblical support for this doctrine.  While these verses and passages may not explicitly spell out sola scriptura, much like the doctrine of the trinity, they are undoubtedly present.

Jesus Himself provides strong support for the sufficiency of scripture on more than one occasion.  The account of Jesus' temptation recorded in Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-13 both record Jesus resistance of Satan in the wilderness.  If ever there was a person who had the authority to appeal to an authority outside of the scriptures it was Christ.  He was, after all the Son of God and the Word made flesh.  Yet, even Jesus turns to scripture to refute the lies of His enemy. Even when Satan tested Jesus in regards to his position as God's Son, Jesus refutes him with scripture.

In Matthew 15:1-9 Jesus once again gives support to the idea of the supremacy of scripture over other forms of teaching.


Then some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, "Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread." And He answered and said to them, "Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?  "For God said, `HONOR  YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER,' and, `HE WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER IS TO BE  PUT TO DEATH.'  "But you say, `Whoever says to his father or mother, "Whatever I have that would help you has been given  to God,"  he is not to honor his father or his mother.'  And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition.  "You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you:


`THIS  PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS,
BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME.
`BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME,
TEACHING AS DOCTRINES  THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.' "


In the book of Acts we see again the elevation of scripture, this time above the teaching of an apostle of Jesus.

Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. -- Acts 17:11
Even upon receiving instruction from an apostle, in this case Paul, the Bereans still took the teachings they received and examined them to see if they were supported by scripture.  Luke says they were "more noble" for doing this than those that just took the teachings at face value.

Combining these scriptures with 2 Timothy 3:16 gives us a very complete teaching that scripture is to be our final and sufficient authority on all things concerning our faith and doctrine.  Why is it so important that sola scriptura be upheld?  The issue boils down to one of authority.  Who has the right to determine matters of our faith and doctrine?  How do we discern what is right when different people or institutions tell us contradictory things?

If we do not have an infallible, sufficient source of all things concerning faith and doctrine then we have no assurance that anything concerning God is knowable.  If our scriptures are prone to error and mistakes then we can have no hope in anything they teach us including what to do to become right with God.  If sola scriptura is not upheld, then there is no hope for any of us in matters concerning our relationship with the God who created anything.

Sola scriptura is the doctrine upon which every other doctrine rests.  It is nothing less than the perfect revelation of a perfect God to his imperfect creation.

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