Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Solas of the Reformation: Sola Scriptura- Jesus Speaks!

Understanding the doctrine of Sola Scriptura is one of the best things that ever happened to my understanding of God's mercy and gifts to us.  First, Sola Scriptura does not mean "just the Bible and me."  This is the idea that many people have regarding this truth.  But if you really read the Bible and believe what God has revealed there, then it is apparent that it is not just "the Bible and me," it is much more.  Also, we stand on the shoulders of over 2000 years of Christians who have gone before us - they have taught, discerned, established creeds and confessions (or summaries of Christian doctrine) that hold true to Scripture - they have done a lot of heavy lifting for us, we don't have to reinvent the wheel of Biblical orthodox theology with every generation.  As a matter of fact, we are more likely to make all the same heretical errors that past generations did if we neglect the teachings of the Church fathers.

What Sola Scriptura does teach us is that the Bible alone is our final authority for truth.  The Scriptures are a truly amazing revelation of God - He speaks to us through His Word.  He uses His Word to draw us to Himself.  Through His Word we can hear the very voice of Jesus speaking to us.  Using His Word, God confirms and strengthens our faith as we hear from Him.   As Luther said, all of Scripture points to Christ, and as God's anointed Messiah is revealed through His Word He draws us and redeems us.  I thought I had  a high view of Scripture until now - God's Word preached, taught, or studied is the very voice of God.  Wow.  So when someone says "God told me this" or "I feel like God..."  I now think where is it in Scripture?  You feel?  So what?  I don't want to hear about a preacher's family or his personal opinion or some secret knowledge he thinks God told him, or about how to have my best life - I want to hear the voice of God, His Word telling me about Christ crucified for my sins.

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