The Implications of Sola Scriptura

The Wednesday feature of the Worldly Saints blog is a Scriptural meditation whereby I take a verse or passage I have been pondering lately and seek to edify my readers with it’s promises, encouragements, warnings, rebukes, etc.

 

The Scripture is God’s written revelation. Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, all sixty-six books were given to individual human agents to be recorded (II Pet 1:20-21). The Holy Spirit superintended these human agents so that through their individual personalities and different styles of writing they would compose and record the Scripture for the benefit of all men.

Thus, every word in the Scripture – or as Jesus says “every jot and tittle” (Matt 5:18) – is inspired by God (II Tim 3:16). Every word on every page of Scripture is inerrant because it comes from a perfect, righteous, holy God. Every word from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 is perfect, unified and free of contradictions, because it comes from the God of truth.

BibleThis view of Scripture can be summarized with the phrase Sola Scriptura, which is a Latin phrase that means “Scripture Alone.”

Scripture is the basis for all our faith and practice. The Scriptures makes this claim for itself in a number of places (2 Timothy 3:15-4:4; Psalm 19:7-9; Psalm 119:1-176; 2 Peter 1:3-11).

One of the implications of Sola Scriptura is that the Bible is sufficient for what we do and how we do what we do. In other words, there are no substitutes for the Scripture; there is nothing that reigns supreme over the Scripture; and there is nothing that should be viewed as equal to the Scripture.

For example, at every church meeting or gathering, the Scripture should drive everything we do. It is the only infallible rule of faith and practice (I Cor 2:13; II Tim. 3:15-17; Heb 4:12; II Peter 1:20-21). Thus, we do not have to look to any source outside of Scripture for anything pertaining to godly living. As one apologist once wrote, “The Bible is sufficient in everything it addresses and it addresses everything.”

Another implication of Sola Scriptura is that the Scripture, because of its inerrancy and sufficiency, should be interpreted with a literal, grammatical-historical hermeneutic. In other words, when we look at or read the Scripture we are to interpret it literally. It is God’s desire to make His Scripture understood by mankind and thus He inspired it in such a way that we could interpret it simply and literally.

One more implication of Sola Scriptura is that while the Scripture could have several applications of any given passage of Scripture, there is but only one true interpretation. The truth of Scripture stands in judgment of men; men are never to stand in judgment of it.

The power of the Scripture is probably no clearer than David’s words in Psalm 19:7-10 –

The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure go they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.”

Scripture converts the hardened heart to one that is pliable towards God. Scripture arms the individual with discernment and the ability to detect good or evil. Scripture delights the soul and makes Christian service a happy experience. Scripture gives direction and wisdom when things seem confusing or uncertain. Scripture will never fade away and never change and never have to be updated. Scripture is incomparable to any other source.

 

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