Sola Scriptura 18
“Did God actually say?” Since Genesis 3 unfolded with the subtle but seductive question spoken to Eve concerning the truthfulness of God’s Word, the world, the flesh, and the devil have attacked the authority of God’s spoken and written revelation. Throughout redemptive history, charlatans have endeavored to circumvent it, false teachers have sought to dismiss it, and heretics have perpetrated schemes to replace it, while many within the church just as soon ignore it.
These are they who comment that a passionate commitment to Sola Scriptura is much ado about nothing. “Sure, we believe the Bible, but let’s not go overboard about it. After all, God doesn’t expect us to adapt our lives to it! Or does He? After all, we have to be realistic!”
The battle regarding Sola Scriptura is a battle for truth; nothing more, nothing less, and nothing else. It is a most significant battle. It is a matter of life and death; eternal in both categories. It is a struggle which is as old as the beginning of time, but remains as contemporary as today’s headlines.
The modern age sees Martin Luther as a hero for standing up to the might of both pope and emperor with his famous trial at Worms: "Here I stand." Yet such admirers often forget that the German reformer was not inaugurating a new era of the enlightened and autonomous individual. We recognize that simply by noticing the basis for his lonely stand. After allowing that he could be refuted by Scripture, Luther declared, "My conscience is captive to the Word of God.... Here I stand. God help me." It was because he stood under the Word that Luther felt compelled to stand against the church of his day. (Modern Reformation 16:2).
Therefore, to what must the evangelical believer resolve?
- Resolve to continually recognize God’s sovereign direction through the Scriptures alone.
- Resolve to never compromise a commitment to Sola Scriptura regardless of the circumstances.
- Resolve to maintain a fervent and increasing knowledge of God’s Word, never being satisfied with one’s current expertise but always striving to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 4:24-25; 2 Peter 3:18).
- Resolve to always remember that the message contained in Sola Scriptura is what is most important and not the messenger.
- Resolve that Sola Scriptura is not only the church’s foundation for faith and practice, but also the only means of God’s grace (Romans 10:16).
- Resolve that Sola Scriptura must remain preeminent in any and all ministries.
The Word of God must captivate our consciences, as the Reformer’s were so captivated. Here we must stand. This is what we must do. May God help us to continue to stand against all who circumvent and compromise the truth of Sola Scriptura. May the Protestant Reformation’s enduring legacy continue to be our own. Soli deo Gloria