Sola Scriptura: Scripture Our Only Foundation

October is the month to commemorate the Protestant Reformation, otherwise known as the Reformation. Zion has organised a series of lectures leading up to Reformation Sunday, which falls on the last Sunday of October.

Central to the Protestant Reformation, constituting a summary of the basic theological beliefs of the Protestant Reformation in contradistinction to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, the 5 Solae were the “battle cries” of the 16th Century Reformation Movement that broke out all across Europe. Many brave reformers stedfastly faced persecution, torture and even death standing on the sure truths behind these 5 statements of faith.

The 5 Solae include:

  • SOLA SCRIPTURA – by Scripture alone (Reform and Authority)
  • SOLO CHRISTO – through Christ alone (Reform and the Only Mediator)
  • SOLA GRACIA – by grace alone (Reform and the Way of Salvation)
  • SOLA FIDE – by faith alone (Reform and the Way of Salvation)
  • SOLI DEO GLORIA – Glory to God alone (Reform and the Purpose of It All)

In the Creche

That was J and E singing the closing hymn after Pastor Eddy’s sermon on Sola Scriptura today. J was thankful that he was able to focus his attention on the message despite all the activities that went on in the creche this morning. As for me, it was difficult to simultaneously concentrate on E as well as listening to the sermon.

Came home and dug out the sermon notes I have written previously. Thought it is good for me to share it here. I remembered I used to save these notes into a CD and gave them away to my friends for their edification.

Solus Scriptura: Scripture Our Only Foundation                                        16 Oct 2011

John 5.39-40                                                                                                            Pastor Steven Tan

Introduction

In John 5:1-18, Jesus just healed a paralytic man, on a Sabbath. The pharisees persecuted Jesus for that. And Jesus answered, my Father is always working. So the pharisees associated this as blasphemy.

The Bible is our only source because:

  1. Word of Life (John 5:39)

The Bible is like the manual to living life on Earth. Studying the Bible carefully will lead us in the right way of life – A life that belongs not to us, but to God, who is the One who gives us life. That is why we call Him our LORD. For the LORD our God is one LORD. (Deuteronomy 6:4)

I am convinced that no man could have contrived the content of the scriptures and the being of God. (Chacko Thomas BTN pg 42)

How do we know that the Bible is the word of God? After reading it, you will know for sure that it is indeed the word of God, because of all the obvious evidences in the Word. We were persuaded and assured of this fact because of the inward work of the Holy Spirit, bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts. (Westminster Confession of Faith)

  1. Points us to Jesus, speaks of Jesus (John 5:39)
    1. Jesus is our only Revelation (Luke 24:27), He came to reveal the truth to us. He taught us that everyone who came to this world can only choose one exit. Life or death. Jesus is also the only One who ushers us into Life.
    2. Jesus is our only Sacrifice. He has paid the price and is the only key for us to enter into Life (John 14:6, Revelations 1:18). Christ alone is sufficient to redeem us from the chains of sin. We ought not to dwell in our past, so that we may look forward and fix our eyes on what Jesus has done. It is finished! The work is done!
    3. Jesus is our only Mediator. He not only does all the above, He is our Great High Priest, who ever liveth to make intercession for us, so that we may be saved from the penalties of sin i.e. death (for the wages of sin is death, Romans 6:23) and come unto God through Jesus (Hebrews 7:22-28).

Story of auction of paintings – He who has the Son has everything.

As we allow Jesus to come into our hearts amidst of all that is happening around us, we will surely experience a peace that comforts us. Jesus is the perfect gift from Heaven.

  1. Confronts our will to obey

The Bible is not given to us for information sake; it is given to us for transformation sake. Very difficult to persuade non-believers, the sinner must be willing himself to turn around, to repent; he must first acknowledge that he was wrong.

In John 5:42-44, Jesus correctly points out that we don’t really love God. We have became too smart for our own good. We relied on technology and advances in this secular life that we neglect God in our lives. Jesus correctly points out that we are so self-absorbed, that through the honouring of one another, we feel good in ourselves, so we receive not Jesus, we are so ready to receive anyone or anything that serves us. We cannot bring our desires in line with the will of God, we cannot bring our will to obey God.

The Bible will help us to surrender our will to obey God. There is always a need to reform our lives because we always go astray! Semper Reformanda! (Always Reforming!)

Application: (2 Tim 3:15)

3 uses for food: for sustenance, nourishment, enjoyment

The Bible is our spiritual food. The Word of God is the Word of Life for us. Read it to digest it:

  1. Bible reading – cover more and more to see the general view of the scripture. Read the Bible everyday so that we may be wise unto salvation.
  2. Bible devotions – slow down to digest what God wants us to learn from His Word.
  3. Bible study – understanding how the Word of God can be applied to our lives.

Conclusion

The Bible stands for:

B asic
I nstructions
B efore
L eaving
E arth

Read it. Believe it. Obey it.

With this sharing, I’ll be sharing the other solae subsequently… For now, I’ll leave us with the following personal reflection questions to ponder upon…

Personal Reflection Questions:

  1. What would you suggest to someone who has read the Bible but did not find it meaningful?
  1. What can be done for those who “know the Bible from cover to cover” and they are not convinced that it will make any difference in their lives?
  1. If someone challenges the truthfulness of the Bible, how would you respond?
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