Sola Scripura {Scripture Alone}


Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the LORD. Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts. 
~Psalms 119:1-2, NLT


I have made a covenant with God that He sends me neither visions, dreams nor even angels. I am well satisfied with the gift of the Holy Scriptures, which give me abundant instruction and all that I need to know both for this life and the life to come.
~Martin Luther

The NRSV reads a little differently from the NLT...Happy are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord. Happy are those who keep his decrees, who seek him with their whole heart. The NIV and others translate the Hebrew word Asher {eh’·sher} as ‘blessed.’ You will recall that Jacob named one of his sons Asher {Happy}. There is overflowing delight for those who love, read, study and obey the Holy Scriptures. Martin Luther ignited a fire on April 18, 1521 when he stood before the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire {Charles V} and refused to recant his writings. Luther said, “Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason, for I do not trust either in the pope or in the church councils, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradict themselves, I am bound to the scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. I cannot do otherwise, here I stand God help me. Amen!”

No church decision or council is to take precedence over the infallible word of God. Everything and everyone must bow to the authority of scripture. You either believe in the sole authority of scripture or you don’t; there is no gray area. My faith was challenged during my sophomore year in college when a liberal professor began to critically undermine the integrity of scripture. He said the flood was a myth and the Israelites did not cross the Red Sea, it was the Reed Sea which is a bog or mud flat. I was ignorant to ask him how an entire army drown in mud. I also had an uncle who was trying to influence me to lean toward higher criticism as the liberals call it. I was only 19 years old but I got alone with God and had a long discussion. I made this decision: “Lord, there are things in Your word that I don’t understand. I cannot give a sound or reasonable answer to some of the questions these intellects are throwing at me but rather than trust them, I choose to trust YOU and I am going to preach Your word as Your word. I will preach what I understand and wait for guidance on the rest.” This happen almost 50 years ago and I have never looked back, never regretted this decision, not even once. I have a lot of regrets but the decision to accept the bible as God’s infallible word is not one of them. John Wycliffe, the morning star of the reformation, was a professor at Oxford University. He was also a theologian and a preacher. He put together a team of preachers called “Lollards” and sent them throughout England preaching the word. Wycliffe believed  scripture was living and powerful, he referred to God’s word as DIVINE SEED. I am in full agreement with Wycliffe: God’s word is seed {life}; it is precious seed, perfect seed and potent seed. It is our responsibility to sow the seed, only God can produce the growth.

Bible Study is popular these days especially among the women. We have to be careful about Bible Study. Obedience, not knowledge, is the first principle of pleasing God. The Jewish religious leaders had a head full of knowledge but they lived in perpetual disobedience. You will notice the heavy emphasis on obedience in Psalm 119:1-8. Paul warned the Corinthians that “Knowledge puffs up.” When we pursue knowledge apart from obedience, we are following the example of Eve. The word puffs means to inflate, to blow up or to swell up. Knowledge apart from obedience causes us to become arrogant, self-righteous and prideful which cripples us when it comes to missions, ministry and evangelism. I will take obedience over knowledge any day. Note the synonyms for Scripture in Psalm 119: Law, Statues, Precepts, Commands, and Ordinances [Judgments].

  • The Law is “Instruction” or directions on how to live. What do we do with instructions? We follow them as a guide.
  • Statues is derived from the root word “to bear witness.” Statues are the things we have learned to do because to do otherwise brings failure and unhappiness.
  • Precepts are not deep insights as some believe, precepts are injunctions. An injunction usually comes from a judge, it is an authoritative warning or order; a ruling, a directive, a command or clear instruction.
  • Commands are imperatives. A command is not an option.
  • Ordinances or Judgments represent Judicial decisions that constitute a precedence. The Ten Commandments would be a good example.

Do you see the emphasis on obedience, five of the six words above imply obedience. Every church I have visited lately is having problems with Sunday School attendance. The problem is that Sunday School as an organization has crystallized. We sit and talk about God’s word but we never obey. We know to minister but we don’t. We know we are to share the gospel but we don’t. We know far more than we do and yet our desire is to know more. This do nothing process breeds death. Your bible study class needs a project. God blessed obedience, not brilliance. He doesn’t care how much you know, He is interested in how much you care. Vance Havner once said, “The worse thing that can happen to a new convert is for them to run into a bible scholar.”

Check Out This Choir

  • Psalm 119, which contains 176 verses, is longer than many books of the bible. Jonah has 48 verses, Ruth has 85, Obidiah 21, and Micah 105. These are just a few, there are many others.
  • Psalm 119 is an acrostic poem. In the Hebrew it rhymes. The acrostic is of the Hebrew alphabet which has 22 letters instead of 26 like English. No one knows who wrote Psalm 119…Dr. Wiersbe believes it was Jeremiah. He has some very good reasons to support his conclusion.
  • As I was driving to Jacks for gravy and biscuit, I tuned into the David Webb show. I couldn’t believe my ears, the liberals protested a statue of Christopher Columbus. Their logic, he demeaned native Americans by calling them Indians. I’m sorry folks, liberals are idiots. Besides Columbus was a democrat: when he sat sail, he had no idea where he was going, when he got there, he didn’t know where he was at and the government paid for all of it. Just kidding, Columbus was a Christian. Check out Jack’s gravy and biscuit, it is good!
  • David Leonhardt did a study. He learned that the hippies of the 60’s, those who believed in “Flower Power” and “Make love not war,” voted for Ronald Reagan in mass. Someone asked him, “How is it that these young liberal changed their views so dramatically in two decades?” His answer, “They grew up.” Sadly some grow old without growing up.

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