The Protestant Reformation was a movement that changed the face of Christianity. Why, who, and how of this period is much too in depth to be covered by this devotional. If you are interested in reading more about it I can recommend a couple of books, but I want to concentrate on the outcome. I want to specifically look at the five solas of the Reformation; the five â€œonlysâ€. The first is sola scriptura, only Scripture is the standard. If we cannot get past this only, then the other four do not matter.
The ultimate authority in Christianity, and therefore the only true religion, is the Bible as set by the early church. When Martin Luther was questioned by the Diet of Worms, he declared that his conscience was driven by the Word of God. This is what began the Protestant Reformation.
But history alone is not enough evidence for many for history is manâ€™s recollection. Does the Bible make the case for sola scriptura? Indeed it does. Does it declare its trustworthiness? Absolutely! Letâ€™s take a look.
One excellent chapter in the Bible, the longest, is Psalm 119 and declares and delights in the the truth of Godâ€™s law, His Holy Word. For its authorship Psalm 119 declares:
â€œConcerning Your testimonies, I have known of old that You have founded them forever.â€ (Psalm 119:152)
For its timelessness Psalm 119 declares:
â€œForever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven.â€ (Psalm 119:89)
The Prophet Isaiah also declared the eternality of Godâ€™s Word:
â€œThe grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.â€ (Isaiah 40:8)
Did our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ have anything to say about the Bible? Indeed He did! In His Sermon on the Mount Jesus declared:
â€œFor assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.â€ (Matthew 5:18)
In the Olivet Discourse, Jesus declared:
â€œHeaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.â€ (Matthew 24:35)
Jesus declared the Bibleâ€™s completeness and its ceaselessness.
Okay, but you still have not made the case for the Bible being the only standard. I donâ€™t need to; the Bible already has:
â€œWhere there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.â€ (Proverbs 29:18 KJV)
Again the Prophet Isaiah gives testimony to the Bible as the standard:
â€œAnd when they say to you, â€˜Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,â€™ should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.â€ (Isaiah 8:19-20)
What did Jesus say about using the Bible as a standard. You can refuse it now as your standard, but it will be used to judge you on Judgment Day:
â€œHe who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges himâ€”the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.â€ (John 12:48)
But what about these extra teachings that come from certain denominations? How do we know they are not part of sola scriptura? The Apostle Paul clears that up for us:
â€œBut even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.â€ (Galatians 1:8)
The Bible is the only source we are to use as the ultimate authority. Any other is to be accursed.
Why? Because the Bible begins with â€œIn the beginning God…â€
We must accept God as the Bible declares because He is the only one worthy of our loyalty, obedience, and worship.
More on that tomorrow…
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Copyright Â© 2012 David Jeffers