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Sola Scriptura

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How important is it that we hold to Sola Scriptura? Scripture alone is the rule of faith and life for the Christian.

Intro

Sola Scriptura
500 anniversary of the Reformation
Reformation is nothing new to the church. Israel was known for their continued reform. They would get comfortable and fall back on their Worship of God, their obedience to God, and would turn from Him.
And, many times in the OT we see them reform, or turn back to God with an oath.
Illus:
King Asa and his reform in 2 Chronicles 15
Azariah - “Filled with the Holy Spirit” and went to Asa
Gave him the Word of the Lord
2 Chronicles 15:2 ESV
and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: The Lord is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.
Asa turned from their idolatrous ways
They gathered together and swore an oath to God
They reformed
2 Chronicles 15:12–15 ESV
And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and with all their soul, but that whoever would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether young or old, man or woman. They swore an oath to the Lord with a loud voice and with shouting and with trumpets and with horns. And all Judah rejoiced over the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and had sought him with their whole desire, and he was found by them, and the Lord gave them rest all around.
2 Chron 15:
What was it that reformed them?
It was the Word of God.
The Word of God is essential for reform.
John must have known the importance of his witness and how it would be used to change men’s hearts.

Drama

John signs off on his gospel
John knew the consequences for
false Witness
Breaking of the ninth commandment
Exodus 20:16 ESV
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Sanctity of an oath before God
Numbers 30:2 ESV
If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.
“We” know that this testimony is true
Some believe this means that others n the Johannine community helped put this gospel together and so all of the editors are credited here.
Some believe this is an added editorial by another that attests to John’s work
As if John’s witness were not enough
I believe it simply is John’s way of speaking about himself
The beloved disciple - third person
He now moves to the First person plural
Plural as I believe he intends to include all who believe
much like he does in his epistles.
1 John 3:2 ESV
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
3 John 12 ESV
Demetrius has received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself. We also add our testimony, and you know that our testimony is true.
He then goes on to say something profound about Jesus
That much more could be written about Him
He attempts to show that his witness is true yet not exhaustive
That the works of Jesus could not all fit into written form.
Not the limited 3 years of Jesus ministry
Jesus in creation
Jesus in the OT
Burning Bush
Wrestling with Jacob
Jesus in the lives of every man
Every elect man has a story of Jesus
These works alone would take up many books
Jesus in the work of King and protector of His people/the bride/ the church
John teaches us that God’s Word is the chosen method for witnessing about God and bringing men to faith in Jesus Christ

VI. The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set down in scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men.

Doctrine

We as Christians believe that it is Scripture alone that provides our ultimate authority
This is an important doctrine to know and be reminded of lest we fall back into depending on other authorities
The reformation against Rome was against the addition to Scripture - tradition and Magisterium
Mike Kruger rightly says:
The key component in this trifold authority was the Magisterium itself, which is the authoritative teaching office of the Roman Catholic Church, manifested primarily in the pope. Because the pope was considered the successor of the Apostle Peter, his official pronouncements (ex cathedra) were regarded as the very words of God Himself.
It was at this point that the Reformers stood their ground.
The Word of God is our rule of faith and life WCF 1. II
It is to be believed because it is the witness of real mean in real time and space
Inspired Word of God given to real men
This is not a mystical book that fell from the sky
It is to be believed because it is how God reveals himself to us
Illus: Some Christians treat the Bible as a sacred book that can’t be written in nor thrown away
Qu’arn is held by men with gloves on and read in thsi manner

IV. The authority of the holy scripture, for which it ought to be believed and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man or church, but wholly upon God, (who is truth itself,) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the word of God.

Although it was written by men, it is authored by God himself
2 Timothy 3:16 ESV
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
It’s purpose is to reveal to us Jesus - Faith and rule
John concludes with it be a witness to Jesus
An ordinary means to bring men to faith in Jesus

VII. All things in scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all; yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed, for salvation, are so clearly propounded and opened in some place of scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them.q

Salvation is plain and undisputed
Romans 10:9–10 ESV
because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
We don’t need a Pope to interpret Scripture for us
The blessing of Scripture is it is plain and ordianary
It’s purpose is to glorify God through Jesus Christ by drawing men into salvation
Romans 10:17 ESV
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
Ephesians 2:8–9 ESV
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
The doctrine of Scripture alone is important and cannot be compromised
Illus: Here at TPC we will be heavy on the Word of God

Doxology

Praise God the he reveals to us Himself in very ordinary ways
Originally in Hebrew and Greek
Vulgar language

But because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have right unto and interest in the scriptures, and are commanded, in the fear of God, to read and search them, therefore they are to be translated into the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come,u that the word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship him in an acceptable manner, and, through patience and comfort of the scriptures, may have hope.x

Preserved throughout time
Praise God that he reveals to us Jesus Christ, the Redeemer
The Holy Spirit uses the Inspired Word, Holy Scripture to point us to our salvation
All Scripture points to Christ
Praise God that the Holy Spirit uses the witness of men written down to bring us to saving faith in Him
Sola Scriptura
Not through the church or man made laws
Not by works of any kind
Only by His Word
Ephesians 2:8–9 ESV
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
God’s gift to us is His written word!
Illus:
Carey Cash - A Table in The Presence
Psalm 23:5 ESV
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
A Bible that was lost in the Iraq desert while on a convoy
He realized it was missing miles away.
Weeks later as they traveled that area again, he found the Bible in the sand
Not a mystical story about a mystical book. A representation of how God preserves His Word for His people as the rule of faith and life for them
App: God has preserved His Word for you. Are you reading it?
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