Tuesday, May 5, 2009

What is Your Authority

We affirm the four main Sola’s, (Latin for “Alone”); Sola Gratia (Grace Alone), Sola Fide (Faith Alone), Sola Deo Gloria (to God Alone be the Glory), and Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone). That is the emphasis of this article, Sola Scriptura.

Christians separate from Roman Catholics in this area (among other areas). We do not believe that anything else is needed, other than the Word of God, to stand as our final authority in matters of faith and practice. To hold up anything else to the same degree as the Scriptures, is to be guilty of idolatry. Scripture alone is the source of our faith. We do not need the words of a priest as our only understanding of God; we have the Scripture. It was Martin Luther who said, “That a simply laymen armed with Scripture is greater than the mightiest Pope without it”.

One of the classic verses on this is 2 Ti 3:16
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

“Inspiration” is the Greek word “θεόπνευστος” comes from two Greek words, “Theos” (God) and “pneo” (blow or breathe); literally “prompted by God”. The Scriptures were not some invention of the minds of mortal men, they were prompted by God. You say, “What do you mean, prompted”? 2 Pe 1:21
21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

I like the word moved. It is the Greek word “φέρω” and it literally means “to bear or to carry”. What does Peter say is clearly happening in the giving of the Scriptures? That these men were carried along. Notice the prepositional phrase that modifies “moved”, “by the Holy Spirit”. The Greek verb “φέρω” is also in the passive voice, which means that the subject is receiving the action. The subject is “aνθρωπος” (men). These holy men received the action of being moved or carried along by the Holy Spirit to write down what He, by divine inspiration, gave them.

B.B. Warfield said, “….every word indited under the analogous influence of inspiration was at one and the same time the consciously self-chosen word of the writer and the divinely-inspired word of the Spirit.

This, then, is what we understand by the church doctrine:—a doctrine which claims that by a special, supernatural, extraordinary influence of the Holy Ghost, the sacred writers have been guided in their writing in such a way, as while their humanity was not superseded, it was yet so dominated that their words became at the same time the words of God, and thus, in every case and all alike, absolutely infallible.

Charles H. Spurgeon said, “This singular personality of the Word to each one of a thousand generations of believers is one of its greatest charms and one of the surest proofs of its divine inspiration. We treat our Bibles not as old almanacs but as books for the present: new, fresh, adapted for the hour. Abiding sweetness dwells in undiminished freshness in the ancient words upon which our fathers fed in their day. Glory be to God, we are feasting on them still. If not, we ought to be. We can only blame ourselves if we do not!”

Christians believe in a verbum Dei (voice of God) in the Scriptures, we need to other source, no other man to speak for God. The Scriptures and the Scriptures alone, speak the word of the Living God to us.

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