With so many teachings being passed around and so many new religions and cults coming and going throughout history we need to be sure we hold to sound doctrine and the truths recorded in scripture. There are some other religions that claim to view the bible as divine but then use other sources to add to it or interpret it making their other outside sources equal to scripture in essence. Yet these different religions do not believe the same things and in many ways contradict each other in what they teach about the bible.
The reformed principle of Scripture Alone helps keep the minds and hearts of Christians on God’s Word and to keep from letting in corruptive deceptive outside sources. Essentially it stands for the sole authority of Scripture in itself. Understanding how this principle is formulated from scripture is important to understanding why scripture alone is the chief source of divine truth.
Only Scripture claims the divine inspiration; not man (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21). Thus the reformers state that scripture is the “sole, infallible rule of faith and practice.”. This is why the correct understanding and interpretation of scripture is so critical. Scripture itself acknowledges the fact that it can and will be misinterpreted and misunderstood; which is why it says to test everything and praise when correctly understood (1 John 4:1; Acts 17:11). The test of truth is tested against the authority of scripture and not any other source. Traditions, Confessions, and other teachings are completely dependent on agreement with scripture (Colossians 2:8). If they contradict scripture, because of the authority of scripture over them; they are declared a heresy (2 Timothy 4:2). Jude makes it clear that scripture is the only source of divine truth (Jude 1:3).
In Matthew 4, Jesus’ ultimate response to Satan’s best temptations; Jesus quoted scripture.
The Sufficiency of Scripture
There is nothing lacking or missing from scripture. If there is anything more and different, it is a lie (Galatians 1:8). David declares God’s word as perfect, right, and true (Psalm 19:7–14). Let us not also notice how scripture starts with creation and ends with the second coming and the future. Then John makes it absolutely clear about scripture:
“30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of His disciples that are not written in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God,[f] and by believing you may have life in His name.” – John 20:30-31
Scripture is completely sufficient to come to God, know God, grow in faith and knowledge of God, and to obtain salvation, sanctification, and glorification with God after this life.
The Clarity of Scripture
God condescends himself and his truths so that man can understand them. He makes himself absolutely clear as he sees fit through scripture (Deuteronomy 30:11-14). Scripture helps guide and lead men in God’s Will because it is right, truth, and a light in life and enlightening the heart to see the things of God through scripture (Psalm 119:105,130).
Paul makes it clear there are no hidden messages that have to be decoded (2 Corinthians 1:13-14). And if people who don’t understand but genuinely study scripture, God will make things clear (Philippians 3:15-16). He tells Timothy that it is Scripture that is what is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:14-17); therefore it is clearly understood to be “profitable… for every good work”.
The Efficiency of Scripture
When we concede to the authority and divine nature of Scripture alone, understand that it contains all we need in this life, that it is clear enough for us to study, and understand correctly than it has amazing and spiritual effects in our lives and hearts. The Words of God from scripture can draw and lead any person God sees fit for his will to be done in anyway. Scripture is ultimately effective.
By studying Scripture we can grow in the knowledge of God himself and his will (Col. 1:9). Knowing scripture, His Will, and living in obedience to it sanctifies us (I Thess. 4:3). Knowing God’s Will and knowing Him in a more deeper and personally level allows us to live a spiritually joyous grateful life with Him in this world and in the next (I Thess. 5:16-18). It effectively teaches us spiritual truths, spiritually maturing us. It corrects our minds and hearts to see him and his will more clearly. And Scripture effectively prepares us for what ever God’s Will is in our life so that we can glorify Him in what ever we do (2 Timothy 3:14-17).
Satan Knows Scripture too
Deviations from the Sole Authority, Sufficiency, Clarity, and Efficiency of Scripture and you open the door to allow an outside source to dictate and interpret scripture for you. From the garden of Eden to the temptation of Jesus we see Satan actually quote God’s Words but then distort their meaning. This has resulted in billions of deceived people throughout the world throughout history.
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