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Thursday, October 27, 2016
Sola Scriptura –one of the Five Solas of the Reformed Faith - 27 October 2016 Anno Domini
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Tim 3:14-17)
Yesterday, we discussed Sola Gratia - Grace Alone as a pillar of the Great English and Continental Reformation. We will later discuss Sola Christus, Sola Fide Faith, and Sola Deo Gloria - Glory of God in succession; however, without Scripture Alone, none of the others are possible. But in a sense, each is both independent values, and also essentially interdependent. Without Christ, the Word (Scripture) is no longer the Word; without faith, Grace is meaningless; Without Grace, it is not possible to know and glorify God; but the Scriptures serve as a foundation stone of Faith, of Grace, of knowledge of Christ, and of the glorious nature of God. Without that Foundation, we would remain in darkness. It is by the agency of the Word of God whereby the Holy Ghost operates in our inner being to bring to our remembrance all things written of Christ in that Word.
The reader is reminded this is not intended to be an in depth study of the extensive meaning of Holy Scripture, but rather a devotional summary to quicken the heart and open spiritual ears to understanding. Let us begin by an examination of how the Thirty Nine Articles of Religion frames the importance of Scripture:
VI. Of the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation.
Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the Holy Scripture we do understand those canonical Books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church.
NOTE: Interestingly, this Article adds an important Caveat at the end of Article VI: All the Books of the New Testament, as they are commonly received, we do receive, and account them Canonical. To which Scripture do you believe this makes reference? Beyond doubt, it references the only Scriptural evidence received and used by the Reformers – the Textus Receptus - Received Text upon which all of the major Reformation Bibles were based. The Geneva Bible and the King James or Authorized Version are examples of Received Text Bibles. They are based on that manuscript evidence as commonly received by the Reformers. Dr. Theodore Letis, in his extensive studies on the subject, refers to these as the Ecclesiastical Text.
The Word of God is actually an exact painting of Christ written in textual form. 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. (John 1:1-4) It should be observed the Word of God is Eternal having existed from before the Foundation of the World. It might be said there is far more of the Word of God for us to discover beyond Jordan’s Stormy Banks since all of the mysteries of Creation and Eternity Past comprise the fullness of our Lord’s Personage. As St. Paul saith: 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (1 Cor 13:12) The written Word supplies all of our needs for salvation and faith; however, the Personification of that Word in Christ will be fully revealed when we awake with His likeness and behold Him face-to-face! 15 As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness. (Psalm 17:15)
Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Word written and existing from Eternity Past: 8 I am Alpha - the beginning of all things; and Omega, the beginning and the ending, - Christ is the consummation of all things, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. (Rev 1:8) He changes not being the same yesterday, today, and forever – the Great I AM! His Word is Holy, and the only Holy resource we can access in this world in a physical and intellectual sense. It is not the whole cloth only that is Holy, but every single Word written as received in the ancient manuscripts which God has promised to preserve forever: 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. (Matt 5:18) Even the tiny punctuation marks shall be preserved!
6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. (Psalm 12:6-7) Please note the very words are pure – not some dynamic equivalence as the corrupt new versions aver. Note also that God has declared His intention to PRESERVE every word forever and ever. You would not get that impression from reading the NIV, NASB, ESV, etc. of that are based on the corrupt manuscript and textual evidence. They omit entire verses and change meaning of significant other verses.
Unlike the Received Text (based on 95% of all manuscript evidence which, incidentally agrees with each other at every remunerable point); the NuText (or Westcott & Hort) are comprised of only 5% of the manuscript evidence, and, significantly, do not agree even with each other in many points. How could intelligent scholars place a greater reliance on this faulty evidence? I believe it is because they DESIRE a Bible with which they can get along with the world in using. But we are not commanded to get along with the world but to obey God and His inerrant Word. In the Received Text, our Lord is identified by name in most passages that refer to Him; however, the new versions omit His Name and supplant it with the ambiguous pronoun, he.
Why do men tamper with God’s Word and the Person it represents? It is because, in the big scheme of One World Government and Religion, the Lord Jesus Christ keeps getting in the way. He is not INCLUSIVE, but rather EXCLUSIVE. There is only ONE WAY, and that is Christ – not Mohammad; not Allah; not Buddha; and not Moon Sun Myung. It will not be possible to fulfill the world’s ardent dream of a One World Order (Tower of Babel) as long as the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ holds sway in the hearts and minds of large numbers of people. So that Name, and His Lordship, must be extinguished by hook or by crook. All of the major denominations have fallen obediently in line with this deceitful strategy.
But holding in our possession the inerrant, infallible Word of God is not enough. It must be eaten and digested in whole. It is food for our souls and nourishment for our spirits. It must be read a studied more intently than a love letter exchanged between young lovers. It is the meat of the Christian believer.
18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. . . . 2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. . . . 14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (Psalm 119:18; Psalm 138:2; II Tim. 3:14-17)
All of my commentary which surrounds the Scripture texts above are simply filler material; but the very Words of God are your Compass, Chart, and Light of Navigation. They are the Crux, Fountainhead, and Essence upon which we build our faith and lives. Our mortar is made with unwashen hands, but the Stone Blocks of Holy Scripture are built with the very Hands of God.
There is one significant verse that is located in the very heart of God’s Word – the very center verse of the Bible – which reads: 8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. Psalms 118:8 (KJV) This counsel is reinforced in the New Testament: We ought to obey God rather than men. Acts 5:29 (KJV) It is well to remember that this counsel applies to every situation of life – our homes, our professions, our schools, our politics, and most especially, our church. We do not shed our Christian robes at the door of political office or even the voting booth. We will be wise to remember that it is God’s Holy Word that guides us and not some copyrighted and for-profit-work of the devious minds of men such as the new versions are sorrowful examples.
12 And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. 13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. (Eccl 12:12-14)
The watch word is this: Scripture Alone – nothing added, and nothing taken away! 18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Rev 22:18-19)