Sola Scriptura • Central Campus
As the 95 Theses of Martin Luther were circulated and Rome responded them, the question that arose was, "What is the authority for truth in life?" Rome declared that it was the Papacy and the Councils, while the Reformers asserted that Scripture Alone is the God-inspired authority for truth. This question of authority is still being asked today both inside and outside the Church. Many of us submit to tradition, personal experience, and even cultural consensus as an authority for truth. The danger in so doing is that each of those things can often be misguided, limited, and change to the point of contradiction, opening the door for confusion and corruption.
- In what ways do you find yourself prone toward trusting tradition, personal experience, and/or cultural consensus for truth?
The Reformers stood behind the Bible's claim that God speaks with Authority and that His spoken authority is contained in the 66 books of the Bible. It was this conviction that led Martin Luther when commanded to recant or face execution to instead declare, "I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. I cannot do otherwise. Here I stand, may God help me, Amen."
Missio Dei Church stands with the Reformers in affirming Sola Scriptura, that Scripture is the only God-inspired authority for truth. This does not mean that only Scripture contains truth, but that Scripture alone is the final authority. We affirm this because Scripture is God's word, it is truthful, and it is enough. These are the doctrines of inspiration, inerrancy, and sufficiency.
- Which doctrine (inspiration, inerrancy, or sufficiency) creates the most confusion for you? Why?
They key truth Pastor Kurt pointed out from John 5:39-40, is that the Scripture's goal is to lead to life in Jesus. Jesus, Himself said, "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me." In order to find life in Jesus from the Scriptures, there were three application points:
1. Study the Scriptures.
- What does your study of Scripture look like? In other words, how often do you study, how do you choose what to study, and how do you apply your study?
- What strategies do you use to get to Jesus in your study of the Scriptures?
- How can we do a better job of studying the Bible together?
2. Submit to the Scriptures.
- What are some ways you notice our tendency to make the Bible submit to our own understanding, rather than the other way around?
3. Speak the Scriptures.
- What are some ways you are helping one another to hear from God by telling one another the promises of the Bible?
- How are you proclaiming the truths of the Bible to your unbelieving family, friends, and coworkers?