Sermon Outline 6 Jun 2017 – The Final Authority Of Scripture Alone
a. Meaning: Scripture Alone
b. Prior to the reformation, other sources of revelation than the Scripture had become the foundation for doctrine.
c. The Reformation was a return to the Scriptures. The reformers said, truth is founded on what is in the Bible. The Bible not only gives us the final answer on truth, but it is the source of truth and gives the complete truth. Revelation ceased at the close of the canon of Scripture.
d. So, the Bible, 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books, is the only rule for faith and life.
“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: 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.” Revelation 22:18-19
All Christian churches believe that the Bible is an important book, but many believe that the Bible is unclear & there are so many interpretations. How are we meant to decide which one is right?
Scripture Alone in Reformation Thought
The Roman Catholic Church of those days believed that the Bible was a dangerous & difficult book, capable of being used by humans in a wrong way. So, the Roman Catholic Church’s view of the Bible was the Pope & the traditions of the Church had the final authority in interpreting the Bible.
The Reformers disagreed. They believed that the Roman Catholic church had many unbiblical teachings (like the cult of the Virgin Mary), and so stated that while many of the traditions of the church were useful, Scripture alone was infallible & without any mistakes, & so the supreme & final authority for the church in all matters of doctrine and the Christian life.
Further, they believed that Scripture was its own interpreter (or the Bible was an interpretation), and therefore, because God is Light & God is a good communicator, the Bible is clear on all central issues of salvation. If there are different interpretations of the Bible is because we are mere human beings, not God, & being sinners cannot grasp the things of God. However, Christians have the Holy Spirit who makes His Word clear to us. They believed that Word & Spirit must be held together.
Scripture Alone in Scripture
Scripture is the Word of God, whose author is the Holy Spirit, and includes an interpretation of Biblical history (2 Tim 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21)
Scripture is clear (Ps 19:7-9; Ps 119:105, 130)
Scripture is misinterpreted by Satan (Gen 3:1-13) & is misinterpreted by the ignorant & false teachers (2 Peter 3:14-18)
The Holy Spirit give us light in understanding Scripture (2 Cor 4:1-5)
Scripture must be preached (2 Tim 4:1-8)
Living by Scripture Today
- Scripture & the Holy Spirit
- Scripture & prayer
- Scripture & the importance of preaching
“A most pernicious error widely prevails that Scripture has only so much weight as is conceded to it by the consent of the church. As if the eternal and inviolable truth of God depends upon the decision of man!”
John Calvin also said:
“For what is more consonant with faith than to recognize that we are naked of all virtue, in order to be clothed by God? That we are empty of all good, to be filled by him? That we are slaves of sin, to be freed by him? Blind, to be illumined by him? Lame, to be made straight by him? Weak, to be sustained by him? To take away from us all occasion for glorying, that he alone may stand forth gloriously and we glory in him?”
1. If the Scripture is clear, how should we understand it?
2. Why do you believe there are so many different interpretations of the Bible?
3. In what ways are you blessed when you read Scripture & hear the preaching of the Word?