Thursday, August 12, 2010

Why Sola Scriptura?

A very philosophical man leaned over the portioning brush and asked his neighbor "How do you know what is true?" Somewhat perplexed by such an abrupt and striking question he simply replied, "If it wasn't true then it would just be false."

"Then how do you know what is false?" He again replied, "Because it would be the opposite of truth."

In a world flooded by relativism and postmodern lunacy determining truth is more important than ever. I have spoken to several college age men and women who purport their own intellect with prideful ambition while at the same time being unwilling to acknowledge that an absolute standard of truth exists. They wrangle their way through Descartes philosophical ideas, most of which are still fresh in their minds from their recent indoctrination, but have no grasp on tangible reality. Some even go so far as to believe that we cannot know anything and assert such knowledge with absolute assurance. Of course such a statement falls in on itself because of its desire for absolution while unwilling to state that any other absolute can exist outside of itself.

So how is that we can know truth? The fictional conversation between the two neighbors is an example of what some agnostic and self-professing atheists accuse born-again disciples of Christ of doing; circular reasoning. At some point in circular reasoning one must stop the continual rotation of illogical thinking and find a initiating point of thought, or in this case a absolute standard of truth.

Such absolute truth can only be found in something that is unchangeable. The very nature of something being absolute demands that is be resolute in what it teaches. Keeping in mind its unchangeable nature we then come to the necessity of reliability. To be reliable in what is taught the source of the teaching must be reliable. But it is more than just being reliable, whoever provides the absolute must also be resolute Himself. If He were not then neither would the teaching He provides. Even further, the Provider of truth must not simply be subjective to truth but in fact be Truth. To be the originator of truthful statements requires that the standard of such truth not be an outside force but the originator Himself. Thus as the Truth is given from Him who is Truth those who convey truth only echo Him who has revealed Himself as the Truth.

We inevitably come to the question of what is Truth. Some in the secular world appeal to accredited men and women as revelators of truth noting their immediate success and the overarching acceptance of their statements. But acceptance by a majority does not constitute that a statement be truthful, only that it be accepted by the immediate consensus. What if that individual were to change his or her stance on something? Does that mean that their previous statements were not truthful even though they were declared such? How reliable then are the current and future statements if there exists the possibility that they too could be recanted, altered, or debunked? Apply the standard in the previous paragraph to their statements as well. If they have proven to be unresolute then they are not only untruthful and untrustworthy but they themselves cannot be truth. Such objections are often ignored by many who have hoisted up fallible men and women to great pillars of intellectual grandeur. Yet despite their futile attempts, these points cannot be ignored.

So again, what is Truth? We know truth cannot originate with man. The Bible makes it clear that man is sinful (Romans 3:23) and deceptive (Jeremiah 17:9). Such a being cannot be the originator of truth because man cannot be truth himself. Only God Himself is Truth. Jesus Christ revealed Himself as God in such statements as John 14:6. God has thus conveyed that which He has willed us to know in His infallible, inerrant, inspired, sufficient Word which we know as the Holy Bible.

In years past many described the nature of the Bible excluding the word "sufficient". But more recently it has become necessary to include this word in stating the reality and reliability of Scripture. It is not to say it has only recently become sufficient but that is have become important to underscore that it has always and will always be sufficient. For this reason, there is no need for additional revelation. Numerous cults have been started from the belief that God's Word is not sufficient. Some, as the Mormons, originated from the fanciful imagination of a lying treasure hunter who claimed to obtain plates of gold which no one else has, or ever will, see. Others take the Bible and retranslate with a less than preschool knowledge of the original language, such as the Jehovah's Witnesses. Thus they reveal that their translation is nothing more than an interpretation eisegeted from the twisted and controlling mind of money-hungry pagan. Others throw out the Word all together and seek to develop man-centered philosophies or singular idolatrous writings that are filled with hateful and violent intentions. Were we to rely solely on Scripture such world religions would crumble and be seen as the empty idolatrous attempts of sinful man to create a god in his own image.

Unfrotunately, many Christians unknowingly position themselves outside of the camp of Sola Scriptura. They acknowledge the affirmations given of Scripture yet their actions show they do not believe it to be sufficient to every aspect of their lives. Because God has provided Scripture to us to reveal both Himself and His will we have all which we need to develop a correct worldview. In fact, to suggest that any other revelation is needed is to undermine not only the authority of Scripture but the authority of the Giver of such. Definitive affirmations of the need for revelation from God are given throughout Scripture. The Old Testament prophets spoke only that which God commanded of them and were commanded to convey to the people no more or less than that which He so revealed. The canonization of the Old and New Testament was not decisively by man's design but by the clear definition of the instpired writers of His truth.

Sola Scriptura is by definition the reliance of the Christian upon God's Word as a the absolute guide (Psalm 119:105) of one's life. In it we find the realiaty of man's depravity (Romans 7:18), God's unsearchable holiness (Revelation 4:8), the coming judgment (Hebrews 9:27), the righteous Judge (2 Timothy 4:1), the only hope of salvation (Acts 4:12), the mission of the Christian (Matthew 28:19-20), and the sole purpose of all things (2 Corinthians 4:15). No other source can provide Truth for there is no other Truth than God Himself.

Until the whole world hears,
Pastor Adam

9 comments:

  1. Grace and peace, always!
    I want to congratulate your blog.
    Begin to follow from now.
    I invite you to visit my blog: comment, critique, enjoy ...
    I remember on my blog have a translator for English. (If you do not happen to speak Portuguese).

    In Jesus, who is the true path.

    Sandro Duarte
    http://oreinoemnos.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi brother.
    The blog does have a button below.
    Is on the right of the blog below previous files whose name is "other posts".

    I await your click.

    Regards,

    Sandro
    http://oreinoemnos.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dear Adam,

    Is Half of The Story Sufficient For Salvation?

    How many sides are there to a story? If you say two, then you are wrong. If you had one side and I had one side that would make two sides. However, there is a third side, the side of truth.

    Rule # 1... One half of truth does not a truth make. Neither does one half of a story make the full story. No intelligent person can hear one side of a story and decide which side has the truth.

    Both sides have to be heard, then analysed, and then a decision has to be made as to which side (if either) has a valid story, and after that, the right side(s), or truth side, can be determined.

    This thinking holds true for discerning what Holy Scripture tells us.

    Throughout the Bible there are double standards, yet the fundamentalist thinking shows only one standard, or one side of the story, or only one half of the truth.

    Their thinking is in violation of rule # 1. With only one half of truth, you do not have truth. Anything less than the whole truth is error.

    In the following examples, side 'A' is the first side, side 'B' is the second, and side 'C' is the right, or truth side.

    Example # 1... Sola Scriptura...? Only the Bible. Fundamentalist thinking is that the Bible is sufficient and nothing else is needed for salvation.

    First of all, in order to believe in the 'Bible Only' philosophy, you have to show that Scripture says it. Is that not true? The doctrine of 'Sola Scriptura' is not to be found in Scripture.

    A. Tradition is condemned in many places in Scripture, such as Job 22:15, Matthew 15:6, Mark 7:3-13, Galatians 1:14, Colossians 2:8, 1Timothy 1:4, Titus 1:14, and 1Peter 1:18. Look at these verses and grasp their meaning.

    They all address 'vain' human traditions and are rightly condemned. This is one half of the truth.

    B. Tradition is supported in more places in Scripture than it is condemned. Study Isaiah 59:21, Luke 1:2, 2:19,51, Luke 10:16, 2Thessalonians 2:14-15 - "Stand firm and hold the traditions you have learned..", 2Timothy 1:13,2:2, 1Peter 1:25, 1Jn 1:1,2:24, 2Jn 1:12, Revelation 12:17,19:10.

    These are different traditions than mentioned in 'A'. These are the Traditions of GOD, or 'Apostolic' Tradition.' Again, this is only half of the truth.

    C. The truth is, yes, we do condemn the vain tradition of men, as shown in 'A', and we must keep the Tradition of GOD, as shown in 'B'.

    Thus we have half the truth in 'A', and the other half in 'B', and combined we have the full truth.

    The false doctrine of Sola Scriptura adds A and B together and puts the total in A, rejecting all of tradition. A+B=C.

    Continue>>

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  4. Dear Adam,

    DO YOU PLAY RUSSIAN ROULETTE WITH YOUR SALVATION?

    Abide in Me, and I in You...

    Jesus said:
    "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

    You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.

    I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

    If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you."
    (John 15:1-7)

    Wow! In those seven verses, the word ABIDE is mentioned seven times. The context of those verses provides us with a lot of light as to what is required of us by GOD for our eternal salvation.

    Jesus said:
    "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few." (Matthew 7:13-14)

    So we must not only ABIDE in Him but we must also strive to enter by the narrow gate. If we do not ABIDE in Him, then it is obvious that we are not on the path to the narrow gate of salvation, but on the path to the wide gate and to eternal destruction.

    So Jesus said that if we do not ABIDE in Him (the Vine) then we will be taken away from the Vine by the Father, and will be cast off only to wither, to be gathered, and then to be thrown into the fire and burned.

    Now that I have your attention, shouldn't we now find the meaning of the word ABIDE?

    The theological meaning of ABIDE is to dwell within. Jesus would come and dwell in us and we likewise in Him. So as long as we do what Jesus requests of us then we are on the path to the narrow gate to salvation.

    So to assure that we are on right path, Jesus has commanded that we must ABIDE in Him.

    What is required in order to have Jesus ABIDE in us and we in Him?

    Can we do it:

    1. By accepting Him as our our own personal Lord and Savior ?
    No. Where does the Bible say that?

    2. By the grace of GOD only? Sola Gracias?
    No. Where does the Bible say that?

    3. By faith in GOD alone? Sola Fides?
    No. Where does the Bible say that?

    It is simple common sense that since He commanded that we must do something, then doesn't it stand to reason that He would also tell us how to do it?

    Jesus was very clear in what we must do in order to have Him ABIDE in us and we in Him.

    Jesus left this command for us in John 6:53-57:

    53 "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you (the taken away branch);

    54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

    56 HE WHO EATS MY FLESH AND DRINKS MY BLOOD ABIDES IN ME, AND I IN HIM.

    57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me."

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  5. Michael,

    First, thanks for taking the time to read this blog. I am very systematic in my thinking and writing so I will respond to your objections one by one but will have to do so in several posts because of the length.

    You said “Both sides have to be heard, then analysed, and then a decision has to be made as to which side (if either) has a valid story, and after that, the right side(s), or truth side, can be determined.”

    If you believe that then you must admit that truth is relative because you have placed the decision on whether something is truthful or not in the hands of the hearer rather than in the place of the Truth giver. Truth is truth regardless of whether we accept it or not.

    You made a fatal error in Example #1. First you believe there are double-standards in the Bible. Do you believe these are contradictions? If so, then you believe the Bible is fallible and filled with an unknowable amount of error. If you do then you cannot quote Scripture in any of your objections because, in keeping with your position, those passages too could be in error.

    You said “Tradition is condemned in many places in Scripture”, then gave the alternate position “Tradition is supported in more places in Scripture than it is condemned” to make your point “Thus we have half the truth in 'A', and the other half in 'B', and combined we have the full truth.”. But what you have shown is that two halves don’t make a whole.

    It is not A+B=C because if you removed either A or B then the result would not be C. Rather the equations is better justified as C=C. Your presuppositions are evident in that you suppose that fundamentalists deny the validity of tradition. Understanding what tradition the Bible condemns and what tradition it exhorts is not a matter or A+B but simply absolute of C. This is a primary principle of hermeneutics: taking all of Scripture into context and not just a single passage.

    If you believe that the two statements you gave are half-truth then you must conclude that they are full lies. A half truth is in fact a full lie since truth cannot be anything less that complete in its truthfulness. If your hypothesis is correct then A and B are in fact lies. If they are lies then they cannot equal truth. Basically stated, two half-lies cannot a whole truth make.

    You concluded your first post with ”The false doctrine of Sola Scriptura adds A and B together and puts the total in A, rejecting all of tradition. A+B=C.” That is a pretty bold and unfortunately blind assumption. Sola Scriptura in no way denies the place of tradition but rather says that any tradition which is in direct opposition to Scripture is false. Thus this gives Scripture its proper place over tradition and not on the same level as such. Tradition clearly mandated in Scripture is of course biblical. However, even biblical tradition can be used unbiblically. An example would be if it were stated that taking communion was necessary for salvation. That would be a biblically taught command, or tradition, used unbiblically.

    This is one of many faults of the Roman Catholic religion. They have placed tradition on the same level as the directly inspired, infallible, inerrant, Word of God. From your posts I could see Roman Catholic teachings very clearly. To see if my hunch was correct I followed your info and found a link to a Catholic website. As you read the rest of this post I pray you understand that my purpose is not to bash the Roman Catholic religion but to show you clearly that what it teaches and what the Bible teaches are in stark contrast to one another. What I say I say in love and out of concern for you.

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  6. Your second post was honestly a little odd. Particularly with your title “DO YOU PLAY RUSSIAN ROULETTE WITH YOUR SALVATION?” While I can agree with one or two of your statements you also made several statements that are clearly against the biblical doctrine of grace and pervasive in a belief of a works-righteousness religion.

    After listing your verses you said “Wow! In those seven verses, the word ABIDE is mentioned seven times. The context of those verses provides us with a lot of light as to what is required of us by GOD for our eternal salvation. “ No disagreement there. Abide is right there in those verses. But it is not “You must strive to abide” but “You will abide”. The inference in the Greek is not placed on the working part of the hearer but on the finished work of the Speaker. Your presupposition however, prevents you from seeing that. Those whom Christ has saved WILL abide in Him not SHOULD TRY TO abide in Him.

    You said “The theological meaning of ABIDE is to dwell within. Jesus would come and dwell in us and we likewise in Him. So as long as we do what Jesus requests of us then we are on the path to the narrow gate to salvation. So to assure that we are on right path, Jesus has commanded that we must ABIDE in Him.”

    Let’s highlight the “…as long as we do what Jesus requests of us then we are on the path to the narrow gate of salvation”. Let me ask you this, how much must you do to stay on that path? Must it be hourly, daily, monthly, efforts or just try hard each second? How much trying is good enough? A little, a lot, what? What is the level of work that you must do? Can anyone ever do enough? Can you overdue it? Can you underdo it?

    What you have done is backed yourself into a works corner where your salvation is dependent upon what YOU do not what CHRIST has done. Thus you have taken the work of salvation out of the hands of the Lord and made yourself your own savior.

    You then asked “What is required in order to have Jesus ABIDE in us and we in Him” and proceeded to try and debunk two other solas (grace and faith). I can agree with your first point though. The Bible does not say we are to accept Him, it says the exact opposite. We must be accepted by Him. Not by our attempts to make ourselves acceptable but by Him making us acceptable through His death on the cross.

    You said “It is simple common sense that since He commanded that we must do something, then doesn't it stand to reason that He would also tell us how to do it”. You only gave one passage that you believe tells us how to do this. However, you excluded the numerous other commands: evangelism, baptism, fellowship, studying the Word, walking in holiness, serving others, love you neighbor, rebuking false teaching, exhorting one another, admonishing one another (when needed), and the list goes on.

    What if you failed to heed these commands at any point in your life? Would you lose your salvation? By your post and your beliefs the answer is clearly YES. Why? Because you believe and have been taught that you must work to attain it, strive to keep it, and hope you have done enough in the end.

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  7. Friend, you do not know peace because you are caught in the same system of works and rules as the Pharisees enslaved their fellow Jews under. Your problem is not with Sola Scriptura or any of the other solas. Your problem is that you believe you must be good enough to earn and keep earning salvation. But if you have to do anything, anything to earn salvation then you have room to boast in yourself on Judgment Day.

    In Matthew 7:22-23 Jesus gave a startling revelation to those who can think their good deeds will earn their place in Heaven. It says “Many will say to Me in that day, Lord! Lord! Did we not prophesy in Your name, and through Your name throw out demons, and through Your name do many wonderful works? And then I will say to them I never knew you! Depart from Me, those working lawlessness!”

    Did you notice the main theme with those who would speak in such a way to Christ? They talked about their WORKS and not about Christ’s sacrifice.

    Here is how God sees your attempts to earn salvation:

    Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”

    Psalm 14:3 “They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

    Ecclesiastes 7:20 “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.”

    Romans 3:12 “ They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

    Friend, listen to the words of Ephesians 2:8-9: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works so that no one may boast.”

    This passage speaks directly to you. If you have works to attain salvation then you can boast in your own efforts. If you have earned salvation then it is not a gift of God.

    I know this post is long but please finish reading below. This may be the most important part.

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  8. If you have lied, stolen, lusted, hated, used God’s name in vain, coveted, dishonored your parents, or if God has not always been first in your life you The Lord will judge you on that fearful day and find you guilty of violating His standards.

    He says that you will be cast into the Lake of Fire for all eternity for sinning against Him. You will be among those Jesus spoke of in Matthew 7:22-23. “But God I tried to abide in you. I did it every day. I took holy communion, I was faithful in church attendance, I helped others, I worked my heart out for you”. To such boasting in oneself there is no salvation only eternal condemnation.

    But Michael, here is the good news. Two thousand years ago God came to earth and took on human flesh. He was born of a sinful, but blessed virgin woman and given the name JESUS. He lived a perfect and sinless life. Something neither you nor I could ever do. Then approximately 30 years into His life He voluntarily went to the cross. Once the atoning work of salvation was complete He cried out “It is finished”. What was finished? His work to atone for sin. If you think you must work to keep it then you are telling Jesus “No, you are not finished. I must pick up where you left off”.

    Jesus rose three days later and was seen by over 500 eye witnesses. Forty days later He ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father waiting to return in final judgment of all mankind. But Michael, what He commands of you now is to repent and trust FULLY in what He did on the cross. You cannot earn and you cannot work to keep it. It does not come by your affiliation with a religion; it only comes by the grace of God. Please Michael, I plead with you from the very bottom of my heart, repent and trust fully in Christ today while you still have time.

    If you would rather converse via email, please feel free to do so: adam@doulostheou.com

    My prayers and heart go out to you friend. May God grant you another moment to put your entire faith in Him.

    Forever in His service,
    Adam

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  9. This is a great post, I liked your blog and added your feed.

    Bishop bernard jordan

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