First in a five-part “Solae of the Reformation” series by AFLC Schools faculty
All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching,
for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness,
so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
II Timothy 3:16-17
One of the great basic themes of the Reformation is sola Scriptura, Holy Scripture alone, and the above verses remind us that this is exactly what the Word of God teaches about itself. This is what the AFLC believes and what our seminary and Bible school teach, convinced that it is only the Bible that will completely and thoroughly equip us for every good work.
It is certainly proper to be very grateful for what is taught in creeds, confessions, and catechisms, and they are valuable tools for instruction, but only because of their faithfulness to Holy Scripture, carefully based on what God says rather than on what people have said.
The 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 is a good opportunity to honor our fathers in the faith such as Luther, but it is vastly more important that our commitment to the foundational principles of this movement of the Spirit of God might be renewed. The truth of sola Scriptura can be expressed as simply as when our children are taught to sing, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” Our conviction can also be correctly amplified by the use of such adjectives as inspired, infallible, and inerrant. God said it. I believe it.
When this confidence is undermined or lost, our congregations may become glorified social service agencies, and the faith of the people in the pews will surely falter, vainly seeking within or looking to our good works for something solid in which to trust.
“This only is a really strong faith: if a heart can believe what it does not see and comprehend, believe against all senses and reason, and cling solely to the Word . . . . In this faith one must put out of sight everything except the Word of God. He who lets his eyes rest on anything else is already lost. Faith clings to the Word alone, purely and simply, never loses sight of it, looks at nothing else, neither at its work or its merit.” (Martin Luther)
Pastor Robert L. Lee
Professor of Historical and Practical Theology
AFLC Promotion for October is H.I.S. Fund
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