Grace For The Journey
Over the course of my Christian life I found have myself being drawn more and more deeply into something that Jesus once prayed … “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children…” (Luke 10:21). When things become “complicated” and “difficult” we need to remember that God has revealed His truth for life and eternity for even the simplest of us (2 Peter 1:3, “As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.”)
I am, my friends, a sola scriptura man. To be one who embraces this phrase means that I am one who looks to the Bible as the final and supreme authority of all issues pertaining to faith and life. Sola scriptura was the rallying cry of the Protestant Reformation. The phrase is Latin: combining the word sola having the idea of “alone,” “ground,” or “base,” and the word scriptura meaning “writings” – referring to the Scriptures. Sola scriptura means that Scripture alone is authoritative and adequate for the faith and practice of the Christian. What is interesting is that many today feel that such a position is too simplistic an approach to the many issues of life. Many are insisting that we include other sources than Scripture (opinions of others, experiences of ourselves and others, etc) in deciding life issues. Yet, I have found that when addressing and answering life’s most difficult issues, the answer comes when I focused on the question, “But what do the Scriptures say?”
One of my prayers over the last several years has included a plea that God would raise up a people who will remain aligned with His Word. That sounds reasonable –even spiritual – but my prayers have produced more conflict than I ever imagined. Conflict within me and conflict outside of me.
A tenacious commitment to aligning yourself with God’s Word will bring you into conflict with modern trends and mindless traditions; this commitment will leave you standing, as the writer of Hebrews said, “…naked and exposed before His eyes, and He is the One to whom we are accountable.”
My hope for all of us is that we will regain a militant commitment to remain aligned with God’s truth. Now, when I write the word militant I am only saying that we should be disciplined, steadfast and unwavering in our commitment to God’s inspired truth. I do not wish to be a frowning militant, or a harsh militant, or an unloving militant. I believe we can be gentle but militant, unapologetic but militant, gracious but militant, and loving but militant. As much as anything else we need to be consistent as followers of Jesus Christ and remain sola scriptura even when those Scriptures force us to rethink, recalibrate, release, and recommit. You can grow deeper by the Word. You can be assured by the Word. You can be helped by the Word. Eventually, however, you will be made uncomfortable by the Word. When your previously held views are challenged by what the Scriptures actually say you will find yourself at an inevitable crossroads: will I cling to what I have previously thought or will I welcome God’s Word to outweigh any opinion of man … including my own?
Jesus calls us to be like children in our relationship with Him. Children trust, often without question. Children will believe nearly anything, for better or for worse. Children will take almost everything handed to them. Jesus calls us to be like children when it comes to Him and His Kingdom. That does not mean that we should not look biblically at things – quite the opposite. But when we do so, we need to allow the Scriptures to say what they actually say and refrain from hearing them say what we wished they would say or have been told that they say. We must be like little children when it comes to Christ and the Kingdom. Why? Doesn’t that leave us vulnerable? Surely it would if Jesus were not so good, so trustworthy, so holy, so loving, so caring and so … for us. We can be like children with Him because He is the way, the truth, and the life and only wants what is best for us.
While the world thinks things are complicated and that it is difficult to know the truth, the Christian is comforted and encouraged to realize that the Bible aids us in our choices and commitments. I do not have to fill in the spaces which were intentionally left blank by God.
When it comes to God’s Word I will remain a child. I will just believe it. Sola scriptura has never once failed me and I believe it would be better to take God plainly at His Word and occasionally risk oversimplification than it would be for me to complicate His Word and ultimately miss what He says is true, right, and good.
I prayer those of you reading will arrive at the same conclusion.
This is God Word … This is Grace for your Journey … Rest in this eternal truth … AMEN!