October, 1517 (Part 2)

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16 ESV). The Reformers were guided by the conviction that the church of their day had drifted away from the essential, original teachings of Christianity, especially in regard to what it was teaching about salvation. They believed this drift had deceived people with a false teaching of how they could be forgiven of sin through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and receive eternal life with God. The Reformation sought to re-orient Christianity on the original message of Jesus and the early church. This “reformation” began with “The Ninety-five Theses or Disputation on the Power of Indulgences.” They were a list of propositions for an academic disputation written in 1517 by Martin Luther, professor of moral theology at the University of Wittenberg. From that came many other scholarly theological opinions. Ultimately Luther, Hus, Calvin, Wycliffe and Zwingli all began to preach to the people the gospel in a way to bring change into their lives rather than a change to the institution. It forever changed people. That, after all, is the basis for Jesus’ work of grace. Out of the preaching and writing of these men of faith came what we know today as “The Five Solas.” They are five Latin phrases that emerged during the Reformation. Each of them summarized the Reformers’ theological convictions about the essentials of Christianity. We will look at one each day for the next few days. The first is Sola Scriptura. As Paul reminds Timothy in our reading today, the Scriptures are our ultimate and only trustworthy authority for faith and practice. This doesn’t mean that the Bible is the only place where truth is found, but it does mean that everything else we learn about God and his world, and all other authorities, should be interpreted in light of Scripture. The Bible gives us everything we need for our theology. Every word of the 66 books of the Bible is inspired by God through the Holy Spirit. From beginning to end the Bible is about Jesus Christ and his role as God and Savior. In the Old Testament we are pointed toward Jesus; and, in the New Testament we are pointed back to Him. There is no “other word” that is given. We have all we need. Any other gospel, proclamation, or decree that claims to stand alone without the verification of Scripture is false. Do not be deceived by the pleasing words of those who would claim otherwise. That path of thought can only lead you to destruction. Trust the Scripture...

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