Sola Scriptura – Scripture Alone
“For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.”
– 1 Thessalonians 2:13
This was the first of five slogans/pillars developed during the Protestant Reformation. The reason the reformers were so passionate about Sola Scriptura is because they fully recognized and believed in the sufficiency of God’s Word above all things. In the mind of the reformer, The Word of God was unique to all other books, mainly because God himself wrote it, and so it carried ultimate authority and nothing could eclipse it’s right to proclaim truth for every man and woman who has ever lived. One of the most recognizable reformers was Martin Luther, who famously defended Sola Scriptura at the Diet of Worms, where he was excommunicated from the Catholic Church. In his defense of Sola Scriptura, Luther proclaimed, “My conscience is a prisoner to God’s Word!”
Another reformer, John Calvin, once said,
“Now this power which is peculiar to Scripture is clear from the fact that of human writings, however artfully polished, there is none capable of affecting us at all comparably… Betake yourself from them to this sacred reading, then, in spite of yourself, so deeply will it affect you, so penetrate your heart, so fix itself in your very marrow, that compared with its deep impression, such vigor as the orators and philosophers have will nearly vanish. Consequently, it is easy to see that the Sacred Scriptures, which so far surpass all gifts and graces of human endeavor, breathe something divine.”
Read that last line again… the Scriptures “breathe something divine.” There is something intrinsic about God’s Word that leads to the human heart being warmed and drawn into the love of the Lord. This is because the Word of God serves to reveal God to us. God is sharing truth about himself, us, and the world through the Scriptures!
Have you experienced the warming nature of the Word of God in your heart? Do you read the pages of the Bible with a sense of awe and wonder caused by the understanding that these are the words of our Lord? God has the right to speak to us, and what he says is true. God’s truth changes us. We become different people after encountering God through his Word.