In today's post continuing our series on the "5 Solas" we arrive at Sola Scriptura which is translated as: Scripture Alone. This one focuses on the fact that the Bible, the Holy Word of God is all that is needed for what we need to know about salvation from sin, and is also the only standard by which we measure the Christian life.
Sola Scriptura is our main weapon of spiritual warfare against the dark forces as it pertains to defining truth and refuting error. It is only when we go out on our own in some feeble attempt to fight Satan's forces on our own that we find ourselves in repeated failure. God has given us His Word to be our sword in battle against the dark forces of this world.
Sin is real. Hell is real. Satan is real. The Bible was meant for offense not defense. It is our sword. It is our guidebook for Christian living. It is the very words of God revealed to mankind. It is the truth about who we are and why we are here. It is everything we need to live our lives in such a way as to bring the most glory to God.
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NASB)
All Scripture including all 66 books in the Holy Bible are inspired by God. This literally means "God-breathed" and is how we know it is of God. The authors of the books of the canon of Scripture wrote as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit to correctly contain every word without error that God wanted included.
The Holy Spirit utilized and equipped each man in his unique way of writing and through their personalities to pen the words that God wanted in order to convey His truth to His created people.
In terms of inspiration we say that the original autograph, the one that the biblical author penned is what is inspired. Then God preserved His Word through the manuscript evidence in the form of copying and also having it go out to many locations in order to prevent it from being tampered with. If God's Word had of only been in one location under the control of one authority then wholesale changes could have been made and we would never know the difference.
Then once a critical text has been chose among the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, then a translation into English or another language is accurate in so far as it correctly reflects what the original language said.
Scripture is inspired and it is also profitable for teaching. The largest problem we have today in Christian churches is that the Word of God is not the preeminent thing in our worship. The primary focus should always be on the preaching and teaching of God's Word. I see massive spiritual weakness due to doctrinal ignorance in today's world of Christianity.
Scripture is our guide for training in righteousness. The Word of God will show us where we err and correct us and put us back on the path of righteousness. God's Word is the anchor we rely on when temptation comes our way. If we are not in God's Word daily we will not be prepared when it comes.
The Word of God finally is what equips us for every good work. The Christian has no excuse. There is no reason that can be given as to why a Christian is not growing and producing fruit in their life because God has given us His Word which is His chosen means to communicate truth to us. We have the full revealed Word of God and it is all that is necessary for us to live the Christian life.
Also in reference to Sola Scriptura it is important to note that it is the means by which we refute all error in this life. All man made religions will use some other created document or text to use in place of the Bible as their religious text. Also, in religions like Catholicism they add to the Word of God through things the church puts out and through papal authority. In Mormonism they use other sources than the Bible such as "The Book of Mormon" and other texts that they claim must be used in addition to the Bible.
The Bible is our only weapon against such false teaching. When deciding if something is truth or error the Word of God is the deciding factor; not man. So we must be ready and willing to take out our sword, the Word of God and use it not only to refute error but also to know how to walk in righteousness.