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Sola Scriptura #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
March 19, 2024 12:00 am

Sola Scriptura #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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March 19, 2024 12:00 am

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Welcome to The Truth Pulpit with Don Green, Founding Pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Hello again, I'm Bill Wright. It is our joy to continue our commitment to teaching God's people God's Word. Today Don is continuing with the second part of a message we started last time. So let's get right to it. Open your Bible as we join Don now in The Truth Pulpit.

Think about it this way. And this is a matter that comes up in scholarship, so-called biblical scholarship, all the time as people adopt a critical view toward the Bible. You know, did Jesus really say what he said in the Gospels? Or did the Gospel writers make some things up? And doubt is injected on this, on things like that.

Is sixth-day creation really true or not? And what you need to see is that as soon as you say that there are parts of the Bible that are true and there are parts that are subject to error, what you've done is this. And I'll speak as though I'm speaking to a proud, boastful scholar who says we can separate these things out and we'll determine what's true and what's not in the Bible. What that scholar has done is he has placed himself over the Bible. The scholar will tell you now what's true and what's not. He'll tell you what the history is, what's true and what's not, what the science is true and what's not. And rather than having a trustworthy book, you have men and women who have inserted themselves between you and the authority of Scripture and who presume to tell you, I will tell you what Scripture is true.

I will tell you the parts that you can believe and the parts that you cannot. That's obviously foolish. That's obviously not what God intended. And, beloved, don't let anyone become a higher authority to you than the Bible. Because once you do that, once a man puts himself in that position where he will stand in judgment of Scripture, now that man becomes your final authority. That man whose breath is in his nostrils. That man who is a fallen creature whose mind is distorted by his own personal sin and by the sin we all inherit from Adam. He is in no position to stand as a final authority and no one should put their trust in a man who puts himself over the Bible to tell us what's true and what is not. You don't have to believe it entirely and implicitly in matters of history or science.

Beloved, that's deadly poison. That will be the destruction of your soul to embrace that. And what God has given us is a book that we can believe and trust entirely in everything that it teaches, in everything that it teaches. It doesn't mean that we have to study it hard to make sure that we understand what it's actually saying. That doesn't mean that we approach Scripture in a superficial way. But it means that when we do the necessary hard work of interpretation and we come to a right understanding of Scripture, we can know that we have something true and that we can stake our lives and our souls on. That's what the inerrancy of Scripture teaches us. There's no other book like it.

It stands alone as the authority. Now listen, Jesus even addressed this matter. This is a false way to think about Scripture.

But to think that there's a secondary level of matters that we don't have yet. We don't have to be so committed to in the truth of Scripture, history, science, and what have you. When Scripture speaks to so-called earthly things, well, that's not as important, they might say, as faith and morals. And so we can distinguish between the two.

No, no, no, not at all. In fact, Jesus turns that argument on its head. If you look at the Gospel of John, chapter 3, for a moment, John chapter 3, beginning in verse 11, Jesus said to Nicodemus, he said, truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. Context, of course, Jesus told Nicodemus, you must be born again if you are to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus had earlier said in verse 8, the wind blows where it wishes, you hear its sound, you don't know where it comes or where it goes, so it is with everyone who's born of the Spirit. Now look at what Jesus says in verse 12. He says, if I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? If I tell you about lesser matters pertaining to the earth, and you don't believe my testimony on that, how and on what basis would you believe if I tell you heavenly things, about spiritual things that you cannot see? Well, beloved, take that line of reasoning and apply it to the Scriptures. If you can't believe what the Bible says about history and science, then on what possible basis can you believe what it says about greater, more important things?

Can it be trusted in the details of earth? On what basis do we say we believe it for the heavenly things? And at what point do you kick in in believing the Bible?

John MacArthur makes this point. You say you reject, you don't want to believe the six days of creation, 24-hour days in the first chapter of Genesis, you don't want to believe that? Where do you kick in? Do you kick in at Genesis 2, where there's a literal Adam? Do you kick in at Genesis 3? Do you kick in later at the flood?

Do you kick in at Abraham? Where do you start to believe if you don't take Scripture at its fullness and at its face value? And those questions expose the lie of it. If you pick and choose Scripture, you don't believe Scripture at all. And you have not submitted your mind to the Word of God.

You have not submitted to Christ. It is a position, a posture of rebellion against God to sit in judgment of His Word. If we consider the great holiness of God and being in the presence of His Shekinah glory, the majesty of His glory which no man can see and live because of its overwhelming sight, as Paul saw Christ on the road to Damascus and it was brighter than the sun, His glory, and we can't look at the sun in its unveiled glory, and the glory of God is greater, and we're looking in the glory of God this way, with that mental framework set in place, imagine, imagine the arrogance, the defiance, the rebellion, the sinfulness of being in that presence of the Shekinah glory and saying, I will determine what you say, whether what you say is true or not. Where is the fear of God in this? Where is a recognition of the holiness and authority of God in these men and in these women who say such things?

No, no, no, no, no, no, no. The Bible is inspired by God. It is inerrant in everything that it says, and we receive it as authoritative, and we submit our minds and our wills to its authority, as is appropriate for that which comes from the mind and glory of a God who cannot lie. There is no other book like it.

It stands alone as the authority. And I hope, I hope, beloved, that you get some kind of a sense of the egregious nature of the sin of men throughout history who have given books and said, I'm a prophet of God. God has given new revelation to me. It's frightening to me to even enter into the mental realm that makes that happen. It's a demonic realm designed to undermine the authority of Scripture. We don't go there. We can't go there.

We won't go there. We receive the Bible alone as our authority. Now that leads us to a second very important point, which is the sufficiency of Scripture. The sufficiency of Scripture. What do we mean by the sufficiency of Scripture?

Well, this is a most important point. The Bible contains everything that is necessary to find salvation in Christ, to trust Him, and to live for Him in an acceptable way. Everything that we need to know about how to be saved is found in Scripture. Everything that you need to live a godly, joyful life is found in Scripture. Everything that you need to overcome adversity, to find peace and contentment in your circumstances is found in Scripture. And that is to be the place that you look for help and comfort, is in the truth of Scripture, either directly through its pages or through writings and teaching that explain what it means by what it says. Again, the 1689 Confession says, the Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience. Only Scripture. And here again, the word only, the word alone, is what distinguishes matters. There are those who say that, you know, it's fine to talk about the Bible and it's good as far as it goes, but we need other things. In this modern age, we need other things to help us.

We need psychology to help us work through our difficult problems. That's not true. Scripture alone is sufficient, and that is what Scripture says for itself. Look again at 2 Timothy chapter 3 as we go back to that foundational text. 2 Timothy chapter 3. And because Scripture is God's word, because God is true, and because God is the final authority in the universe, what God says rules our minds and rules our understanding. And so when it comes to matters of evangelism, the Bible is sufficient. The Bible is sufficient to lead someone to saving faith in Christ. 2 Timothy 3 verse 14.

Paul says to Timothy, as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how, from childhood, you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Everything that's needed to convict a man of sin, set forth before him the person and work of Jesus Christ, the reality of saving repentance and faith, everything is found in Scripture for that. We don't need other things outside of Scripture to show us how to be reconciled with God.

And so the fact that, for example, I just used this as an example. The fact that Catholics teach seven different sacraments that are necessary to be saved, that you must have and must follow and must obey in order to be saved, is by definition false because they are outside of Scripture. Scripture alone is enough to make you wise unto salvation. And so when men start to add conditions and works that must be done in order to be saved that are not found in the pages of the Bible, you know that you can reject them because if they were necessary for your salvation, God would have included them in the Bible. Because the Bible claims that everything you need to know to be saved is found within its pages.

Vitally important to know and to understand. But going further and speaking to the body of Christ and Christians within the room here today, so important for you to know, the Bible is sufficient for your sanctification, your spiritual growth, your Christ-likeness. Everything that is essential for you to grow in Christ is found in the pages of Scripture. This is what the Bible says about itself. 2 Timothy chapter 3 verse 16 and 17, 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.

Equipped for every good work. Beloved, whatever position you have in life right now, with all of the difficulties, the adversities, the uncertainty, the confusion, where do I go, what do I do, how do I move forward in life, Beloved, don't look outside the Bible for that kind of help. Don't look to spiritual gurus of the modern age. Look to Scripture. It is sufficient.

That's what it says. If you are to bear fruit for God in the life that he has given you right now, the way forward in that is found in the Bible, by what Scripture says. And so Paul goes on in chapter 4 verses 1 and 2, he says to Timothy, I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom preach the word.

Be ready in season and out of season. Reprove, rebuke, and exhort with complete patience and teaching. What happens when people distrust the Bible and think that the Bible is lacking for what they need spiritually?

What happens? It's inevitable. Verse 3, the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions and will turn aside from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. When you start to doubt the ability of the Bible to give you the strength you need to live your life, you're taking a step down a dangerous path.

Because once you turn away from the Bible and your complete trust in the complete sufficiency of the word of God for the life that God has given you, you turn your back on that and you're opening yourself up to teachers who will lead you away from the truth. A little word of advice from a pastor, don't do that. Don't do that. Just stop. Go to God and confess that you have strayed from your confidence in his word. Confess it as a sin. Ask him to forgive you and by grace to lead you back to the riches of scripture, which are sufficient for your life and guidance. Psalm 119 verse 9 says, how can a young man keep his way pure?

By keeping it according to your word. And along with that, beloved, turn to Psalm 19 as well. Psalm 19 verses 7 through 9. And look at what the word of God claims for itself about its power to rejuvenate our souls and to help us as we walk through life as the children of God.

Psalm 19 verse 7. The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever. The rules of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold, sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them, as your servant warned, in keeping them there is great reward. Beloved, the Bible says it is perfect and it restores the soul. The Bible says that it is able to take you as a believer and to guide you, to give you wisdom, and to restore joy to your heart. Now, if that is true, then scripture is sufficient. If we deny that and say that there are things in the realm of human learning, human psychology, human psychiatry that we need that scripture doesn't have, but we must have these things if we're to get through these particular problems that we have, then scripture is lying to us. Scripture has told us a lie. It's not perfect. It's not sufficient. It doesn't equip us for every good work. And God has misled us. And if God has misled us, we should just turn off the lights, walk out, and go home because we're wasting our time.

It's that serious. It's that much of a fork in the road in terms of how you respond to this. If the Bible is perfect, if it's complete, if it's able to revive our souls, then that's what it means.

And it's able to do that. To say, the Bible's not enough for my needs, beloved, is a denial of scripture on its face. Now, scripture does not guide us by telling us everything, by giving us rules for everything that we do.

Rather, it provides enough wisdom and guidance that we can please God as we apply its principles in wisdom to our life. And look, look, beloved, you know, life is hard. I sent a text to the elders a couple of days ago, and I just told them, I said, life is so hard just thinking about matters of ministry that we deal with on an ongoing basis, thinking about, you know, the things that we all go through in our individual lives as our health fails or as difficulties in relationships come up or whatever. Life is so hard.

I get that, and you do too. The question is, where do we find the strength and the guidance and the help and the joy that we need? Well, we find it in order to get through it. We find it in scripture. We find it in Christ. Scripture says in Colossians, in Christ you have been made complete.

If we have a Savior who has loved our souls and who is guiding our lives and working all things together for good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose, then everything in life, beloved, fits under that umbrella. The mistakes that we have made, the sins that we have committed, the sins that others have committed against us, all find their resolution in the sufficiency of Christ as it's revealed to us in the sufficiency of scripture. And so if it seems like we're missing something, then we just go back to the Word of God and search its pages more and more. We come to hear its teaching.

We come to fellowship with his people under the authority of the Word of God, and there we find that which is sufficient to strengthen our souls and to live ultimately a trusting, joyful life. But if you deny scripture, if you deny that scripture is sufficient and you start looking in other places, what you've done is you've gone and you've stepped and you've put your heel on the air hose of your very spiritual existence. Now why would you do that?

Why would you do that? God made it clear even in the Old Testament that his people were never to look beyond his written word. You don't need to turn there for the sake of time, but in Deuteronomy chapter 4, verse 2, we read this. Deuteronomy 4, verse 2.

I'll get there eventually because I want to read it exactly right. Deuteronomy 4, verse 2. You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you.

It's an echo of the end of Revelation. Do not add to the words of this book. Do not take away from them. Beloved, if anything further was necessary, scripture would not be complete. And so this is where we come out on it.

And I pause so that you can kind of catch your breath and take in this most important point. A man, a woman, you take the Bible alone or you do not take it at all. And when we say alone, what we mean is as final authority. That which commands what we are to believe and to do. That which gives us the spiritual resources that are necessary to live life acceptably before God. You take the Bible alone or you do not take it at all.

Because you cannot take scripture which says you shall not add to the word that I command you. That's what the Bible says. The Bible says it's perfect, it's complete, restoring the soul. It says that it is able to give you the faith that leads to salvation in Christ Jesus. It is able to make you, equip you for every good work.

That's what it says. And if you say, no, there's something more that I need. There's something else that I believe is that final additional authority. You've just denied scripture altogether. And if you add to the Bible, you deny the Bible. And so Sola Scriptura in the context of the Reformation, it rejected Catholic tradition. It rejected the pope. But it also rejects all other claims from books, men or religion that God has spoken through them in a way that he did not speak in the Bible. There is no new revelation.

We reject modern revelations and prophecies just as we reject Catholic claims to papal and traditional authority. The Bible and the Bible alone. Beloved God has given us an authoritative and final book that has all we need to believe in him truly and to live a life that is pleasing to him. Turn to Isaiah 55 as we close. Isaiah 55.

We're leaving some clarifications and qualifications out for the sake of the greater point that we're making here tonight. We have a treasure in the word of God. And we read in Isaiah 55, verse 10, for as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there, but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater. So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth. It shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. God has given us a powerful, authoritative, inspired, inerrant, sufficient word, beloved. You should have a high view of scripture. The highest view of scripture. The question is, do you?

And do you trust it for what it says? Let's pray together. Gracious God, I pray that you would ever more and ever more increase our confidence in the authority and sufficiency of your word. Guide us from men and from teaching that would lead us astray, give us the courage and strength that we need and the understanding that we need to study this word, to believe this word, to practice this word. And, Father, as we do that, may you fill our hearts with the joy of having found the truth as you have revealed it in your word and revealed it in the person of Jesus Christ. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen. That's Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Thank you so much, friend, for listening to The Truth Pulpit. Join us again next time as Don begins a new message as we continue teaching God's people God's word on The Truth Pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-19 04:44:57 / 2024-03-19 04:54:18 / 9

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