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Summary: Taking a look at Sola Scriptura - by Scripture Alone as the foundation for our doctrines of faith ...

Please open your Bibles to Acts 17:1-15 which we will read in a few minutes.

In October of 1517 a man named Martin Luther posted a listing on the church door in Wittenberg, Germany called The Ninety-five Theses or Disputation on the Power of Indulgences.

This was the beginning of what has been called the Protestant Reformation and out of this reformation came five foundational, Biblical, theological truths know as the five Solas.

Sola Scriptura, by Scripture alone

Solus Christus, through Christ alone

Sola Fide, by faith alone

Sola Gratia, by grace alone

Soli Deo Gloria, glory to God alone

Today we’ll be looking at the first of these Solas, Sola Scriptura, by Scripture alone.

With that in mind let’s go ahead and read: Acts 17:1-15

Acts 17:11

“ Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

Which is the most important part of this verse, “they received the message with great eagerness”, or, they “examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true”?

Do you remember the quote about the Bible by Richard Wurmbrand from several weeks ago?

“God is the Truth. And the Bible is the truth about the Truth.”

Therefore, examining the Scriptures every day to see what is true would be seeking the truth about the “truth about the Truth” or the truth about God.

In the Church of The Nazarene we have sixteen Articles of Faith and all of these Articles of Faith are based on the Bible, the truth about the Truth.

Article 4 is entitled, “The Holy Scriptures” and it states …

We believe in the plenary inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, by which we understand the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, given by divine inspiration, inerrantly revealing the will of God concerning us in all things necessary to our salvation, so that whatever is not contained therein is not to be enjoined as an article of faith.

(Luke 24:44-47; John 10:35; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 1 Peter 1:10-12; 2 Peter 1:20-21)

Let’s rephrase this a little easier to understand …

We believe in the complete and total inspiration of the Holy Scriptures.

We believe that God inspired the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments.

We believe that these Scriptures, without error, reveal to us the will of God for our salvation.

We believe that these Scriptures contain everything we need to know to be saved.

We believe that only what is found in Scripture is to be used as a basis for our beliefs. And, we believe that any article of faith or foundational belief which is founded on anything other than Scripture is to be rejected.

Sola Scriptura – by Scripture alone

But, the situation is this … there are always going to be influences in society that are going to want to add to the Scriptures or to supercede the Scriptures or to take away from the Scriptures.

John Wesley, the theologian, was diligent to study to see the truth in Scripture and he also struggled with how to determine whether a church tradition or human reasoning or personal experience was going to harm a person spiritually or not.

As people studied John Wesley’s reasoning they came up with an idea called the Wesleyan Quadrilateral consisting of Scripture, Tradition, Reason and Experience.

Here are a few examples of how people have tried to express these ideas in diagrams

http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/2226/1015/1600/truth%20-%20wesleyan%20quad.jpg

https://absoluttmetodist.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/wesleyan-quadrilateral31.jpg

http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1156/1443242861_fabb02b2d8_z.jpg

(Go back to this verse on the screen)

Acts 17:11

“ Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

In keeping with this Scripture and others one of our instructors explained the Wesleyan quadrilateral this way.

(Using the top of the grand piano or a table set a tripod up on the flat surface.)

The piano represents God’s Holy Word, the truth about the Truth, the truth about God and the foundation on which we stand in our understanding of God and His relentless pursuit of the salvation of humanity.

Each of the legs of this tripod represents tradition, reason or experience as they relate to a person’s spiritual life.

The traditions of my church may be in alignment with the Word of God or they may be in opposition to the Word of God.

Human reasoning may be in alignment with the Word of God or it may be in opposition to the Word of God.

Human experience may be in alignment with the Word of God or it may be in opposition to the Word of God.

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