ONE OF THE RALLYING cries of the great Reformation was the Five Solas. Sola Scriptura means “let the Scripture alone be the source of our doctrine and salvation.” Sola fide means, “we are saved by faith alone.” Sola gratia states that, “we are saved by grace alone.” Solus Christus means “we are saved through Christ alone.” Soli Deo gloria means, “to the glory of God alone.” When you put it all together, we have, “Saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone according to the Scriptures alone for the glory of God alone.” Praise God!
THE COUNTER REFORMATION: DOWN WITH SOLA SCRIPTURA!
One of the greatest thrusts of the Roman Catholic counter reformation was and still is to attack Sola Scriptura and Sola fide. Salvation according to the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) is an intricate system of works involving the sacramental system. This is not found in Scripture. That, however, isn’t a problem for the RCC. Vatican II affirmed that Scripture and tradition together “form one sacred deposit of the Word of God.” When tradition goes contrary to the Word of God, tradition is upheld.
THE RESURGENCE OF “DOWN WITH SOLA SCRIPTURA!”
The Kingdom Now, or Dominion Theology, seems to borrow a page from the RCC playbook. In an endeavor to support unscriptural teachings and prophecies, they have said that the church no longer needs to use Scripture to determine doctrine, prophecies, or activities done within the church.
C. Peter Wagner, chancellor emeritus of Wagner Leadership Institute, opposes the modern day usage of Sola Scriptura. He said that many of our practices and doctrines today are extra biblical. Wagner brought up the doctrine of the Trinity as an example. “We today believe in the Trinity not because of direct biblical revelation but because of a majority of votes in certain town councils; in other words, we believe in the Trinity by extra biblical revelation.” I beg to differ. Scripture clearly speaks of the Trinity even though the modern word Trinity is not used.
SCRIPTURAL BASIS FOR SOLA SCRIPTURA
One of my favorite verses in support of Sola Scriptura is Matthew 4:4. “But He answered and said, It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Spiritually, we live or die according to acceptance or rejection of God’s Holy Word.
Jesus and the apostles appealed to the Bible as the final authority. “It is written” is repeated some 90 times in the New Testament. Jesus used this phrase three times when appealing to Scripture as the final authority in His dispute with Satan (Mat. 4:4, 7, 10).
Jesus asked the Jewish leadership, “Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? … Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition” (Mat. 15:3, 6). Jesus confirmed the need to line up doctrines, prophecies, and activities to the Word of God. Jesus endorsed Sola Scriptura!
THE BIBLE IS GOD’S MESSAGE TO HIS CHURCH
In the Bible, God says more than 2,500 times, “God said … the Lord has said … thus saith the Lord,” and so on. The Bible is in a class of its own, exalted above all other books and the traditions of man. Sola Scriptura!
There is indeed a scriptural basis for Sola Scriptura. A child of God must use Scripture as the standard by which all doctrine is to be confirmed or denied. Jesus did. The early church did. There must always be a scriptural foundation for doctrine.
1. Christianity Today, April 2014.