Sola Scriptura – Two Sets of Fours (Part One)
Sola Scriptura = Scripture Alone in Latin
PART THREE OF SIX
The Bible has many roles throughout someone’s life. It might just start out as a book, maybe you received as a gift, that does not mean that much to you. I want to lay out four roles the Bible can serve well, if we will let it. I will call today and tomorrow, “Two Sets of Fours,” as I will have four more roles tomorrow.
MIRROR. The Bible acts as a mirror. “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in the mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing” (James 1:22-25).
I remember my good friend saying that at a point in his life (because of the way he was living), he was afraid to look in the mirror because he thought he might see the devil. Obviously, he needed to make some changes in his life, and he did. He now is one of the most faithful servants, if not the, of the Lord I have ever seen. The Bible is used to reflect, to show our blemishes. Once you look in the mirror and see a blemish, you know you need to do something about it. In the same way, the Lord reflects our true character and reveals changes to be made. We cannot just hear this, we must do something about it. The Ten Commandments is used as a mirror. When they are reviewed, one can see they could never attain righteousness on their own. It points to Jesus and our desperate need for Him.
WASHES. The Bible cleans for we are washed with the word. “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:25-27).
Paul’s teaching in verse 25 was twofold: he taught about the relationship between a husband and a wife, comparing it to Christ’s love for the Church. It’s a sacrificial love in both cases. Paul then said, in verse 26, that Christ “cleansed her by the washing of water with the word.” The Gospel comes to us through the word (Word), and being washed of water with the word (Word) is the only way we can be made clean from the filth of sin.
REPRODUCES. The Bible has reproductive power. “Since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Peter 1:23).
We are born again through the living and abiding word (Word) of God. The perishable seed is our old sin nature that can only be overcome by the imperishable seed of God in Jesus Christ. Porter Barrington said, “The new birth produces the life of Christ, and this life is made living in man by the indwelling Holy Spirit.”
GROWS. The Bible nourishes and grows the believer. “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation” (1 Peter 2:2).
This spiritual milk is the word of God and is used to grow us. As newborn infants long for milk, a believer should yearn for the word of God. Just as a baby who never had milk would wither away and die, one can expect the same fate spiritually if he does not rely on the word of God to nurture and help grow him.
We can see what an important role the Bible plays for the believer. It is the word of God and we should rely on it to show us our faults and sin through its reflecting quality, to wash us and make us clean, to give us a new birth and nature, and to nurture and grow us. Someone has said of the Bible, “Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be right.”
Just for today, read the Bible, believe the Bible, and practice what the Bible teaches.
Tune in tomorrow for Part Four….
The idea for today’s post and above quotes are credited to: Barrington, Porter. The Christian life New Testament : the New King James version : Master Outlines and Study Notes. Nashville TN: T. Nelson Publishers, 1984.