Lutherans continue to celebrate the Reformation
This month we look at the last of what Martin Luther called “The Three Solas.” We have studied “Faith Alone,” “Grace Alone,” and now we look at “Scripture Alone.”
Contrary to what the modern culture would have us believe, Christians do not believe that all roads lead to God. So what sets Scripture, the Christian Bible apart from other religions’ manifests?
Christianity is the one religion based not on what man must do (for salvation) but what God has done. Christianity is the one religion based first on love rather than obedience (while the Commandments do tell us what to do, they are not a condition for God’s love, but obeyed because God first loved us, our faith response). And Christianity is the one religion whose prophet is still alive. Jesus lives, raised and ascended into heaven.
As for the Bible, Christianity is the one faith whose Scriptures contain an account of the creation. As there were no news crews and no cameras at the time the earth was formed, we have an account of the creation because God Himself inspired Moses to write. The Bible is said to be “Man written, God inspired,” as the authors wrote under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Thus, the Bible contains no errors, no contradictions and is the truth according to God for all to know. God reveals what He wants us to know of Him and His saving work.
This also sets Christianity’s holy book apart from others: its true author is God. Some believe that the Bible contains the Word of God. While this is true, the statement is incomplete and slightly inaccurate. The Bible IS the Word of God. To pick and choose from Scripture what is and isn’t the true and inspired Word of God and what content is subject to man’s scrutiny is a slippery slope to where man creates his own truth. What we believe, teach and confess is based on what the Bible teaches, not man’s limited understanding, not tradition, and not by adding or subtracting from the given Word of Scripture.
500 years ago, during the Reformation, Luther’s conviction to the belief in the inerrant Word of God inspired him to challenge the changing complexion of the Church and correct its leaders who had taken the Church astray. The Bible gave then and gives now instruction and direction according to God Himself. The Bible gives light where there is darkness. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path,” as described in Psalms 119:105. The Bible is the standard by which all men and all teaching are judged, but is also the grace and mercy of a loving God showering that love on humanity through His Son Jesus. Through the Word of God, Scripture alone, we have life itself.
The Reformation is celebrated by our churches: St. Paul Lutheran in Fredonia (672-6731), Immanuel Lutheran in Gowanda (532-4342) and Trinity Lutheran in Silver Creek (934-2002).