10 Lessons on the Lutheran Faith

Lesson 2:  Scripture Alone!

a resource from www.lutheran-resources.org

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Getting Started

Websterís New World Dictionary defines the Bible as: "the sacred book of Christianity, Old Testament and New Testament; the Holy Scriptures of Judaism, Old Testament; any book regarded as authoritative or official."

Write down three words that describe the Bible for you:

  • __________________
     
  • __________________
     
  • __________________

     

 

The Bible Teaches

The Bible tells us about itself.

  • NAB 1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.
  • NAB Mark 7:10 "For Moses said, 'HONOR YOUR FATHER AND YOUR MOTHER'; and, 'HE WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER, IS TO BE PUT TO DEATH'; 11 but you say, 'If a man says to his father or his mother, whatever I have that would help you is Corban (that is to say, given to God),' 12 you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother; 13 thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that."

The Bible is Godís Word to us.

Some people believe that the Bible contains Godís Word, but also contains the opinions of human beings, and therefore could have mistakes. The Bible talks about this as well.

  • NAB 2 Peter 1:21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
  • NAB 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
  • NAB 1 Corinthians 2:13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.

While the Bible was written by people, it was done so at the prompting of God. God the Holy Spirit spoke through these men. The Bible is not a produce of human reason, reflection, or imagination, but is the result of verbal inspiration.

Verbal inspiration means that God breathed into His special spokesmen when, what, and how His Word was to be written for all to read.

The Bible is different from any other book. It is the only book that has God Himself as its author. But it is different in other ways as well.

  • It contains no mistakes. Everything it says is true.

NAB John 17:17 "Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.

  • God uses the Bible as an instrument to create faith.

NAB Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

  • Godís Word has the power to save those who believe what it says.

NAB Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

  • Godís Word accomplishes the purpose for which He gave it.

NAB Isaiah 55:10 "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; 11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

We also observe about the Bible:

  1. It has unity. Written over a period of 1,600 years, it contains the same ideas and message. It does not contradict itself.
     
  2. It contains prophesies or promises and fulfillment. God promises the human race blessings through His Son, and then delivered those blessings.
     
  3. It is effective: it is able to save human beings and bring us to faith.

     

The Bible tells us that from its beginning to its end it is Godís Word. The first part of the Bible is called the Old Testament. The second part is called the New Testament. All of Scripture, whether it is in the Old or the New supports the one mission of God, to point us to Jesus Christ.

  • NAB 2 Timothy 3:15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
  • NAB John 5:39 "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me;

Scripture points to Christ. The Old Testament points forward to the coming of Christ. The New Testament points backward to the fulfillment of the promise of a savior.

God gives His Word for a purpose. God desires that all people be saved. So He has given His Word that we may have faith in Jesus Christ and so that we may continue to grow in that grace throughout our lives.

  • NAB John 20:31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
  • NAB 1 Peter 2:21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps,

The Bible also tells us how we should use it.

  • We should diligently search and listen to it.
    • NAB John 5:39 "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me;
    • NAB John 5:24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.
  • We should follow it and teach it.
    • NAB John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.
    • NAB Mark 16:15 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
  • We should seek to understand the Scriptures on their own ground.
  • We should remember the Scriptures will show us the truth about ourselves as sinful human beings having a need for salvation.
    • NAB Deuteronomy 27:26 'Cursed is he who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them.' And all the people shall say, 'Amen.'
  • We should remember that Scripture tells us about God as He truly is, our Savior.
    • NAB 1 John 4:9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.
  • As we seek to understand, we should remember that each passage of Scripture has one meaning which depends on what God meant and not on what we think it should mean. We should remember that God will not contradict Himself in His Word. So we can and should use Scripture to help us interpret Scripture.
    • NAB 2 Peter 1:20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation,
  • As we seek to understand, we should remember the Holy Spirit is with us to help us have the right understanding.
    • NAB John 16:13 "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
  • We should believe the Scriptures. As we hear, the Holy Spirit will work in us to create faith to believe the promises that God gives to us through His Word.
    • NAB Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

 
 

God uses two kinds of words to bring us to faith and salvation. He speaks words of Law and words of Gospel.

The Law: Shows us our sins. It tell us we deserve punishment.

The Gospel: Shows us our Savior. It tells us that Christ died in our place so our sins can be forgiven.

  • NAB Deuteronomy 27:26 'Cursed is he who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them.' And all the people shall say, 'Amen.'
  • NAB Romans 3:20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
  • NAB Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

 
  copyright Rev. David D. Reedy, 1999