Today’s featured sermon was given on May 8, 2016 by Pastor Michael Mudlaff, the senior pastor of Westkirk Presbyterian Church. Westkirk is an independent Presbyterian Church located in Urbandale, IA.
Mudlaff received his B.A. (International Relations/Religion/Politics) from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, in 1988. From there, he went on to receive his M.A. (International Affairs) from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey (1991) and his M.Div. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois (1997). Mudlaff can be heard weekdays at Noon CT on 99.3 The Truth during True Blue, the teaching/talk program that features his preaching.
This sermon, Sola! Scripture Alone is the first of a five-part series Mudlaff preached on the Five Solas of the Reformation.
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work, (2 Timothy 3:14-17, ESV).
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 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 a 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 1:19-25, ESV).
What does it mean that Scripture is God’s revelation to us?
- Scripture is perfect. – It is the comprehensive source of everything that God wants us to know.
- Scripture is sufficient – it is the source that the Church needs to fulfill its God-ordained function. It is the source for the Church to rightly proclaim the Gospel to the world.
- Scripture is inspired – all Scripture is breathed out by God, (2 Timothy 3:16). The words of the Bible are the very words of God.
- Scripture is infallible – the absence of error.
- Scripture is our final authority – As God’s own words, perfect in their source, the Bible alone carries absolute authority because it is the authority of God.
It is all that we need. “The Bible is God’s perfect, sufficient, inspired, infallible authority for all people for all time. To put anything on equal or greater footing than the Bible is to say that something has equal or greater authority than God. That is the essence of the Reformation cry – Sola Scriptura. We don’t need any other authority. The Bible is our absolute standard. Nothing else could possibly measure up, and anything contrary to scripture is false. What a claim that is in a pluralistic world.”
We don’t need any other authority, the Bible is our absolute standard.
- The Bible plus church tradition is not the truth, Scripture alone is the truth.
- The Bible plus another book like the Book of Mormon is not the truth.
- The Bible retranslated to say the preferences of the Watch Tower is not truth, Scripture is truth.
- The Bible modified through the lens of contemporary culture is not truth, Scripture alone is the truth.
The challenge for us is to declare whether or not we believe in the self-proclamation of the Bible. The mark of belief is not knowing the truth it is doing the truth.
“If God intended the interpretation of His word to be on an individual basis there would be no need for the Church…. If each person is his own judge how would we know what is correct. We need the Church to guide and lead us.” (Not talking about pastor per se, but historical church creeds, etc.)