“The difference between us and the papists is that they do not think that the church can be 'the pillar of the truth' unless she presides over the word of God. We, on the other hand, assert that it is because she reverently subjects herself to the word of God that the truth is preserved by her and passed on to others by her hands.” ― John Calvin
October 31, 2017 is the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. In honor of that anniversary I offer these devotional thoughts on “Scripture Alone.”
The idea that Scripture is primary, not church tradition or church teaching or church authority, is the idea that drove Martin Luther and the subsequent Protestant Reformation. Authority lies in the Bible itself, which is God’s Word. Scripture guides decisions we make about how we experience salvation, how to live a life of discipleship, and how we serve God’s purposes of instituting his Kingship in this world so his will is done on earth as it is in heaven.
This is a good time to reflect on how I am allowing Scripture to speak into my life. The psalmist wrote, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105 KJV). Prior to the Reformation the only way God’s Word informed the life of an ordinary person was for that person to hear about it from a priest. With the Reformation, the Bible was translated into the languages people could actually read and the number of people who could read grew exponentially as Reformers founded schools to educate the masses. Today, the Bible remains a worldwide number-one best seller and is available anywhere over the internet. We’re blessed with the availability of the Word of God, but are we taking advantage? Is dust gathering on our bibles? How are we utilizing the incredible resources at our fingertips?
Take time every day to read the Bible. It’s God’s primary means of communicating his will for our lives. Without direction from God, lives drift off course and miss the blessing and happiness God intends as we partner with him in his mission.