Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Sola Scriptura and the Apostles Doctrine; How Do They Fit If At All?
A brief word at the beginning of each post will help keep the purpose of these posts in mind as this blog goes forward. If you haven’t read the introductory post, I suggest that you take the time to do it before reading on. I am keeping the posts short so that they can be quickly read and digested. It is my hope that you will reflect on these articles and put them to the test. When you encounter something that seems contrary to everything you have been taught or know to be true…remember the assignment….smile…be a Berean. This is the most important thing to do; test it and see if what I am saying is true by scripture in context
In the last post we looked at sola scriptura, scripture alone and how it came about in evangelical doctrine. Today we will look at it in light of the apostle’s doctrine. In looking at the apostle’s doctrine as taught originally by Jesus himself, it would be understandable to see Christ alone. Faith, grace, Spirit, and scripture would be a part of Christ alone but none of the others would really be alone. The most accurate statement would be Solo Christo, Christ alone, by faith, grace and Spirit. The purpose of the scripture is to point to Jesus Christ.
We have spent several posts on the apostle’s doctrine with respect to scripture. The scripture without the Spirit and the redemptive focus is useless, John 5:39-40. They only profit the one who comes to Christ alone for restored relationship with God. Look at the statement that Paul made to Timothy at the beginning of the passage about the scripture.
2Tim 3:14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it
For Paul the apostle’s doctrine, the specific teaching that Paul had personally given Timothy was the first thing to consider. The reason was that Paul had taught Timothy how to interpret the scripture message. And likewise, it is why Paul instructed the Thessalonians to remember what they had been taught 2Thess 2:15. No, Paul was not an advocate for sola scriptura.
This brings us to the topic of apostolic succession. There are really only a few denominations; four or five to be exact that can claim apostolic succession. They are the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and the Assyrian Church. These alone can claim apostolic succession.
This makes the strong delusion of 2Thess 2:11 all the more important in view of the state of Christianity today. Either, apostolic succession should be in force and, then we should try to find an orthodox church and join or, the strong delusion happened as prophesied in the first century, the New Covenant came in full force at the destruction of the temple, and the kingdom of Christ is here in its fullness awaiting anyone with the faith to believe it.
This would mean that Christ is king, God has redeemed all of humanity, that he is not angry but desirous of a personal relationship with all humans and, that he is omni-present the all in all. This means that we are in his presence 24 hours per day 7 days per week.
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