We continue our study of the doctrine known as Sola Scriptura. Sola Scriptura, from the Latin, simply means Scripture Alone. Sola Scriptura is a term derived from the 16th century Protestant Reformation and is the perspective that the Bible is the sole, supreme and final authority for not only individual believers but also the church in all spiritual matters.
We are examining the importance of the Old Testament and the suggestion by a few within the church that believers should detach themselves from the Old Testament Scriptures. It is my contention that this would be an incredibly misguided and sinful thing to do.
Pastor Andy Stanley argues that someone can experience conversion without knowing or reading the Old Testament (or even the Bible)? That faith in Christ’s death, burial and resurrection is enough?
I would respectfully disagree that someone can experience conversion without knowing or reading the Old Testament or even the Bible. The very message of the Gospel, including the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, is centered and sourced in the Scriptures: Old and New Testament. To share the Gospel without referring to the Scriptures is impossible. Ultimately, you have to return to the source of the Gospel message: The Bible. Nowhere in the Scriptures do we see a person sharing the Gospel without referring to the Scriptures.
For example, Matthew 28:19-20 says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Jesus Christ’s Great Commission to the church included teaching new and old converts all that commandments God has given. These commandments are contained in His Word: both the Old and New Testaments.
We should also consider Peter’s Day of Pentecost gospel presentation found in Acts 2:22-39. He preached the gospel for the first time and extensively referred to the Old Scriptures throughout his message.
However, one of the greatest evidences of the necessity of the Old Testament Scriptures is given by none other than our Lord Jesus Christ. Luke 24:13-27 says, “That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”
Do not fail to notice the significance of Luke 24:27 which says, “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” Jesus did not regard the Old Testament neither as a hindrance to the gospel nor as something from which the church should be un-hitched.
Romans 10:9-17 says, “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
As Dr. John MacArthur explains, “Paul’s main point in this series of rhetorical questions is that a clear presentation of the gospel message must precede true saving faith. True faith always has content—the revealed Word of God. Salvation comes to those who hear and believe that facts of the gospel.”
James 1:18 says, “Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of His creatures.”
I Peter 1:22-25 says, “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.”
Our trust in, comment to, dependence upon and worship of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior originates from hearing and understanding the Word of God by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit. Any presentation of the gospel must contain biblical truth if it is to be a true presentation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Resolve in your soul and spirit today to never compromise biblical truth when sharing the good news of the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Soli deo Gloria!