Live it- Sola Scriptura (God’s Word Alone)
Sola scriptura emphasizes the Bible alone as the source of authority for Christians. By saying “Scripture alone,” the Reformers rejected both the divine authority of the Roman Catholic Pope and confidence in sacred tradition. Only the Bible was “inspired by God” (2 Peter 1:20-21) and “God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Anything taught by the Pope or in tradition that contradicted the Bible was to be rejected.
Over the course of many centuries, Rome had gradually adopted a view of the relation between the church, Scripture, and tradition that effectively placed final authority somewhere other than God. Tradition was conceived as a second source of revelation, and the pope and the Church were viewed as the final authority in matters of faith and practice (Ex cathedra—infallibility of the pope).
The reformers regarded the statements of Scripture as conclusive. They took counsel of the Scriptures, and so they ended the matter. “It is written” was to them proof positive and indisputable. “Thus saith the Lord” was the final word: enough for their mind and heart, enough for their conscience and understanding.
Charles Spurgeon stated that “to go behind Scripture did not occur to the first teachers (referring to both the reformers and the church fathers) of our faith: they heard the Oracle of divine testimony, and bowed their heads in reverence. So it ought to be with us: we have erred from the faith, and we shall pierce ourselves through with many sorrows, unless we feel that if the Scripture saith it, it is even so.”
Sola Scriptura–Scripture Alone: This does not mean that tradition or councils are not considered. It means that the Scriptures alone are the final and the highest authority. Everything that the Scriptures address are to be used as the final word on that topic. All things that we learn from other sources must be compared to Scripture, and if they do not match Scripture or if they contradict Scripture, then we are not to affirm them. The Bible says not to exceed what is written… (1 Cor. 4:6).
Sola Scriptura, or “God’s Word Alone,” maintains that the Bible is the highest source of authority in a Christian’s life, the final court of appeal (though not the only authority: the Bible itself mentions governmental and other authorities).
When Luther was asked to renounce his teachings, he stated the following in his famous speech at the Diet of Worms (1521): “Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not retract anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise; May God help me. Amen.”