But don’t we need more than just the Bible? It’s a complicated world, seems like it’s falling apart at the seams. Frightening, uncertain, just plain scary. Is Scripture alone enough for us to be sure we’re saved/right with God. Let’s make a list of reliable, accurate, true sources of God’s Word and promises:
2)________________ (there is nothing else!)
Scripture is enough because the work of Christ is enough. Nothing more is to be done, nothing more needs to be known for our salvation and our Christian walk. No more sources/words/books needed. Scripture alone saves.
Now if we truly believe this, that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God, sufficient for salvation, that it’s the living, breathing Word of God that changes and shapes my life, then we’ll be in it. Right? Not just once a week, but every day!
What’s the problem? A sinful nature fights, of course. But to place this in the context of some statistics: 47% of Christians say they’re too busy to read the Bible/don’t have time, and 19% admit to being too lazy. 66%, two thirds of us! According to Barna Research, only 4% of Christians have a Biblical worldview, that is, only 4% of Christians actually think like Jesus thinks.
If it is true that we’re saved by Scripture alone, we’ll want to feed faith with the divine fuel of the Word of God. How? Four ways.
1)Hear it. In worship, hear the Word read out loud, hear it preached in sermons. Get an audio bible. Listen to it. Hear the Word of God.
2)Read it. People say, “I don’t understand the Bible. It doesn’t make sense to me.” I’ve never met someone who reads the Bible on a consistent basis who made that statement. It’s not that people who read the Bible understand it all. It’s that most of us read a couple of passages and give up or open up to Leviticus and say, “Uh, no.” When’s the last time you took the time to read through the entire Bible? Or just the New Testament? Or just one book? Or just one chapter?
3)Study it. This goes beyond reading. Take the Word apart, phrase by phrase, word by word, analyze it, meditate on it, ask questions, apply it. This is done well in a Bible study group setting.
4)Memorize it. Does that make you cringe? It makes Confirmation students cringe (our 12-14 year olds). I’ll give them weekly memory assignments and they’ll say, “But I can’t memorize anything.” And yet they’ll know every word of the top 20 songs on the music charts. They can recite entire episodes of Spongebob Squarepants word for annoying word. Those who play fantasy football know all kinds of useless information. I’m sorry, but it’s the truth – useful for fantasy football, sure, but useless in the real world. Those who love to shop know what to buy when and where. You remember what’s important to you.
There’s a wonderful verse in Psalm 119 that highlights the importance of memorizing the Word, and tucking it away in hearts and minds: “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (v. 11)
When I’ve got the Word of God in my heart and mind and I’m in the midst of temptation, God calls up that Scripture I’ve heard, read, studied, and memorized – and it comes back to me. When I’m afraid or lonely or frustrated (or all of these at the same time), God calls up appropriate Scriptures and gives me comfort, assurance, and help. But God can’t call his Word into your mind and heart if it’s not there, if you haven’t tucked it away. God simply cannot use his Word in your life to shape your life if it’s not there.
To have the Word but not use it is like watching an exercise video while sitting on the couch with a quart of Haagen Das. It’s like going to the doctor when you’re sick but not bothering to fill the prescription given you. Unthinkable!
The Bible says, “Faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the Word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17) The Bible says, “These words are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31) The Bible says, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” (Romans 1:16)
Sola Scriptura. Scripture alone saves. Because Scripture alone proclaims Christ alone.
To God alone be the glory!
Pastor Stephen Luchterhand