Friday, August 11, 2006

Is Sola Scriptura A Protestant Concoction?

Just Luther's dogma?A good friend of mine has recently been having some theological discussions with some Roman Catholics. These aren't your run of the mill Catholics, these seem to care a good deal about doctrine (oxymoron?). One of the points that these Catholics pressed was that in all reality the Bible is not the only authority on which we are to base our doctrine. I frankly have never heard this pushed so blatantly, generally I have merely heard quibbles about how we cannot interpret the bible on our own, so therefore we need the saints and popes (Catholic Church's tradition) to interpret for us. Thus, this is not an outright denial of sola scriptura but a kind of sidestep. However, these guys are a bit more militant and there argument against sola scriptura would logically go as follows:

(1) Protestants hold to X (The doctrine that the scriptures alone are to be authoritative.)
(2) X is not found in the scriptures.
.:(3) Therefore X is self refuting.

This is the core of the challenge against sola scriptura, namely that it takes an extra-biblical dogma to establish (1), which says only the bible gives authority to doctrine. The above argument is valid. Yet, its presuppositions may not be sound. So if sola scriptura is true, the place to challenge this logical argument is point (2). From what I have been looking at on the net this seems to be the starting point devout Catholics make to challenge sola scriptura, to read an example check this out.

Does the Bible Teach Sola Scriptura?

A.A. Hodge lays out a good outline of a response that I will work from to answer these challenges as he writes:
"1st. The Scriptures always speak in the name of God, and command faith and obedience.
2nd. Christ and his apostles always refer to the written Scriptures, then existing, as authority, and to no other rule of faith whatsoever.--Luke 16:29; 10:26; John 5:39; Rom. 4:3;2 Tim. 3:15.
3rd. The Bereans are commended for bringing all questions, even apostolic teaching, to this test.--Acts 17:11; see also Isa. 8:16.
4th. Christ rebukes the Pharisees for adding to and perverting the Scriptures.--Matt. 15:7-9; Mark 7:5-8; see also Rev. 22:18, 19, and Deut. 4:2; 12:32; Josh. 1:7."

*(I think progressively with each point it Rome's error becomes more flagrent)*

1st) The scripture clearly displays God alone as having the right to command men. A case and point testimony of failure to conform to this is found in 1 Kings 13, where a prophet is given specific instructions on how he is to travel to deliver his message (He is specifically commanded to take up no lodging v.9) However, another prophet catches wind that this man is of God and begins to persuade this man to lodge with him even saying to him that God spoke to him that He (God) basically changed His mind and it was now ok to take up lodging. Upon finally accepting the invitation the word of the Lord comes to the deceptive prophet, which condemns the 1st for yielding to the invitations. Later the first prophet is killed by a lion on the road for his disobedience to the word of the Lord.

The point I am driving at is that God expects His word, and His commands to be put above the counsel of men. The entire bible is really a "thus says the Lord" book therefore it is to be held above men's ideas and even interpretations which may err.

2nd) Christ and the apostles leaned upon the written word to support their teachings, therefore to do other than they is not only unsafe but also unwise. It is amazing to note how often Christ uses the phrase "As it is written..." Christ, who really is the author of all scripture, leaned upon the authority of His own written word to give support to His teachings. The scriptures are the foundation of true hope giving teaching:

"For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." (Rom 15:4)

To the scriptures do Christ and the apostles point not only for support of their own teachings but, also for the believer’s instruction (doctrine) and hope.

3rd) It is of great note that unlike the Catholic churches dogma's which are viewed as the final authority and unquestionable, Paul basically says to the Bereans: "Good job, you didn't just take my word for it when I presented doctrine to you but you searched the scriptures." (Acts 17:11) Thus, Paul in Are Popes above reproof from scripture?commending the Bereans for this act is really supporting sola scriptura (though he did not give it that name), for if a teaching does not line up with scripture it is not to be received. If even the apostle's teaching was to be put to the scripture test how much more that of Popes and councils? Also, Paul writes to Timothy about what scripture is and how scripture is to be used:

"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim 3:16-17)

If we are going to have right doctrine, and reproof, correct, and train in righteousness, if we are going to do any of these things which Paul mentions here it is to be based upon scripture, scripture is to be our guide. I think the only way a denier of sola scriptura can avoid the clear point of 2 Tim 3:16 is to focus on "profitable". Also, scripture is for the "man of God" not some intellectual elite, the scriptures are to equip every Christian.

4th) Hodge lastly addresses adding to scripture which is forbidden in scripture. Christ says:

"You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: "
'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'" (Mat 15:7-9) also "You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men." (Mark 7:8)

Here we see a charge Christ brings against the Pharisees (One based upon scripture!) that they are adding to the word the commandments of men. Now almost exactly like the Pharisees Rome would say we are not "adding to" scripture, but rather interpreting for the common man. But that is really one and the same. The Pharisees (Like Rome) also did not add texts to the bible they merely interpreted the bible for the people, and taught that interpretation. Christ calls this teaching the commandments of men, and though the bible itself was not altered, the "interpretations" of men have come to be on par with the word. It seems like the passage in Mark really flies right in the face of the Roman view of "Tradition" as some sort of authority to how we form doctrine. Christ clearly seems to be saying: "Not tradition, but the scriptures", and "Not commandments of men, but the scriptures."

Sadly, it seems that the Catholic church clearly does hold tradition on equal level as the scripture, if not even higher. It doesn't take much scholarship to realize that something is amiss in Roman theology when we look at scriptures like the ones noted above. Now it also must be noted that the "tradition" Christ refers to is specifically that which is not found in scripture (or authoritative via inspiration). We know this because Paul states:

"Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us." (2 Thess 3:6)

Therefore, there is a tradition handed down by the apostles that we are to stick to. How do we know this "tradition" Paul taught? Scriptures. To contrast:

"See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ." (Col 2:8)

Therefore, there is the distinction (so to avoid any Roman slipperiness with the word "tradition") between traditions of men (which are extra biblical) and the traditions of the apostles which is found in the bible alone.
Luther's Bible Translation
To summarize, it is true that the phrase "Scripture alone is the only authority which the Church is to live by" is not in the bible. However, the practice of sola scriptura is, its truth is taken for granted. This has been seen through Paul's commending the Bereans for searching the scriptures to test Paul's doctrine (Acts 17:11), citations of scripture to support doctrines taught by both Christ and His apostles, Christ's rejections of the traditions of men in place of scripture (Matt 15:7-9). Lastly, and ultimately I think, Christians are exhorted by Paul to "guard the good deposit." (1 Tim 6:20. 2 Tim 1:14) The deposit is no doubt the teachings of the apostles given to the church as a rule, this is of course found in the NT. The deposit does not refer to Pope's rulings or councils but to the teachings of Christ and His Apostle's (at least if we are to read in context), in context this is the only thing the deposit can possibly be.

That being said, I think like Luther that it is neither safe nor wise to base our doctrine and theology on the traditions of men and self-proclaimed "apostolic" successors. I want to stick with the deposit, the sure word of God, rather than the ideas of men.

12 comments:

natamllc said...

Bobby,

I sent this "apologetic" to Tom Baker, a Law Gospel Theologian.

Maybe it will interpret further the current affairs of Law and Gospel.

Michael,


Tom

I want to put forward the idea of why God is directly involved with Israel today according to His promise, in light of the current conflict surrounding them and the perplexing nature of their defending themselves while they “officially” respond to the public global opinion that is coming against their response to the aggression against them.

There is a global war against terror and terrorists. It is being prosecuted by a coalition of nations from a variety of religious beliefs and unbeliefs. The “global community” is coming to grips with the realization that something must be done to defend against this terrorist aggression rising up against “global peace”.

Gen 35:3 And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.
Gen 35:4 And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.
Gen 35:5 And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.

Luk 12:49 I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?
Luk 12:50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!
Luk 12:51 Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:



My idea is this: there needs to be more of the Prayer of the Saints coming out of the heart of every nation, by the Royal Priesthood of which Christ is the High Priest, and that these Royal Priests, Christians, should be praying for Israel’s salvation equally as we are praying for world evangelism and not get caught up into taking sides publicly with or against the global opinion about Israel.

I have been to Israel and experienced the rich emotion of fear after a terrorist blows himself up killing innocent people; twice while there, terrorists struck. I have some friends living there now both Jews and Christians experiencing this rich emotion of fear. Also I know others in several nations who are Jewish and Christian living with this kind of fear.

Of those who have Faith in Christ, the Messiah, some are Christians holding to the common faith that Jesus is Christ THE MESSIAH by this faith once delivered to the Saints. Some have the faith in Christ but only to that point of the demarcation that Paul speaks about. They have a LEGAL FAITH, not the Free FAITH that comes out of the LIBERTY being conjoined to Him.

Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, by (grace ye are saved;)
Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Eph 2:7 That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Here are several more verses and then I will make my point, if I haven’t already, hopefully succinctly and directly on point.


First Paul’s words from Romans 3:

1 ¶ WHAT then is the superiority of the Jew? or what is the importance of circumcision?
2 Much in every way; because the Jews were the first to believe in the words of God.
3 For what if some had not believed, could their unbelief nullify the faith of God?

According to Paul in Romans 3, a distinction is made as to the superiority of the LEGAL FAITH of Jews, who were the FIRST TO BELIEVE IN THE WORDS OF GOD and the importance of circumcision. God gave them LEGAL FAITH and upon the basis of this Law, FAITH, Jews claim a legal right to believe they are Children of God by Faith in Abraham their Patriarch and founder of a Promise Land promised to him and his Seed so that they can live in and abide in relative safety and secure from their enemies.

They have that part right. As Paul develops it they just cannot go beyond that and admit that they too are sinners in need of the same Savior Believing Christians have need of daily, whether they are Jews by natural means or Gentiles.

Today, without much dispute, it can be realized by both those making Israel their homeland and those making wherever they live their homeland, that Biblical history shows that that “promise land”, as best as can be surveyed by historical records, is the land God gave to Abraham by promise. The eyes of the world seem to be focused on this disputed promise land.

God, the land surveyor, by His own Will, brought Abram out of Ur of the Chaldeans and asked him to look over the land He promised to give to him and his Seed then gave it to him and his Seed by promise reckoning him and his Seed Righteous by Faith.

Equally it can be realized that some of those making this “Promise Land” their homeland live there by LEGAL FAITH in the Promises of God. They have come to understand where the promise land is by reading and learning their Biblical history and listening to what others interpret they believe God meant for them to inherit. They believe the land is theirs by promise not conquest even though they find themselves launching offensive war to destroy their enemies attacking the homeland.


Second Paul’s words from Ephesians 2:
14 ¶ For he is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the wall of separation between them;
15 And he has abolished by his precious body the enmity between them, and he has abolished by his commandments the ordinances of the law, that he may create, in his person, from the two, a new man, thus making peace;
16 And he reconciled both in one body with God, and with his cross he destroyed the enmity;
17 And he came and preached peace to you who are far away and to those who are near.
18 Through him we both are able to draw near by one Spirit to the Father.
19 Thus from henceforth you are neither strangers nor foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints and children of the household of God;… .
Within these verses from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians it can be realized that God is actively working out the fulfillment of His promises with those who believe them with LEGAL FAITH and with those who have the LIBERTY Faith that inspires HOPE in those of us who have been shown mercy and received both water and Holy Ghost baptism.

Our war is against the rebellion against the Word of Promise.

We can realize what God did. We, who are believing that God is actively at work today to bring about the fulfillment of His promises to the fathers, realize that the Holy Ghost makes the Word come alive in the heart and mind of sinners living in all nations, turning them to understand and live under the constrains of both Law and Gospel.

The Law of Righteousness constrains us by causing our Adamic nature to be understood. Because the Law of Righteousness has now become alive in us we realize we need MERCY; that, that we don’t deserve because of our nature of thought, word and deed. God legally can condemn us to temporal and eternal punishments because we have violated the Law of Righteousness.

The Gospel constrains us on the other hand to preach the Gospel with our lives by our given vocations and when necessary we use words and prayers for those who have not received this Christ purchased MERCY, which is the propitiation for our sins, our redemption and salvation.
God through Christ, now has a legal right to grant mercy to undeserving sinners!

Those of us who have come to understand we have all sinned and fall short of the Glory of God because of our roots in the Adamic nature realize that the Gospel takes the enmity away and we can embrace freely what God has promised to us in Jesus Christ and by His death, burial and resurrection. And we can now embrace what God has promised the Jews, a promise land free from enemies attacking them and laying claim to that land.

The enmity is the WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS we do to justify our sinful fallen state and war against our neighbors. This enmity makes the natural distinction with those who don’t measure up to the level of our WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS which we have done to justify ourselves before God.

We know by revelation from the Holy Ghost that no one can justify themselves before God and be accepted on the basis of their works of righteousness. God will not accept their work of righteousness. It has been appointed to man once to die and then the judgment. By the equitable deed of another I am accepted before God, not by works of righteousness which I have done lest I too should boast before God my acceptance into Eternal Life. If I could do that then I too would be fallen from Grace, Mercy and will then be deprived of Peace with God.

Israel is being deprived of Peace with God. She will wear out in due time, as the world and public global opinion is turning against her!

God takes all the work out of becoming RIGHTEOUS before Him. He, through Christ and His equitable deeds, by His dying on the cross and after being buried the burial of the dead, rising again from the dead, to lay claim by LEGAL FAITH to the Eternal High Place, from which now He actively works from, can bring about Heaven’s Peace on earth as it is in Heaven. Jesus died for all mankind. By Jesus Christ alone Peace will come to Israel and Lebanon. By Jesus Christ alone Peace comes to all the earth and Goodwill among men, women and children in every nation, one to another.


Third Paul’s words from Romans 10:
16 But all have not heard the preaching of the gospel. For Isaiah said, My Lord, who has believed the echoes of our voice?
17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
18 But I say, Have they not heard? And behold the echoes of their voices have gone out over all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.
19 But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses spoke thus: I will provoke you to jealousy by a people that are not my people, and I will make you angry by a stubborn people.
20 Then Isaiah dared to say, I appeared to those who did not seek me, and was found by those who did not ask for me.
21 But to Israel he said, All the day long I have stretched out my hands to a quarrelsome and disobedient people.

Here is where I believe we all fall short continually and because of this Paul makes himself an example of one who labors more than they all for the salvation of the lost Jews stubbornly holding to the LEGAL FAITH by his lifestyle evangelism by Liberty Faith. We are called to labor with Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost to bring about Peace on Earth and Goodwill among men.

Paul makes a forceful argument that the Gospel is well known in all the earth to all the lost.

Also he makes a forceful argument for us Believers, that we too can work the works of God through God’s active Liberty Faith working in us and through us to the glory of God provoking to jealousy not only the lost but also those stubborn Jews holding to their form of LEGAL FAITH; I guess it is called Judaism today or Zionists maybe?

Why would a Christian Jew or Gentile provoke a Jew to jealousy? Because as Paul observes, the Legal Faith holders see those bearing the FRUIT of keeping LEGAL FAITH without the WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS preceding the FRUIT.

As Jesus taught and I paraphrase here, “wait a minute, that’s not fair, we, the LEGAL FAITH workers, have been working the fields all day by the Law of Righteousness and you give to those LIBERTY FAITH WORKERS, who came into the fields to work at noon and at two and on the eleventh hour, the same pay!!! None of them kept the Law! That’s not fair!!”

Surely God will not give the same reward to a Lebanese Christian, or a Syrian Christian or an American, Canadian, Mexican, etc., etc., etc. Christian, as to us, the natural olive tree, will He?



Fourth the words from Hebrews 8:

5 Who serve the semblance and shadow of heavenly things, just as it was commanded to Moses when he was about to make the tabernacle: See that you make all things according to the pattern showed to you in the mount.
6 ¶ But now Jesus Christ has received a ministry which is greater than that; just as the covenant in which he was made a mediator is greater, so are the promises greater than those given in the old covenant.
7 For if the first covenant had been faultless, then there would have been no need for the second.
8 For he found fault with them and said, Behold, the day is coming, says the Lord, when I will perfect a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;
9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand and led them out of the land of Egypt; and because they abode not in my covenant, I rejected them, says the Lord.
10 For this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law into their minds and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God and they shall be my people.
11 And no man shall teach his neighbor, neither his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for all shall know me, from the youngest to the oldest.

We are, as True believers in the world, a type and shadow of good things to come, or rather when we pass this temporal world, we too go to a New Heavens and a New Earth where there is no sin nature and where all is Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost.

Jesus Christ is active in His ministry right now reaching out to the lost, separated sinner. He will show LEGAL MERCY, GRACE AND PEACE to all who call upon Him. He paid with His Life and blood the right to show mercy to everyone and they, anyone who will receive His mercy, He will give His mercy.

It is our true work to show that the first covenant was faulty, not because of the LAW OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, but because of the fault of those to whom RIGHTEOUSNESS was to be lived out here on earth legally. The fault lies with the nature of Adam in whom the Righteousness is to be carried out. The earthen vessel remains faulty even though a Treasure now is deposited within it. Therefore, naturally, any WORK OF RIGHTEOUSNESS done by the earthen vessel will be faulty and unacceptable to God.

God makes a new covenant with both Jews and Gentiles resulting in the same outcome as with the old covenant. Herein lies the problem for those given that old covenant to live out His Righteous works of the Law on the earth today. The old covenant is not faulty. Those chosen to receive it are. They just don’t want to accept that being chosen means what God means it to be and not what they foolishly claim it to be. Even their own Prophets cry foul. Just listen to Habakkuk:

"1:1 ¶ THE vision which Habakkuk the prophet saw: 2 O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear? I cry to thee because of the plunderers, and thou wilt not deliver! 3 Why dost thou show me iniquity and deceit? For I see violence and evil; justice was on my side, but the judge accepted bribes. 4 Therefore the law is slacked, and justice never goes forth; for the wicked surely does evil to the righteous; thus justice goes forth perverted."

Without the Law of Righteousness how would I or anyone know we covet and that I am guilty of breaking all the Law if I break just one jot or tittle of it? That is why Paul can assert in Romans 3 that we establish the Law.

3:30 For it is one God, who justifies the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision by the same faith.
31 What, then? Do we nullify the law through faith? Far be it; on the contrary, we uphold the law.


What blinds them from seeing the fault? I have my opinion. But at best my opinion is also faulty seeing it is from me, a sinner too.

Now we have this present conflict where there are those faulty vessels holding to a WORK OF RIGHTEOUSNESS defending the promise land given to them by promise, because they have been given the oracles of God and the circumcision and the priesthood and the ministry of declaring that God is Righteous and that He declares Righteous those that receive His LEGAL MERCY and GRACE.

Well Faith just doesn’t work legally at all; Habakkuk, above quoted, cries out to God his own stress over that already.

Yes, God gave a land to those children of the fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to whom the promise was given. The promise was given on the basis of LEGAL FAITH to his SEED. No man to whom the promise was given this way, the old covenant, can attain to the FRUIT OF THIS LEGAL FAITH even though it is attainable. Jesus, THE SEED, is the only one God testifies attained to this FRUIT BY MEANS OF LEGAL FAITH. Everyone else must live by a LIBERTY FAITH and that not by our self righteousness, but by Christ’s Faith, it too is a Gift of God.

Now the Law of Righteousness must be established. Seeing the Jews don’t want to establish it, it is left to the Church to LIVE BY THIS FAITH OF CHRIST.

This Faith can only be established by the Power of the Holy Ghost, the transmitter of this Law of Righteousness to the hearts of those chosen to receive it as Deuteronomy shows us:

"30:1 ¶ AND it shall come to pass, when all these are come upon you, the blessings and the curses which I have set before you, and you shall call them to mind among all the nations where the LORD your God has driven you, 2 And shall return to the LORD your God and shall obey his voice according to all that I command you this day, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul; 3 Then the LORD your God will bring back again your captivity, and have compassion upon you, and will return and gather you from all the nations where the LORD your God has driven you. 4 If your scattered ones are in the outmost parts of heaven, O Israel, from thence will the LORD your God gather you, and from thence will he fetch you; 5 And the LORD your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and he will do you good, and multiply you more than your fathers. 6 And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, and then you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, because he will give you rest. 7 And the LORD your God will put all these curses upon your enemies, and on those who hate you, who persecuted you. 8 And you shall return and obey the voice of the LORD your God, and do all his commandments which I command you this day. 9 And the LORD your God will make you plenteous in every work of your hand, in the fruit of your body and in the bearing of your cattle and in the fruit of your land, for good; for the LORD will again rejoice over you for good, as he rejoiced over your fathers; 10 If you will obey the voice of the LORD your God, and keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul."

Only those who accept the TRUTH represented to them from the Holy Ghost and the Word and the Sacraments can and do attain to the FRUIT OF FAITH. No son of Abraham, Isaac or Jacob can attain to this FRUIT OF FAITH by the LAW OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.

In the instance of present day Israel, God made a promise to Abraham and gave to him a “promise land” where his children can live safely and free from the offenses of their enemies. The land is theirs. And as we see being played out now, it is by conquest that they gain that promise land. And in the last days when perils abound, they too will cry out to God for His MERCY and receive it as everyone does who calls upon the Name of the Lord.

The divide between natural Israel and Spiritual Israel becomes clear then that whoever is an enemy of True Spiritual Israel is giving place to the devil’s forces. Consider Ephesians 2:1, 2:

1 ¶ AND he has quickened you also who were dead because of your sins and trespasses;
2 In which you previously walked according to the course of this world, and according to the will of the supreme ruler of the air, the spirit which is active in the children of disobedience.


After all, God is the creator. He is Sovereign and who can oppose His decision and be spared His wrath?

Why would anyone want to oppose His decision, this Word of Promise?

So, the Lord is the Lord, both to the Jews and to the Gentiles. He is actively working through His Church to reach all mankind with this Gospel of the Kingdom. And to whoever calls upon the Name of the Lord attains to FREE FAITH, not LEGAL FAITH and now by His Faith can claim the forgiveness of sins and an inheritance from God.

Both LEGAL FAITH AND LIBERTY FAITH will result in this FRUIT OF FAITH, the forgiveness of sins and an inheritance from God. Unfortunately for those make claim by LEGAL FAITH will not attain TO THE FRUIT OF FAITH as it is God Who has so designed it that only those making the claim with FREE FAITH will attain to the FRUIT OF IT by the WORKS OF ANOTHER, A SAVIOR, A REDEEMER, A PROTECTOR, A PROVIDER, A HEALER, Our Lord and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

He is that Jewish Carpenter. He and He alone can save the day for present day Israel. He and He alone can establish Peace and remove the enmity now that exists between these warring nations. In fact, He can remove the enmity that now exists between all warring nations! After all, He is the Prince of Peace and His Father is the God of Peace.

Rom 16:20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

He and He alone saves the day for all sinners!

What then should the Priesthood of all Believers do? We should PRAY THE PRAYERS OF THE SAINTS as is recorded in the Book of the Revelation chapters 5 and 8.

We through Christ should begin to reign on the earth as Kings and Priests with a rightful claim in this life to the Power of the Kingdom of God and the power of His Christ and we should lay claim while in this life to the next Life and demonstrate to all the world the firstfruits of the New Creation, the New Heavens and Earth, with New Jerusalem as our Capital City made ready by the Blood of the Lamb, the Word of our Testimony and that we lay our lives down for the brethren as we go about giving Life to the World.

Michael Burke
Eureka, Ca.

None333333 said...

When you don't do sola scriptura, look what you get:

- 1000 different -isms'
- Celibate priests who molest kids
- People prohibited from reading the Bible for hundreds of years
- Power hungry church that killed heretics and ran major money making rackets
- Jehovah's Witnesses
- Mormonism

That's enough 'proof' for me. My revelation came from being in a new age 'Christian' group where the leaders believed the 'Holy
Spirit' was speaking to them...about past lives in 'Atlantis' among other things. There was a spirit involved but it wasn't of God. Thank God I concurrently starting going to a strong Bible believing church and then realized that w/o the Word as a check and balance, all sorts of self styled prophets could just invent their own 'revelations'.

None333333 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
None333333 said...

Natamllc
It would be nice to have a 1 paragaph summary of what you are trying to say cause you lost me.

The Battle of Armageddon - all nations are against Israel. This is in Daniel (or Ezekiel?) and Revelation.

Some churches feel bad for the Palestinians and go against Israel. The Israeli government probably makes mistakes but, HELLO, anyone who messes with Israel messes with GOD. All you have to do is read the bible and it's obvious.

Check out my favorite prophecy station Endtime Ministries. They have a streaming audio radio show and all sorts of resources.

We should definitely support Israel. The spirit of the world and of the anti-christ is fighting against her trying to make her look bad. Armageddon here we come.

Bob said...

Hey Michael-
That was an interesting letter you sent to Tom, do tell me what he writes back.

MQM-
Exactly, when scripture alone is not our rule of faith then really anything can go. I too am Charismatic, however I have seen so much bad use of prophecy and similar areas that I almost doubt that these things are for today. But I am still a charismatic because I believe in sola scriptura, and there really is nothing in scripture that says that the gifts have ceased. The problem is like you said when "prophecies" and "words" are not seriously put to a scripture test.

Also the JW's and Mormons are examples of what happens when sola scriptura is not upheld. The JW's really do treat their little "Watchtower" pamphlets as though they are inspired or something. The Mormons I think are almost identicle to Roman Catholocism actually. Instead of a pope they have a "prophet", and of course they have a handful of other books to compliment the bible in addition to the Book of Mormon. Thus, we see the fruit of an abandonement of sola scriptura, men set themselves up as some sort of ruler of truth, and we lose our ability to seperate truth from error.

Devin Believer said...

michael burke!!! this is devin murphy, what is your e-mail address so we can be in touch! i have a blogspot page but havent put as much work into it as i'd like to it is www.noneshouldperish.blogspot.com

but i have put some work into my myspace page, www.myspace.com/breakyaself

natamllc said...

to those of you wanting to contact me, use natamllc@sbcglobal.net

natamllc

myquestioningmind
devin

natamllc said...

My Questioning Mind

Israel has two kinds of standing before God, legal standing and Freedom plus a Word of promise of a land that was not naturally their own.

I use the term legal faith and liberty faith to make that distinction.

Believers, those who God reveals Himself too have been given LIBERTY FAITH through Christ the Savior by revelation from the Holy Ghost.

We all have LEGAL FAITH with God because we are creatures of God. The Word of promise was to Abram and His SEED.

Refer to Isaiah 65:1 and Matthew 11:25-27 to understand fully what I mean if you don't now understand my point in that long epistle about the delimma Israel faces today as well as the world community who by the spirit of the world, the Devil prosecutes them.

The world powers better be careful not to touch the Lord's anointed!

Israel is the only nation I believe that God gave to destroy other nations and take their lands as a Divine inheritance by Promise.

Well, let me take that back. I am Native American from a Pomo Tribe here in California.

I believe God gave the discoverers of this continent opportunity to EVANGELIZE Native American cultures including every part from North to South, East to West, Alaska to the tip of South America.

Israel is the only nation asked to go and destroy seven nations and take possession of their God given natural lands. God did it that way to make the distinction between obedience to Him and disobedience to the Devil, Satan, Lucifer, the bad dude dragon directly culpable for darkness; refer to Genesis 1:2.

Does that clarify my words any?
Probably not, huh?
:)

Jesus did say: ASK AND KEEP ON ASKING.

I will try to answer and keep on answering until we have a meeting of the minds here; if you want?

natamllc

Joe said...

Good post Bob!

“We believe that Jesus Christ, our Lord, is both true God and man. This article is the sole foundation of our entire Christian doctrine and of our salvation. On this everything hinges and hangs that is said about God, angels, heaven, hell, life, and death. Therefore the man who does not believe this article and does not take it to heart is not at all helped by what he hears or reads about God and divine things and will understand and know nothing of these matters even if he does read the Bible. He should be advised to let Scripture alone and not to be troubled by this Book but to read and study something else instead.” -Martin Luther

In regards to the argument “Protestants hold to X, X in not found in the scripture, therefore X is self refuting”; is this implying that man must add to and interpret the scripture that it may be held as a firm doctrine? That the word alone is not inspired by God, sufficient for doctrine, clear, inerrant, and final? Should I then depend on the man’s reason for the foundation of my faith? What of Romans 3:4 “Let God true, but every man a liar”. or Deut. 4:2 "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it".

The word is not enough for doctrine only if you have a faulty and insufficient view of Christ! Is not Christ the center of the Bible and all that it teaches? To repeat Luther, if the sole article that you believe in is not Christ then by no means waste your time in the Bible alone.

I do wonder, if you believe more is needed than scripture for your foundation, what DO you believe?

Bob said...

Joe-
Good Luther quote, like a lot of his stuff you kind of have to read it a couple times to get what he is really saying. You said:

"In regards to the argument “Protestants hold to X, X in not found in the scripture, therefore X is self refuting”; is this implying that man must add to and interpret the scripture that it may be held as a firm doctrine?"

In the Roman Catholic stance absolutely. They will even go further than this and say that scripture by itself is not sufficient, we need other sources to compliment it (Popes councils and tradition). I wasn't really getting in to that aspect of Rome's denial of sola scriptura but it begs the question, "Sufficient for what?" If we mean for life and godliness then scripture alone is sufficient. If we mean sufficient for the support obscure doctrines like veneration of Mary and the Bishop of Rome having apostolic succession then no scripture really isn't sufficient. I think that really is the problem, if Rome were to adopt sola scriptura they would have to scrap a vast amount of their practices and doctrines.

If you read the page I linked to at the beginning of the post they will unabashedly say scripture by itself is not enough. You also said:

"The word is not enough for doctrine only if you have a faulty and insufficient view of Christ! Is not Christ the center of the Bible and all that it teaches? To repeat Luther, if the sole article that you believe in is not Christ then by no means waste your time in the Bible alone."

Absolutely. Unless we have been brought to see Christ as our all even our scripture studies will become "always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth." I think I will just go through the five solas in the coming posts because this brings up Christ alone as being sufficient (Which Rome also denies) and they really imply one another. For Christ alone to be Lord, authoritative, sufficient to save, and worthy of praise, really implies that the words of Christ are alone authoritative (sola scriptura).

"I do wonder, if you believe more is needed than scripture for your foundation, what DO you believe?"

Well nothing but the scriptures are needed for the man of God to be fully equipped. In them we understand how the world came to be, what man is, man's ruined state, God's plan of redemption, Christ's accomplishing the redemption of His church, we know how that redemption is applied (faith) and we know of the joy and glories that await all who hope in Christ. I don't know what's missing, that makes the scriptural testimony insufficient, according to Rome.

But of course we need to be given eyes to see the scriptural testimony as desirable, to see Christ as precious and sin as vile. God must illuminate our hearts by the spirit, usually mixed with the word, and bring us to faith. This ties into another sola, grace alone.

natamllc said...

Hey, hey, hey, this beats going to the movies, reading herein your blog bobby.

Jim Durkin, my Apostolic mentor taught about the ORDER when building the Church of God with Christ:

the Foundation we are built upon is Jesus Christ, first

Upon this foundation we are brought into the KNOWLEDGE of the Love of God, second

Once we know and Love God, God reveals His VISION, third

When His VISION is known and lived out in our daily life we will endeavor to keep the Unity of the Spirit in a bond of Peace, fourth

And when we are mature from those four disciplines in that "order", Christ first, God's love second, God's vision third, unity fourth, then and only then will we be adequate enough to discuss true doctrine with others.

As I learned it Jim put emphasis on this, we generally go after one another about their doctrines first before we establish a mature relationship with those we want to dispute doctrines and life in general.

I can think of some Scriptures now, but I will quote from Galatians only:

Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Gal 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Gal 6:3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
Gal 6:4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
Gal 6:5 For every man shall bear his own burden.

We are called to bear one another's burdens as we learn to bear our own burden.

Herein, in my estimation, is the greatest lesson a mature Believer can do in serving his neighbor, pray for them, with the prayer of the Saints, praying for one another and for all men while we encourage all men to be responsible for their own welfare and the welfare of those dependent upon them for their daily needs.

On one more footing then, Hosea, my 16 year old son is over at Pastor Dave's house tonight attending a debate class Dave started for some of our young adults. The topic is the Word of God, why some people treat the Word as only a good book full of moral principles to live by while others, True Believers, believe it is the God's Word, full and complete, Sola Scriptura!

My teaching to my son was clear in that I referred him to Isaiah 65:1 and Matthew 11:25-27.

Herein is the Mystery of Salvation.

Without God revealing Himself to us, we may or may not treat the Bible, God's Word, with more weight than just another good moral book of sound principles to live by all the while straining at knats and swallowing camels!

But guaranteed, when God comes to you and finds you out as Isaiah says in 65:1 and when Jesus reveals the Father to you as He said in Matthew 11:25-27, you will, as you have passed along before, keep in mind that "THE MAJOR THING HERE IS TO KEEP THE MAJOR THING THE MAJOR THING HERE".

We do not have to judge those who do not believe Sola Scriptura, because we realize that God simply has not come to that one or this one yet and Jesus has not revealed to that one or this one yet WHO THE FATHER IS. He stays hidden from the wise and intelligent, hmmmm, or rather keeps Himself hidden from them, hmmmmm, hmmmmm??

I was of those Isaiah wrote about and what Jesus said. I did not seek God. I did not love God. I today am still a sinner in need of Their Grace, Mercy and Peace. I will need for the rest of the temporal days of my vaporous life Their sustenance and I will from then after needs be sustained by the Eternal Godhead, Our Heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost!

Keep in mind that whether in this sinful fallen creation life where we are alive now or after the present heavens and earth are no more for us and we find ourselves dwelling in the New Creation,the New Heavens and Earth wherein dwells Righteousness, all of us creatures will still needs be sustained by the Godhead, forever!

Blessings upon you and Lisa and Geneva and coming one!

Michael Burke

Bob said...

Beats the movies huh?!

Yeah I kinda started the blog as kind of a journal for random theological/philosophical thoughts I had, its been fun for me to hear other people's input.

It is a blessing to hear that your children are being brought up with a good foundation. The a puritan described teaching solid doctrine to our kids as carefully stacking kindling and wood within the heart awaiting the Spirit to ignite the work into a burning passion for Christ.

"We do not have to judge those who do not believe Sola Scriptura, because we realize that God simply has not come to that one or this one yet and Jesus has not revealed to that one or this one yet WHO THE FATHER IS. He stays hidden from the wise and intelligent, hmmmm, or rather keeps Himself hidden from them, hmmmmm, hmmmmm??"

lol, true, I was trying to defend orthodoxy from the arguments against sola scriptura. So yeah I think when we do apologetics and see such error like Rome's we need to be mindful that it really is grace that has made us to differ.