The Self-Authenticating Word (Sola Scriptura)

Brett Cody / February 8, 2017

In order to have even a glimpse of the Creator, there must be a liberation of the viewer. The Creator must be not only the one who grants the view but also the one who grants the sight. And when the Creator grants sight, it is as if blackout curtains have been drawn back to allow the most glorious sunlight to spill into the room of the soul, but in this case, the curtains were on the outside of the window!

The bondage of our wills keep us from enjoying the glory on the other side of the window. There is no true ability to discern truth within us. There is no “chance” of seeing the light. Further, there is no desire for the curtains to be drawn, because our desire is for the darkness. Our delight is in the disorder. But our inability to see what’s on the other side does nothing to remove it. We can’t deny the window. The Word of God is that window!

Of the doctrines the church of Jesus Christ has held in high regard, one can easily see the importance of the doctrine of the inerrant Word of God. We must not let this doctrine be compromised. The scriptures alone are the only source of seeing the true glory and beauty of Christ. The scriptures are the only window. No other book offers such a view.

reformation-flyer-onlinequote1

Not only does the Bible offer the only true view of the glory of Christ, but the Bible’s view is self-authenticating! The Word of God is the only self-authenticating Word of God. No other book can be what the Bible is. No wonder it is not only the best-selling book of all time, but it is the best-selling book each year.¹ Truly, the treasure of eternity shines through every page! If what we know of God were limited to what we observe apart from the Bible, we would not know Christ. This should bring into stark relief the importance of God’s Word. Our knowledge is given, not acquired. Therefore, if we are to search for the authentication of the Word of God, we are unable to find it apart from God. He is the only one who can authenticate His Word to us.

Consider not just the analogy of looking through the window of the Bible to see the glory of Christ, but how alive and active the Word of God is. This Word can pierce deep into our thoughts and intentions. (Hebrews 4:12) It can divide, rebuke, correct, and train in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16) It is the Word that shows us The Word. This Bible has feet and hands that chase us and grab us, as Martin Luther suggests. Is there any help for the wayward? Is there any book with authority that does not need my compliance in order to enact its authority in the world and upon the world? Only one: the infallible, inerrant, self-authenticating Word of God. This is what we mean by Sola Scriptura.

 ¹Glenn R. Paauw, Saving the Bible from Ourselves: Learning to Read & Live the Bible Well (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2016), 12-13.