Sola Scriptura

The advent of the printing press may seem like an underwhelming development in the age of soft media, but at the time it was revolutionary.  If you wanted a book, any book, it had to be handwritten.  While it is true that the press was not a new idea 500 years ago, the movable type press was.   Instead of carving a new block for a new page, words and letters could be slid into place quickly.  For the first time in the history of the world, print could be mass produced.  What better to mass produce than Scripture?  Luther’s translation of the Bible into High German helped to shape the language and put God’s Word into the hands of the common people.

In Sola Scriptura this first sermon in our series on the Solas (a Latin word for alone) of the reformation we look at God’s word.  The lessons for the Sunday remind us how precious God’s word is, that it can be lost, and that it contains information that isn’t found anywhere else in creation.  For centuries the Roman Catholic church had added to Scripture.  The church in Luther’s day treated the Bible as God’s word, but they also added the traditions of the church.  These traditions were equal to Scripture and even trumped Scripture when the two sources were in conflict.  When Luther was charged with lecturing on different books of the Bible at a small university he discovered how great these differences were and was convinced that the Bible was the only source for doctrine.

While the story of Luther’s work may not be new to you, the concept of a reformation might be.  You see in our text the prophet Jeremiah blasts the evil shepherds who have not done their work faithful.  The secular and spiritual leaders of God’s people led them away from God.  God promises a new spiritual leader.  He would be called the Lord our Righteousness.  This is Jesus.  This was God himself, who would come down to save his people, not because they were worthy, but because he was merciful.  If you have neglected this saving truth, reform your ways.  Christianity isn’t always a steady life of focus and determination.  If you’re like me, the walk of a Christian has peaks of joy and valleys of sorrow.  The downs of life, and sadly even the ups, can rip us away from our God and his Word.  If you have gotten out of the habit of daily feeding your soul with God’s word alone, go back.  Commit to a daily devotion that focuses on God’s word and Jesus as your Savior.  Find a church where you can be a blessing to fellow Christians, and where you can find encouragement too.

To hear more about Sola Scriptura, watch this Sunday’s sermon taken from Jeremiah 23.