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The Centrality of Scripture

One of the major developments of the Protestant Reformation was the return to Scripture as supreme authority.  The Reformers coined the phrase sola Scriptura (Scripture alone) to summarize this conviction.  To rightly understand the Reformers conviction that Scripture is our highest authority, we need to understand what the Scriptures are, how God authored the Scriptures, and what Jesus said in regard to them.

The Scriptures are the expression of God’s mind given to us in written form.  The term Scripture means sacred writing and the word Bible comes from the Greek word meaning book. Therefore the Scriptures are a book of God’s sacred writing.  It’s a collection of 66 books, written in three different languages (Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic) written from 3 different continents (Asia, Africa, Europe) over a span of fifteen hundred years (from about 1450 B.C. to about A.D. 90) by over forty different authors.  These people were not alike.  They came from various levels of society and from very diverse backgrounds.  Some were kings; others were statesmen, priests, prophets. There was a fisherman, a tax-collector, a tentmaker and a physician.  Their opinions on any other subject would have been as wide and diverse as ours is today.  Yet together they produced a volume that is uniquely unified in its message.  The message is, in short, a single story regarding the restoration and renovation of the entire material and immaterial universe through Jesus Christ!

Before His death and resurrection, Jesus told the disciples that a day would come when He would no longer be in their presence but that the Holy Spirit would come and would remind them of His life and teachings so that they could write and teach accurately that which Christ accomplished (Jn. 14:25-26; 16:12-15).  The Scripture, unlike any other book, is a book written by both God and man.  There was a partnership between the Holy Spirit and the human authors as the Spirit guided them in the process. God was working with their unique personalities, their unique backgrounds, unique life experiences, their education, to enable, or to inspire the writing of Scripture in such a way that they wrote all that God wanted them to say without excess or error (2 Pet. 1:20-21, 1 Cor. 14:37).  We call this divine inspiration.  As one theologian wrote, “The belief that God wrote Scripture in concert with human authors whom he inspired to perfectly record his words is called verbal (the very words of the Bible) plenary (every part of the Bible) inspiration (are God-breathed revelation).  Very simply, this means that God the Holy Spirit inspired not just the thoughts of Scripture but also the very details and exact words that were perfectly recorded for us as Scripture.”[1]  As Evangelical Christians, we value and love the Scripture; we cannot simply ignore parts of the Bible as primitive, dismiss other sections as culturally irrelevant, or explain them away by human reasoning.  Paul tells us, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, 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, emphasis added).

The most important reason for believing the Scripture to be the Word of God and the sole authority for Christians in all matters of faith and practice is that this is what the Lord Jesus taught.  Jesus highly esteemed the Old Testament; He continually quoted it (Mt. 4:1-11), saw His life as a fulfillment of it (Lk. 4:16-21), and declared, “I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished” (Matt. 5:18).  An iota is the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet, so what Jesus was saying was that even the most minute parts of the Mosaic Law are authoritative. Because our Lord Jesus trusted the Scriptures as the Word of God and submitted to it as an authoritative revelation, we do the same.

Scripture is the expression of God’s mind, therefore, we encourage all Believers to memorize, meditate, study and share His truth.  We trust the Holy Spirit to use the Scriptures to make us more like Jesus, both individually and corporately as the church.


[1] Gerry Breshears, Doctrine:  What Christians Should Believe, pg. 48. Crossway, 2010

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Working 9 To 5: A Theological Reflection on Work

Here’s a short ten page paper on God’s design for work, the dignity of work, the purpose of work and some practical steps to discern what our work should be.

Working Nine To Five-A Theological Reflection on Work

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Outline of the Book of Judges

Outline of Judges for TCF

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Outline of the Book of Joshua

Last night’s notes from the Book of Joshua

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February 21, 2013 · 6:44 am

Judas’ Engagement with Satan

Recently, I was reading through the twenty-second chapter of Luke’s Gospel and what caught my attention was the way in which Satan continued to have his way with Judas. Take a moment and read Luke 22:1-6.  

Luke says in verse 3 that “Satan entered Judas.”That phrase could mean many things, but I think its safe to say Satan began to sway and lead Judas at this critical point. Judas’ engagement with Satan begins with initiation, whereby Judas being led by Satan goes to the Chief Priests and hatches this plan, but then it moves from initiation to continual cooperation because in John’s Gospel, the Apostle John says after the Passover dinner, Satan enters Judas again (Jn. 13:27) and Judas leaves the room, apparently to tell the Chief Priests and the Pharisee’s where Jesus was going to be later that evening so they could arrest Him.  So what began with initiation has led to continual cooperation, and then transitions to culmination, where the evil intention is acted upon. In Judas’ case the culmination was sealed with a kiss, when he handed Jesus over to the soldiers.

Track the progression!  It begins with initiation, moves to continual cooperation, ends with culmination, and results in damnation:  After betraying the Lord Jesus, Judas feels remorse for his act and punishes himself by committing suicide, and in Acts 1, the Apostle Peter says, “Judas left to go where he belongs” which is a euphemism for Hell.  Judas went to hell not because he committed suicide but because he never at any point in his relationship with the Lord repented and allowed the Lord to actually be the Lord of his life.

Now please consider Judas’ life:  Judas heard Jesus teachings’ for over 3 years, he witnessed the many miracles Jesus did during that time, he associated with the people of God on a regular basis, and yet given all of that, he never trusted Jesus as Lord (Jn. 6:64; 70).

Maybe you’re reading this and you’ve had the privilege of hearing the Gospel preached week in and week out, you’ve seen the Lord work powerfully in others’ lives and you’ve benefited from being in relationship to the people of God, but you’ve never personally trusted Jesus as the Lord of your life.  If that’s true, let me say this to you:  If you don’t yield control of your life over to the Lord Jesus, then at the big, intense, critical moments of life you’ll be swayed and led by spiritual forces that seek to deceive and destroy you, just as Judas was.

The truth is, being in close proximity to the teachings of Jesus, the miracles of Jesus and the people of Jesus is not the same thing as being connected to the Life of Jesus.

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Jesus: The True Passover Lamb

Here’s a recent teaching entitled,”Jesus: The True Passover Lamb” from Luke 22:1-23. Enjoy.

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The Centrality of Scripture

One of the major developments of the Protestant Reformation was the return to Scripture as supreme authority.  The Reformers coined the phrase sola Scriptura (Scripture alone) to summarize this conviction.  To rightly understand the Reformers conviction that Scripture is our highest authority, we need to understand what the Scriptures are, how God authored the Scriptures, and what Jesus said in regard to them.

The Scriptures are the expression of God’s mind given to us in written form.  The term Scripture means sacred writing and the word Bible comes from the Greek word meaning book. Therefore the Scriptures are a book of God’s sacred writing.  It’s a collection of 66 books, written in three different languages (Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic) written from 3 different continents (Asia, Africa, Europe) over a span of fifteen hundred years (from about 1450 B.C. to about A.D. 90) by over forty different authors.  These people were not alike.  They came from various levels of society and from very diverse backgrounds.  Some were kings; others were statesmen, priests, prophets. There was a fisherman, a tax-collector, a tentmaker and a physician.  Their opinions on any other subject would have been as wide and diverse as ours is today.  Yet together they produced a volume that is uniquely unified in its message.  The message is, in short, a single story regarding the restoration and renovation of the entire material and immaterial universe through Jesus Christ!

Before His death and resurrection, Jesus told the disciples that a day would come when He would no longer be in their presence but that the Holy Spirit would come and would remind them of His life and teachings so that they could write and teach accurately that which Christ accomplished (Jn. 14:25-26; 16:12-15).  The Scripture, unlike any other book, is a book written by both God and man.  There was a partnership between the Holy Spirit and the human authors as the Spirit guided them in the process. God was working with their unique personalities, their unique backgrounds, unique life experiences, their education, to enable, or to inspire the writing of Scripture in such a way that they wrote all that God wanted them to say without excess or error (2 Pet. 1:20-21, 1 Cor. 14:37).  We call this divine inspiration.  As one theologian wrote, “The belief that God wrote Scripture in concert with human authors whom he inspired to perfectly record his words is called verbal (the very words of the Bible) plenary (every part of the Bible) inspiration (are God-breathed revelation).  Very simply, this means that God the Holy Spirit inspired not just the thoughts of Scripture but also the very details and exact words that were perfectly recorded for us as Scripture.”[1]  As Evangelical Christians, we value and love the Scripture; we cannot simply ignore parts of the Bible as primitive, dismiss other sections as culturally irrelevant, or explain them away by human reasoning.  Paul tells us, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, 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, emphasis added).

The most important reason for believing the Scripture to be the Word of God and the sole authority for Christians in all matters of faith and practice is that this is what the Lord Jesus taught.  Jesus highly esteemed the Old Testament; He continually quoted it (Mt. 4:1-11), saw His life as a fulfillment of it (Lk. 4:16-21), and declared, “I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished” (Matt. 5:18).  An iota is the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet, so what Jesus was saying was that even the most minute parts of the Mosaic Law are authoritative. Because our Lord Jesus trusted the Scriptures as the Word of God and submitted to it as an authoritative revelation, we do the same.

Scripture is the expression of God’s mind, therefore, we encourage all Believers to memorize, meditate, study and share His truth.  We trust the Holy Spirit to use the Scriptures to make us more like Jesus, both individually and corporately as the church.


[1] Gerry Breshears, Doctrine:  What Christians Should Believe, pg. 48. Crossway, 2010

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