Part 3 – Sola Scriptura
Today I want to talk with you about hearing God’s voice. When I say voice, I’m talking about the Word of God. Scriptures. Think of scriptures as becoming audible in your mind as you read them. Many scriptures make this comparison:
- Isaiah 28:23 - Listen and hear my voice; pay attention and hear what I say.
- John 10:27 - My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
- Matthew 17:5 - While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
My favorite voice verse is Deuteronomy 30:20:
that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life,
If I could boil it all down regarding the reformation, Martin Luther’s main issue was all about authority. Who is really in charge? The church or God’s word.
Was it ok that the Pope allow the sale of indulgences?
Did the Pope have power over purgatory?
Did the Pope really have the welfare of the sinner in mind?
Luther was angered that
- Mass was held in in a different language
- Bibles were not available to read (sometimes bibles were outlawed by the church) because laity “couldn’t understand the scripture”
- and other traditions that conflicted with the Authority of the Word of God.
Luther responded by nailing his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church on Oct. 31, 1517 where he argued that God’s word was:
- Sufficient. Nothing else was needed to be saved. Deut 4:2 says, “You shall not add to what I command you nor subtract from it”
- For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
- Perfect. Inerrant. Without error.
- Eventually as we grow up, we realize that our parents aren’t perfect. They are human. Leaders in church are not perfect either. Not in 1517, not now. Scripture is perfect.
- Ps 12:6 - And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times.
- 2 Peter 1:19 - We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place,
- Authoritative. Luther was challenging whose voice should be listened to when it conflicts with God’s word, Luther argued that God’s word overruled. EVERY TIME and always.
Where does your authority come from? What VOICE are you listening to?
2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Are you allowing God’s word to teach you? Is it really changing your actions? When you finish studying the word, is God’s voice changing you?
Are you searching the scriptures to hear his voice?
- Acts 17:11 - And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.
Is your voice biblical? Or is it replaying the world?
- Matt 4:4 - Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
- What fruit is God producing in you today, this week, because of your study of God’s word and hearing His voice?
- Are you studying? If not, no guilt. Just encouragement. Today is a terrific time to start.
- How are you incorporating the fruit of God’s voice into your school? How about your Workplace?
- If you are married, are you bringing the voice of God into your home? You could read the word together. Do a study together. Have you asked your spouse what God is saying to them this week?
- As a parent, are you talking about God as you go about your day? Make every effort to compete with all those other voices they are hearing. If you don’t do it, who will? I know it’s difficult and takes energy. But it’s worth it.
- If you are only hearing God’s voice declared on Sunday, can I encourage you to join a study? It doesn’t have to be here at Grace but we have some great opportunities with Men’s ministry, Women’s ministry, Youth, Wednesday night, Abide, Sunday school, Tuesday morning, senior adult ministry and all the others.