Much is arising on social media concerning the foundational concepts that shaped the Reformation.
One of those is “sola scriptura” that says the Word alone bring validation, affirmation and confirms all manifestation of the Spirit and affirms all things in the Christian world.
However when you see what the fruit of this concept is you begin to see what disturbing trends are birthed.
The first thing we see is the lifting up of the Word above the Church
There is a scripture that has been quoted wrong that God exalts His Word even above His Name . The Hebrew says nothing of the sort. These mistranslations give space for erroneous applications.
Is the Word above the Church? Are we to believe that the Word gives itself authority? Our understanding of what is the Church is what has been lost over the centuries since the Reformation.
So what is the Church?
Body of Christ; our relationship to Jesus
Bride of Christ; speaks of our corporate union with Christ .
Ecclesia; speaks of our separation from the world unto God.
As we examine what Jesus, prophets all spoke about the Church, and the Holy Spirit descended as He did in the Temple.
The Church was the instrument God used in various generations to withstand the waves of heresy and false doctrines, false teachers and prophets with successive councils where they deliberated the will of the Spirit in a given issue. Acts 15 shows us that God in the Church rebuilt the fallen tabernacle of David, as Amos spoke to. The key phrase in preventing schism was ” It seemed good to us and the Holy Spirit.
The schism between Jewish and Gentile believers was prevented.
Successive writers were breathed upon by God to express their walk, their insights through Gospels and letters which the Church in processes that the Holy Spirit guided to produce the canon of Scripture. And we have the Bible today which contains the Word of God, inspired and revealed.
So the concept of sola scriptura in the Reformation does not hold up when we examine the fact that the Word was given form through the Church by the Spirit. And as the Church presents the Scripture as its foundation so the Word gives the Church the authority to fulfil the Purpose of God.
Whilst the Reformation brought necessary challenge to what was needed to be renewed and restored also errors were made.
The Word cannot exist without the Church and the Church cannot exist without the Word.
The authority of the Word flows to the Church and the Church also presents the Word as its central point.
The Word is also a person, it is Jesus Himself, and as the Church walks in Him and will eventually unify to Him and in Him in fulness so the connection has to be always there.
As the Spirit conceived Jesus in the womb of Mary so the Word is conceived in the “womb” of the Church to produce in the hearers the capacity to live for Jesus and be in Him.
Let us not let sola scriptura limit what we understand from history and the discernment of its fruits. When the fruits of division run deep we must ask if these foundational principles;
1) are sound Biblically
2) if there fruits are godly.
In my series “The Root and Offspring” of David I saw that the root always determines the fruit.
In the Reformation there were many different winds blowing. One was God bringing a challenge to renew vision and a new approach to the Word. The other winds brought war, death, division and false doctrine.
Let us discern correctly what happens in history and what is happening in our day, so that we are only carried by the wind that brings life and peace.