Today I am beginning a new series on the blog entitled Today at Covenant…
My family attends a booming church in Grove City, Ohio. We meet in an AMC theater on Sunday mornings and in home groups called cLife groups all over Columbus throughout the week. This blog series is based on a sermon entitled Sola Scriptura by Pastor Travis Davenport. For more information about Covenant Church check out the link.
The focus scripture for today’s sermon is 2 Timothy 3:12-17
12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Sola Scriptura is the Latin term for the idea that scripture alone is truth. Before the Reformation it was widely believed that scripture + something else was necessary to finding truth. It was during this time that a movement began which would allow the human part of the equation to be removed. Scripture alone is inerrant, infallible, and authoritative.
God breathes these scriptures to life and because of his nature he is unable to breathe anything that is not true. The mere fact that something came from the mouth of God makes it indisputably true.
So at his very essence, who is God? According to 1 John 4:8 God is first of all LOVE. Everything God has done is out of his love for us. Sometimes we hang the blame for bad things in our lives on God, but if we believe scripture to be true we must understand that God is not some anger-slinging being in space who wants to see us suffer and fail. God is love. And anything that causes us pain is a product of sin/evil and not God. Even Jesus-his mission was one of love not pain, but because of sin pain became a part of what he had to endure to see his mission through.
God is also TRUTH. John 14:6 Jesus says that he is the way, the TRUTH, and the life. If we believe scripture to be true we must understand that Jesus is also God as part of the Trinity and so anything that is true of the Son is true also of the Father.
God is LOVE and TRUTH.
3 Main Points about scripture:
- Scripture is inspired of God-It is God’s spoken Word and is indisputable.
- Scripture is authoritative-It should change the way we live and think about the world around us because everything in our lives is subject to scripture. We don’t have the ability to pick and choose parts of scripture that appeal to us and believe only those parts. The entirety of scripture was inspired by God to have authority over our lives.
- Scripture is sufficient- In Hebrews 12: 4 it says that scripture is sharper than a double edged sword. It is living, active, moving, breathing, and eternal. There is no other truth needed than scripture alone. (Sola Scriptura)
The Covenant Fast
Also as I mentioned last week in my post Church in the Living Room, our pastor has given our church a challenge to fast for 21 days and pray for our church specifically during that time. One thing I’ve felt convicted of lately is my spending habits. I know that as the holiday season came and went I wasn’t the wisest with my money management. A lot of impulse spending happened as I became more and more of a consumer than I’d like to admit. I spent this morning in prayer about how God would have me fast during this time. I suffer from hypoglycemia so fasting food is never really an option (3 hours without food isn’t really an option), so as I’ve done before during other fasts I decided to sacrifice something that I’ve been investing myself in that has become a distraction from my relationship with God.
Starting tomorrow and until January 24th I will be fasting spending my money on anything other than groceries, gas, and bills. In this time as I struggled with what to fast, I kept thinking of the parable of the talents found in Matthew 25:14-30.
In this portion of scripture a man is going away and entrusts his servants with his property (talents) based on their abilities. Two of the servants invest their talents and are able to repay the master more than their original amounts upon his return while one of them buries the money and does nothing with what he was given. His response to the first two servants was the same, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness.” (verses 21 and 23)
To the second servant the man responds with, “You wicked and lazy servant!” (verse 26)
As I look at this passage I can see myself relating to the position of the third servant. I may not have dug a hole and buried my money, but I sure did a lot of blowing what money I did have on unnecessary, worldly distractions. There was no return investment coming for my habits.
So as I take this step for the next 21 days I have a two-fold purpose. First and foremost, I will be in prayer for my church and how God plans to use me this year within the mission. Secondly, these next three weeks will be an exercise in self-discipline and replenishing of my bank account. At the end of my life I don’t want to be a servant who squanders all of their money on things that have no eternal value. To hear the words, “Well, done good and faithful servant” will make any sacrifice worth the payment.
Please pray for me and my family during this time as we are each sacrificing something of value to us. Also, consider joining this challenge even if you aren’t a member of our church. Fasting is something that you do so that you can rid yourself of distractions. It is a practice in renewing your focus which is something we all need periodically. If you are up to it please prayerfully consider a fast this new year and let me know if you are in!
The Ameri Brit Mom