Monday, October 09, 2006

Sola Scriptura

Over the past few weeks, God has been working on my heart in a couple of areas. One of them is a growing appreciation for Scripture.

I think it started when I picked up John Piper’s book, When I Don’t Desire God, which I’m still working through. This book is phenomenal and I would highly recommend it. (And if you’re completely strapped for cash, you can read the book online at the above link.) Chapter 7 is entitled, “The Worth of God’s Word in the Fight for Joy.” In this chapter, Piper details ten reasons why Scripture is so valuable. I don’t think I have ever read any other work that has so impressed upon my heart how valuable God’s Word is—and how desperate I am for it. (I won’t share the ten points here because I think you would most benefit from reading the chapter—and book!—yourself.) For it is in Scripture where God most clearly reveals Himself to me as my ultimate goal and my ultimate joy. As Piper says,

God can and does show himself in other ways, especially through the works of believers (Matt. 5:16; 1 Pet. 2:12; 1 Cor. 12:7). But none of them reveals God with the clarity and fullness of the Bible. All of them orbit around the sun of God’s written Word. And if the central gravitational power of the sun is denied, all the planets fly into confusion.

Then, Tony Carter spoke about the centrality of Scripture at church last Sunday. The Bible is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for, among other things, “instruction in righteousness” (see 2 Timothy 3:16). Well, if we are to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33), then it stands to reason that those who “hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Matthew 5:6) seek Scripture. They consider it a great treasure. And like any treasure hunter does when he finds treasure, they store it up (i.e., in their hearts) for later use. They realize, with the Psalmist, the great worth of the law of the Lord: it revives the weary soul, it makes the simple wise, it rejoices the heart—in part because it enlightens the eyes of the heart (see Psalm 19).

As God reveals more and more sin in my life, I find Scripture to be an essential tool in cutting me loose from the dead weight of despair. May my joy in God increase as my delight in His Word increases.

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