Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sola Scriptura: 3. Primordial Institution

All Scripture is, according to 2 Timothy 3:16-17, breathed out by God. Scripture is presented as the very speech of God. The statements of 2 Timothy 3:16-17 do not stand alone, but are part of a grand theme concerning the speech of God that begins in the very first verses of the Bible.

In Genesis 1, God created the heavens and the earth (Gen 1:1-2). Immediately, a direct quote from God is recorded in the text as God said, "Let there be light," and there was light (Gen 1:3). Notice that in this creative speech-act, as well as with the other words of God by which He formed the earth and the heavenly bodies (Gen 1:4-27), God's speech is efficacious and sufficient. God's words have the exact result He intends (Gen 1:31), and they need no additional creaturely help.

In co-ordinating sola Scriptura with the first quotes from God recorded in the Bible, God's first words to Man are especially pertinent. So in Genesis 1 we read that immediately upon creating Man, God said to him,

Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein [there is] life, [I have given] every green herb for meat: (Gen 1:28-30)

God then added a singular condition to what He stated above, saying,

Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (Gen 2:16b-17)

Notice the sufficiency of God's speech at this earliest stage of human history. Man could and should, with the few words I have quoted above, have lived life sola Scriptura, according to the way I have previously defined, because God's speech was the final and sufficient authority concerning matters of life and godliness for Man. The clear implication of the text is that if Man had lived in simple obedience to God's words, he would have eventually eaten of the tree of life and been confirmed in deathless, blessed communion with God (cf. Gen 2:9 and Gen 3:22-24).

It is only after the introduction of satanic doubt and denial (Gen 3:1,4) concerning God's words and human additions to God's words (Gen 3:3) that Man falls into sin and the creation is brought under the curse.

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