Elder's Prayer - Sola Scriptura
Please find below Rob Stouffer's notes from the Elder's Prayer this past Sunday.
Brett is going to be preaching today on Sola scriptura - the notion that Scripture alone is authoritative for the faith and practice of Christian believers. The Bible is complete, authoritative, and true. The Bible is God’s Word. It is understandable. It says what it means and means with it says. It alone equips us for every good work. The Bible declares itself to be God-breathed, inerrant, and authoritative. We also know that God does not change His mind, contradict Himself and is completely unable to lie. We would consider God’s word to be absolute and nothing supersedes it. If a church tradition, teaching or practice conflicts with scripture, we know it is erroneous. God’s word is sufficient for all matters of life. Scripture should be at the center of the life of every believer. It should inform and shape our decisions and responses to life circumstances. Scripture makes no mistakes, it can be understood and is the most important word in our lives, the most relevant thing we can read each day.
If you are a regular attendee or member of this church, I’m guessing that nobody is shocked by me making any of these statements. The notion that we have a high view of scripture shouldn’t surprise and is hopefully abundantly obvious for anyone who regularly sits under the teaching of this church. If you are a visitor today, you are going to learn much about who we are and what we believe. You’ve chosen a great day to join us.
But how do you respond personally to these statements about God and His word? Would your responses and reactions to life circumstances this past week be consistent with what you profess about scripture? Do you find it easy to affirm the truth of scripture but honestly find scripture to be irrelevant or even tedious in practice? Or do you respond with passionate joy and dependence upon His word? How do you respond to Psalm 119 – essentially a passionate love poem about God’s word? Psalm 119 is 176 verses long with 169 of them making reference to the word of God. It might be worthwhile to read this psalm this week and take note of your response to it. It might be instructive and illuminating to you about how you genuinely view God’s word. It might be helpful in stoking your love for God’s revealing word.
I will use parts of Psalm 119 in my prayer for us. Let’s pray.
Father God, we thank you for your word. It is how you reveal the truth about yourself to us. Without your word, we would not know you or know how to order our lives in ways that please you. But because of your word, we are without excuse.
Oh, that we may be steadfast in keeping your statutes.
Help us to store up your word in our hearts so that we might not sin against you
Open our eyes that we may behold the wondrous things about your law and be eager to mediate on it and delight in your statutes
When our souls melts with sorrow, help us to meditate on your wondrous word and find comfort in it
Help us to speak of your testimonies in our homes, workplaces, and schools without shame or reservation
Remind us that your law is better than temporal wealth or worldly comforts
Give us understanding so that we might better learn and apply your commandments
May our souls long for your salvation and hope in your word
Give us confidence that your word is firmly fixed in the heavens and your faithfulness endures to all generations
Cause us to find your words sweet to our taste and grow our desire to consume it
Incline our hearts to perform your statutes out of delight and not duty
Deal with us according to your steadfast love, teach us your statutes, and give us understanding so that we may know and share your testimony with others faithfully and accurately.
Cause us to wake in the morning seeking hope in your word and reminding us you are near, O Lord, and that all of your commandments are true.
Remind us of your great mercy as we grow in our love of your word knowing the sum of your word is truth.
May our lips pour forth praise and our tongues sing of your word as we long for your salvation and delight in your word.
Help each of us to grow in our love and dependence on your word.
As our view of your scripture grows greater, may you alone be glorified.