Sola Scriptura: How engagement with God's Word has transformed the church and the world in the last 500 years
We need to eat the scroll and feast on it with great appetite.

Sola Scriptura: How engagement with God’s Word has transformed the church and the world in the last 500 years

by Daniel Lim
4 weeks ago Artists and Authors

In the late 1980s, I came across an early version of Bible software. As someone who desires to learn more about the truth of God’s Word, I found the advent of the digital Bible truly remarkable. The mass distribution and accessibility of the Scriptures has come a long way since the time of its original manuscripts.

It was approximately five and a half centuries ago when the movable type printing press invented by Johannes Gutenberg began to print copies of the Gutenberg Bible (1450s) and provided the context necessary for the Protestant Reformation sparked by Martin Luther (1517) to gather sufficient critical mass as a movement to significantly shape Western civilization today.

Prior to the mass printing of the Bible, the production of the Bible was slow and relied heavily on the expertise of trained scribes. The masses had little access to written Scripture even if they were literate. Christians depended on their clergymen to provide access and understanding of God’s Word. Without the technological innovation which enabled mass printing of the Bible, a movement built upon the theological principle of Sola Scriptura—Scripture alone—would not have flourished.

According to tradition, in 1521, Luther, while facing his prosecutor at the Diet of Worms, Germany, refused to repudiate his writing unless it was found to be contrary to Scripture alone. The Protestant Reformation allowed every person who desired to know God and worship Him according to the Spirit and the truth, to do so confidently through faith in Christ as revealed in the Scripture. We can all access the knowledge of God revealed in Scripture as illuminated by the Holy Spirit.

The progress in Bible translation, audio broadcasting, printing, software, animation, and distribution have blessed millions of souls with the privilege and opportunity to engage with God’s Word. 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. It is important for us to reaffirm our commitment to this sacred theological axiom and be Scripture-centric in our daily practices and corporate worship.

However, over the centuries while accessibility has markedly increased, engagement with the Word of God fluctuates according to the spiritual fervor of the people. During periods of revival and awakening, the appetite for God’s Word increases.

However, I am personally convicted by the fact that if we are faithful to the measure of grace given to us in each season of our lives for Scripture engagement, much more will be added unto us, including a greater hunger and thirst for His Word and His Spirit as the Psalmist so eloquently declared,

Blessed is the one . . . whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water. (Psalm 1:1–3 NIV)

It is this conviction that drove me to write a simple book entitled Bible 360°: Total Engagement with the Word of God.

During this season of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, let us press into the grace of God to read, to study, to write, to sing, to pray, to meditate, to teach, to proclaim (prophesy), to memorize, and to live the Word of God. We must not merely nibble on writings about Scripture or learn about theological reflection on Scripture, we must devour the Bible through direct and consistent engagement of various forms using the totality of our God-given senses and being. Jesus said,

“I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.” (John 6:51 NKJV)

We need to eat the scroll and feast on it with great appetite. It is my prayer this little book will be our faithful companion to remind and help us engage with the Word of God.

Let us labor when it is still day, for when the night comes, no one can labor. We live in a blessed era where the Bible is not outlawed in most parts of the world. The Scripture prophesies of a time when the regulatory and cultural environment on the earth at a global scale will be adversarial to the truth of God’s Word. At that time, accessibility to the Holy Bible may be so scarce, we will need a whole generation of “Word bearers” who have internalized the Word of God in every way possible.

I challenge you to be a “Word bearer” in your generation and let Sola Scriptura be an unshakable pillar in your life. Jesus rebuked and overcame the devil in Luke 4 with the written Scripture; we must walk the path of our Rabbi, our Master, and our Lord.

Pre-ordep your Reformation Edition of Daniel Lim’s book, Bible 360°: Total Engagement with the Word of God online today.

Daniel Lim

position

  • CEO, IHOPKC
  • Facilitator, Onething Global Leadership Summit
Daniel Lim serves as the chief executive officer of the International House of Prayer of Kansas City. He was trained at a Baptist seminary (MA in World Missions) and served as a Baptist pastor in Southeast Asia. With a passion for the gospel of the kingdom of God and the glory of Jesus Christ, Daniel teaches at conferences, churches, universities, and seminaries throughout the nations.

Daniel is the author of Bible 360°: Total Engagement with the Word of God. The Lord blessed Daniel and his wife, Levi, with two children, Samuel and Emmanuel. Emmanuel went home to be with the Lord in 2008 while they were ministering in Myanmar during the crisis relief effort after Cyclone Nargis.

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