...e of faith.
Sola Scriptura teaches that since the Bible is the only God-breathed revelation to the church and the world, therefore, it is the highest authority for the church. Sola Scriptura does not deny other authorities in the church, as is often erroneously thought. There is a difference between Sola and Solo Scriptura. Sola Scriptura teaches that the Scriptures are the only and sole sufficient, certain, infallible, inerrant, and absolutely authoritative rule of faith for the church. A special and hard emphasis is placed on the adjectives describing the rule of faith. This does not imply that the church has no other authorities as the Elders, confessions, creeds, but what Sola Scriptura teaches is that all other authorities are subject to the sole infallible and sufficient authority of the Word. Solo Scriptura on the other hand, which is not the Reformed position, teaches that the Bible is the only authority for the church, period. It teaches that the church cannot benefit from creeds, confessions, councils, writings of dead men and so on. We, on the other hand, accept all these things, but we do not blindly accept them, but we have to test them against the “only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience” (paragraph 1).
Since the Scriptures teach their truthfulness, inspiration, sufficiency, and authority, therefore, it follows that they are the only infallible and certain rule of faith given to the church. To be sure, this does not mean that we may not use other authorities, as councils, creeds, and confessions, but, these authorities are subordinate and are to be examined by “the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience”. Notice that the Holy Scriptures are said to be sufficient on matters of faith and obedience, not all things. We do not find in the Scriptures where we should go to work, how we should start our car and a ton of other things. But that is not the Reformed position on the sufficiency and the sole authority of Scripture. Rather, Scripture is the sole authority and sufficient on matters of faith and obedience, because those things are only known through special revelation, which the Bible is. Scripture is the only and highest authority to decide matters of religion. As paragraph 10 of this chapter asserts:
The supreme judge, by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Scripture delivered by the Spirit, into which Scripture so delivered, our faith is finally resolved.
Scripture alone is the supreme judge (notice the adjective), not councils, ancient writers or doctrines of men. In all these disputes, only Scripture is the infallible and highest authority in the possession of the church. All these things are judged by the Scriptures, but Scripture is not to be judged by these things. We may indeed be corrected in our interpretation of Scripture by these things, but Scripture is not judged or corrected by them. If, in the writings of men we find things for which we see no warrant in the infallible Word, we are not bound to believe these. But if in the Word we find doctrines which we don’t want to believe, we are sinning and are disobeying God Whose Word Scripture is. Sola Scriptura teaches that the Bible alone can b...