Daily Word of Grace # 182 (November 25, 2020)
In the back of The Book of Common Prayer are the “Articles of Religion” (aka “The Thirty-nine Articles”)—a succinct distillation of the doctrine of the Church of England. Article VI, “Of the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation”, states “Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation” (868). This is rooted in the Apostle Paul encouraging his protégé Timothy, “Continue in what you have learned and firmly believed…and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 3:15). In other words, while scripture is indeed “inspired by God” (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21) it is not an end in and of itself, but a means to an end: salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. In an often overlooked passage Jesus urged, “You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life” (John 5:39-40). Similarly near the end of the Gospel According to John the evangelist writes, “These are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). This salvation in Jesus Christ is available to you at this very moment.
Love and Prayers,