1689 Chapter Plodding 1.10: Test Everything With Scripture
10. The supreme judge for deciding all religious controversies and for evaluating all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, human teachings, and individual interpretationsd, and in whose judgment we are to rest, is nothing but the Holy Scripture delivered by the Spirit. In this Scripture our faith finds its final word.21
21Matthew 22:29, 31, 32; Ephesians 2:20; Acts 28:23.
Before I give some of the commentary to this final statement on The Holy Scriptures we need to look at the particular passages the Framers used to prop up their assertion in this final paragraph.
29 "Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God." (Matthew 22:29 NKJV)
20 "having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone," (Ephesians 2:20 NKJV)
23 "So when they had appointed him a day, many came to him at his lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening." (Acts 28:23 NKJV)
Allow me to help summarize what the Framers have synthesized in this confession. The Word of God is settled. There are no additions to be made. The Lord didn't accidentally leave things out. We aren't waiting for Him to reveal more of Himself or His purpose. This type of thinking and teaching is frankly, foolish. In Matthew 22:29, Jesus told the Sadducees that their teaching was mistaken because it contradicted the Scriptures that testify about Jesus. There was no debate about the resurrection. The Scripture settled the fact of the resurrection long before Jesus in His humanity was resurrected.
In Ephesians 2:20 we are reminded that orthodox Christianity was built upon the foundation of the prophets (Old Testament) and the Apostles (New Testament) and their cornerstone was and is Christ Jesus. Again, there is no debate about any of this. It was settled long ago. The Prophets and Apostles are in agreement about about Christ, how His church should worship Him, and what His plan is to reach every tribe tongue and nation with the gospel.
When the words of the Apostle Paul were being questioned by those in Rome, what does he do? He tells them in Acts 28:23 that his ministry bears witness to the kingdom of God and is in agreement with Jesus and the Law of Moses and Prophets (Old Testament).
The settled Scripture brings clarity to those areas that seem unclear to us. Oftentimes the lack of clarity I find comes from one of three things:
1- Our unrighteousness suppresses the truth. Unrighteousness thrives in murkiness. Unrighteousness doesn't want settled, truthful/biblical answers.
2- We do not know our Bibles and are not interested in doing the hard work of study. We are quicker to ask people of their opinions then we are to sit down and examine the Word. A study of the Scripture can really bring clarity to our thinking.
3- We have never had anyone show us how to search and rightly divide the Scripture. If that is you. I am so sorry. I am sorry no one every taught you that. Find a mature man or woman and ask them to show you how to search the Scriptures. If you're in a church where no one is willing to do that, leave that church.