Ninety-Five Theses on Scripture by P. Lillback and modified by Van Wyk


Source: Peter A. Lillback, October 31, 2017. "A New Ninety-Five Theses on Scripture". Unio cum Christo/Union with Christ. International Journal of Reformed Theology and Life. Vol. 3. No. 2/ October 2017: 7-15. Downloaded on the 2nd of January 2022 from



Adapted and Modified by Koot van Wyk on the 2nd of January 2022.

A New Ninety-Five Theses on Scripture


October 31, 2017


1. The church is always in need of reforming according to the Word of

God if it is to remain the Christian church. [It is a spiritual renovation and not a new way to read the Bible].

2. A program for reforming the church requires a reaffirmation of sola Scriptura.

3. The church’s way of reading and understanding Scripture must be

formed by Scripture itself, with Scripture interpreting Scripture.

4. Postmodern rejections of Scripture’s story line propose substitute narratives based on an a priori rejection of the divine inspiration of Scripture.

5. Postmodern methods of biblical interpretation reject sola Scriptura and

replace it with a biblically alien system of hermeneutics.

6. The Scriptures offer assurance and confident hope, whereas postmodern interpretations are self-focused, resulting in relativism, uncertainty, and narcissism.

7. The interpretation of Scripture is not ultimately governed by the beliefs

of a community, but rather by Scripture interpreting Scripture. Without

this standard, the message of Scripture is relativized, resulting in ambiguity, and theological and spiritual chaos. Society laws or teaching ideologies get’s in the way to push the biblical view aside and upholds culture as more important than Scripture. Woman ordination of pastors and elders and transgender issues or gay ministry are examples.

8. The rule of faith of Scripture compared with Scripture, and Scripture

interpreting Scripture, is an objective standard for truth claims, meaningful discourse, and theological accountability. Gerhard Hasel stressed this in his Understanding the Word of God many times.

9. Confessional orthodoxy is relevant interesting and must optionally can be taken into account in biblical and theological interpretation.

10. No church confession is infallible, as this is true of Scripture alone. However, if the phraseology is taken from Scripture and does not contradict any other Scripture in the whole Bible, then the likelihood that it is a strong mirror of the original Word of God increase its importance. But, still it is not the Word of God but men’s collections of what they think the word of God is saying.

11. Confessions should be read and subscribed to with a heart commitment, while understanding that they are standards subordinate to the Scriptures.

12. Confessional subscription is to be “as far as confessions are Scriptural”

and not “because they are Scriptural,” since no human document can claim to equal the unique inerrant and authoritative character of the inspired Word of God. Take Confessions of Sunday keeping and our 28 Fundamental Beliefs insistence of Sabbath keeping. Who is more biblical? If one Confession can prove another that they are following the Bible whereas the other is not, then the one Confession cancels the other on that point.

13. The church must reaffirm the foundational properties of Scripture as revealed, inspired, inerrant, infallible, necessary, perspicuous, authoritative, unified, self-authenticating, immutable, and canonical. SDA Fundamental Beliefs states it very clearly: "The Holy Scriptures are the infallible revelation of [God's] will." The Spirit who edited the Scriptures did not force Himself or Angels to “push the hand” of the author but directed the author to good sources and if the sources were cited by slips of the eye or ear or hand or tongue or mind of the author, the Holy Spirit did read it to make sure it does not create a contradiction with what is said. The formulation is human all the way but not outside the desires and wishes of the Editor the Holy Spirit. In that way, the verbal inspiration is more controlled than is denied by some. Free to phrase as long as it is within the gutters of the Editor of the Holy Spirit’s agenda with the writing in the first place. It is not just thought and let go. It is thought and actively making sure it takes the right corners. Verbal inerrancy is very important for the purpose of grammatical and semantical discussions is just that: that it was a grammar form, albeit “wrong grammar” or loanword that the Holy Spirit thought excellent enough to be used. Packaged by humans, the words of the Bible was not just left uncontrolled totally to humans to irresponsibly take their own corners the way their passions, or interests led them. Verbal inerrancy is there after the Holy Spirit Edited it but not free from grammatical errors or linguistic problems that does not confuse the main Agenda or message of the Holy Spirit at all. It is not an angelic perfect writing. Slips of the mind, hand, tongue, ear and lips can be found. When the Holy Spirit thought the human readers’ minds will be able to “correct” these minor slips, He was satisfied that the standard of verbal inerrancy was achieved. The Scripture does not have errors after the Editor is finished with it.

“Adventists generally reject higher critical approaches to Scripture. The 1986 statement Methods of Bible Study, urges Adventist Bible students to avoid relying on the use of the presuppositions and the resultant deductions associated with the historical-critical method.” (Wikipaedia)

“The Holy Scriptures are the supreme, authoritative, and the infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the test of experience, the definitive revealer of doctrines, and the trustworthy record of God’s acts in history. (Ps. 119:105; Prov. 30:5, 6; Isa. 8:20; John 17:17; 1 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:16, 17; Heb. 4:12; 2 Peter 1:20, 21.)” Notice: it is a paradox if one claims the Holy Scripture is …infallible but try to say it is not verbal inerrancy. There are Adventists misusing Ellen White on the issue of pen-men of God, not His pen statement. Qualification is needed and not superficial statements.

14. Scripture is known because God revealed himself and intended his self-revelation to be preserved in writing, in morphological formulation, in syntax, in grammatical particles chosen, in semantics of words, in paragraph layout, in chiastic structures used, in different genres chosen. Verbal inspiration is real even verbal inerrancy for the Holy Spirit will not tolerate errors but Absolute Human inerrancy was not possible since humans are not angels.

15. These writings were given in the original languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, Egyptian, Akkadian, Persian, Sumerian loanwords or mirror phonics), which are to be used as the basis for authoritative translation and interpretation. These languages should be studied for understanding Job for example that is inundated with Egyptologisms for Moses wrote Hebrew loaning from Egyptian words and Akkadian as well.

16. While the Scriptures have been and must be translated into the vernaculars used by Christians worldwide, the study of Scripture in the original languages must be maintained, encouraged, and not considered superfluous for the life of the church. That is because the syntax and semantics and morphology and phonology carries weight in establishment of the “truth” packaged by humans received from the Holy Spirit. The formulation style has nuances that should not be missed in the originals. Verbal inspiration accounted for that. It is a fallacy to say Adventists do not believe in verbal inspiration or verbal inerrancy. We do not believe in Absolute [Angelic] Verbal Inerrancy. We do believe in slight human verbal errancy but Holy Spirit selected and sanctioned “verbal inerrancy” in words a teacher would say to a student “…but, Good enough”.

17. The Scriptures are not merely human documents that become the word of God when preached or when the Holy Spirit inspires the hearts of believers with the living voice of the gospel. The Editor [Holy Spirit] must have started and finished the document in approval, in overview, in support.

18. The Scriptures are human documents that are inspired by God the Holy Spirit and preserved by his providence. They are the living voice of God (viva vox Dei), and fallible human preaching, [but watched over to be infallible enough] enabled by the regenerating and illuminating of the Spirit’s unction, is the living voice of the gospel (viva vox evangelii).

19. The Scriptures in their original form (the autographs) no longer exist, although they were given through the inspiration of the authors by the Holy Spirit, so that the written words are infallible and without error. Verbal inerrant but not Absolute Humanly Verbal inerrant.

20. Copies of the originals are so numerous and well preserved that the essential form of the originals can be known, studied, and used authoritatively for the well-being of the church. Codex Aleppo in 1008 AD compared with 4QDana from Qumran more than a millennium earlier, 99.9% and that is a high degree of accuracy over such a long period. Thus, the other books of the Old Testament as well. If it is 99.9% the same, then one can assume it goes all the way back to Moses in similar fashion for the others books as well. Belief is optional here of course but the likelihood is increased anyway. Belief cannot do harm here.

21. Through the gospel and biblical teaching, the Scriptures created the church, which by providence and the Spirit’s guidance has been enabled to recognize the canonical Scriptures that have blessed it for nearly two millennia.

22. The canon is not a construct the church has foisted on human documents, but it was inherent in the giving of the inspired divine Word from Old Testament times, continuing into the New Testament era. As Moses finished his five Books plus Job and Psalm 90 by his death in 1410 BC, they all were canonized and preserved and used as such.

23. The so-called gnostic gospels and pseudepigraphic writings were never part of the church’s canon. They appeared as a challenge to the church through an amalgam of Greek mystery religions and philosophy. Gnosticism has a late 3rd century-fourth century date and one find it in the Nag Hammadi Codices. It is an amalgamation of what one can see in Buddhism, pagan religions and here and there reaching into the Scriptures to cloth it with.

24. The canon reflects the mind of God focused on the person and work of Christ (=Messiah), promised in the old covenant and fulfilled in the new. It was delivered either by divinely chosen, inspired, and providentially enabled prophets and apostles or by those under their oversight, and so the inspired canonical documents were inscripturated. The Canon grew as the books were completed in writing.

25. The Scriptures cannot fail or cease to exist, as they are infallible, and as the inspired Word of God, they cannot deceive. As they reflect the eternal mind of God in revealed form, they possess a property of eternality.

26. The Scriptures cannot err in what they intend to teach in their original inspired form. The nature of God’s truthfulness, omniscience, eternality, immutability, and saving goodness are inherent in the Scriptures in the human words superintended by God the Holy Spirit. The doctrines are also interspersed throughout Scripture and that is why Systematic Theology has the task of picking up the scattered pieces and try to structure them into construct that is easy to see and recognize.

27. Because God’s incommunicable attributes include eternity, infinity, and immutable perfection, the deposit of Scriptural truth carries with it the nature of a predestined text that is eternal and cannot pass away.

It thus teaches, in this world and the next, the truths of God’s nature and the work in Christ for his chosen people, united to Christ. That includes the Sanctuary doctrine and process of atonement through all its phases. The believer follows Christ through all this.

28. Disagreements in biblical interpretation exist, as we do not have all the historical, theological, and scientific data needed to fully understand what Scripture affirms. Nevertheless, the church’s commitment to inerrancy is an expression of faith in what the Scriptures, as the revealed word of God, declare about God and themselves. The inerrancy claim has to do with the purpose of indepth research and studies and explanations around words in context, in syntax, in meaning, with or without linguistic particles that steer the way of truth either left or right or up or down or in or out or any other way. It blocks other dimensions because of that position in the verbal form and syntactical format.

29. The Scriptures are inspired as a revelation of God’s saving will and are necessary for the church’s life and gospel ministry and also its ethic of love for God and neighbor. It is also important to navigate the Christian through deep waters, and stormy times and shaking trying times and prophetic outlines in each period. The Scripture is not superficial in its impact in our lives.

30. The Scriptures are vast in scope, meaning, and mystery, and cannot be

fathomed by mortal minds.

The Scriptures can and should be understood with the help and assistance of the Holy Spirit as Christ has promised us. He will teach you the truth. However, as the essential truth of God’s nature, mankind’s sin, redemption, and faith and life in Christ, they are perspicuous in what they intend to teach. The scripture is very accurate and effective to touch every dimension of sin and it’s solution for any nations, language or culture.

31. Because the Scriptures are true, inspired, necessary, and essentially clear, all people should have them in their own languages and be taught to read, study, and apply them for their salvation and practical benefit.

32. The establishment of an elite body of interpreters takes away the right of believers to read and study the Scriptures and constitutes a restriction and denial of the perspicuity of Scripture. The Scriptures are for everyone, no matter where they find themselves. No one is excluded.

33. Because the Scriptures are revealed by God and given through inspiration,

Because God explains in many ways and under many circumstances covering all types of people, that they are to be obedient to his precepts and laws after choosing to connect to the Holy Spirit for renewal, for regeneration, for baptism, for lifestyle changes, therefore, they are the sole authority for believers’ salvation, life, and practice of faith.

34. Attempts to diminish the authority of Scripture through philosophy, science, worldviews, higher or lower criticisms, human ideologies, papal encyclicals, councils and synods of churches, human erudition, or mystical intuitions are to be rejected as a denial of the foundational principle of sola Scriptura and the truths it contains. God’s truths are simple, easy to understand, easy to keep, a joy to live with and makes people happy. Anything else distracts.

35. While the church’s interpretation of the history of redemption has been characterized by various types of hermeneutics, no system of interpretation that rejects the unified character of God’s plan of salvation in the person and work of Christ can be accepted as biblical or Christian.  same salvation method of both the Old and New Testaments in the person of Jesus Christ as Lamb of God in types and as fulfilled in the New Testament when He came near the end of 490 years as predicted in Daniel 9:24-27, can be accepted as biblical or proper Christian.

36. The unity of the Bible’s saving message in Christ prioritizes Scripture’s references to covenant and to the saving declaration of God, “I will be your God and you will be my people,” which runs through the canon of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. The identical eternal covenant was in mind from Genesis to Revelation, as was proclaimed by the Reformers Oecolampadius in 1526-1527 and Pelikkan, and Bullinger, and Zwingli as well as Calvin. They all said there were not two ways of salvation and that the Old Testament people are saved different than the New Testament ones.

37. As a written document, the Scriptures can be studied and compared with

other documents for discussion and learning. However, understanding

the Scriptures is ultimately possible because of their self-authenticating

character, since the Holy Spirit, who inspired the text and its authors,

also illumines the minds of readers and hearers. Proper understanding of the Scriptures necessitates the role of the Holy Spirit and agnostics and atheists cannot tell true Christians what the prophets or writers of the Scripture intended to say.

38. The Scriptures as written are intended not only to be read personally, but also to be read corporately and aloud because of the differing ways the Spirit blesses his people through visual and oral learning.

39. Heaven and earth will pass away, but the Scriptures as God’s Word are eternal, and the people of God will learn their truths throughout eternity as they increase in their understanding of the grace of God in Christ. Ellen White said this already before her death in 1915.

40. God’s written Word developed over time with the history of redemption and as its canonical stature grew. However, having reached canonical fullness in the New Testament, the earthly expression of the Scriptures is complete. The completion came when Jesus conveyed to John messages in Revelation with indicators for centuries to come before events happen, events that would happen in the corridors of time over a millennium after John in 97 AD.

41. The reading and understanding of the true sense of the Scriptures is

beyond the unregenerate reader [the nihilist, the agnostic, the atheist and the skeptic], since God’s truths are spiritually discerned and illumined only by the inner regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. Gerhard Hasel pointed this out in his work Understanding the Word of God.

42. Collective reading and interpreting of the Scriptures is a profitable task, as no prophecy is given for private interpretation, and the wisdom of the Spirit is not imparted to only one generation of the church. Also the prophecies packed in the Scripture is dealing with events all the way to eternity to come. Linking these events in history to the biblical text is a tedious task that need many interpreters to easily see the connections with very little objections and disputes.

43. Commentaries written through the ages are useful for interpreting Scripture and for students of the written Word, in subordination to the Scriptures themselves. Sunday observers who wrote commentaries on the Scriptures and those whose lifestyles are not in line with the Scriptures cannot properly interpret the Scriptures as the Scriptures wants to be interpreted.

44. There is no infallible hierarchy in church or academy for the development of the Scriptures’ meaning or biblical doctrine. The Sanctuary doctrine was understood by Adventists as Christians as a new understanding of applicability of the book of Hebrews which other churches missed. Since they do not work with the 2300 years but only with the 490 years, and not with the 1260 years of persecution or the 1335 years of Daniel and partly Revelation, they missed the truths of the Sanctuary Message in Hebrews. This is still a contribution that Adventists made to Christianity that all other denominations failed to see in the past. Calvin was the worst as one who put the pen down in Hebrews and said, since the author did not explain much, do not read too much into the text with too much imagination about the furniture in the Tabernacle and other things. His followers all put their pens down as well. Research failed.

45. The Scriptures were not given as a systematic theology, but are a dramatic expression of salvation history that can best be unified in a Christcentered reading, in light of the unfolding of God’s covenant of grace. Edward Heppenstall said it better in his book Christ our High Priest, chapter 12 paragraph 33, “Doctrines are the formalized aspects of the faith”. There is an interrelatedness between doctrines and exegesis so that New Testament scholars with exegesis should not write differently than Dogmatic Theologians who systematize truths of the Bible. Hermann Diem said that it seems to him that they are working with two Bibles. The reason is, in my opinion, issues like Sunday-keeping conclusions traditionally superimposed upon a non-existent text in Scripture.

46. The interpretation of Scripture should be conducted with careful consideration of historical setting and authorial intent, with attention to the author’s words, grammar, syntax, and immediate and broader contexts, and in light of the fullness of the canon, with an eye for how all these point to the Messiah and his redemptive work both before the cross and after the cross, even now in the Heavenly Sanctuary.

47. Multiple translations of the Scriptures are helpful and should be read

in comparison with each other. There are networks these days that try to camouflage the obvious truths that the KJV and Reformers boldly proclaimed by changing the nuances with other softening synonyms.

48. No historical setting of the written Scriptures (such as Second Temple Judaism, ancient Near Eastern religion, or primitive Catholicism) can have authority in interpreting the Scriptures over against the teaching of the Scriptures themselves.

49. Interpreters, councils, creeds, and magisterial announcements and pronouncements can be considered binding only in light of the written Word of God. The vote of the majority said Ellen White and Edward Heppenstall, cannot establish truth. Only the Word of God can. Even if those lobbiests succeeded to get woman ordination as pastors or elders or both accepted, it will not be an establishment of truth but gaining an upper hand in the administration of the church because three councils already rejected it and woman elder ordination was never subjected to General Conference Vote.

50. Difficult passages of Scripture must be interpreted in light of the clearer passages, with due humility, recognizing that some problems of interpretation will not be resolved in this earthly stage of the church’s ministry. One cannot go too deep in discussions of the Trinity but that the Trinity exists in the Scripture is undeniable.

51. Alleged contradictions or inconsistencies of Scripture are recognized as allegations, and efforts should be made to resolve tensions. If these are not resolvable, the church and interpreters are to assume an attitude of trusting faith, awaiting further evidence and greater light provided by the Holy Spirit’s ministry to the church in the present or to the people of God in the coming age. This does not include issues of doctrine like adult baptism against infant baptism that is clearly demonstrated by Jesus and John in Scripture and other examples by the Apostles like Phillip. People should not wait for another coming age to understand what is going on about clear matters of doctrine.

52. Scripture should be mastered, memorized, meditated upon, applied, and consulted as the circumstances of each believer enable.

53. The meaning of Scripture is generally singular, although it may have both an immediate sense and a long-term christological sense, as well as a variety of applications for the people of God throughout the ages of the church. It may have a meaning way beyond any present event to the Hell event at the end of the millennium.

54. The history of revelation was given in prescientific and non notarial form, so it is not intended to be read as a text of science, a juridical record, or a scholarly statement of human history. There is, nevertheless, in Scripture’s teaching, scientific truth, accurate reporting, and true history. Science and the Bible should not stand in opposition but should be together in truth. If science is opposite to the truth of the Bible, something is wrong with the epistemological claims of the data surrounding science, like Evolution.

55. A facet of the genius of divine revelation is that as the Word of God written, Scripture reflects a timeless message for all people in all civilizations and times, and it will ever be true, wise, useful, and saving, regardless of progress in finite human knowledge.

56. The creation accounts present the truth of God’s role in all things, focusing on the who and why of creation, rather than the how or the when. It was in six days and He spoke and it was. The how and the when is clearly stated.

57. Mystery is present in all of Scripture so that many questions asked of Scripture will remain unanswered, awaiting God’s fuller revelation in the coming ages. The Scripture is not a mysterious book. God reveals in plain human language clear messages and for 98% of it there should be no problem in understanding. Marginal questions will remain but God made it plain to His prophets, the text says.

58. Reason is a ministerial tool in interpreting the Scriptures. God is a God of order and truth who calls on his people to reason with him, as the Scriptures employ logical constructions of all sorts. Nevertheless, reason alone is an inadequate tool to address the full message of the Scriptures, which is spiritually discerned. Reason washed with the Spirit of God can understand much. Self cannot come in the way of understanding or communicating of the understanding. One has to move forward on the knees.

59. The Spirit’s movement in the thought, word choices, and personalities of the authors of Scripture was not by mere dictation; the inspired written word of God retains the distinctive style and personality of the authors. Ellen White said they were His penmen and not His pens. That does not mean they were given free reign to just chat. The Shepherd with His staff made sure the sheep writers did not get lost.

60. The distinctive theological foci of the biblical authors are not an expression of pluralism, but rather complementary emphases inspired by one and the same Spirit.

61. The spoken words of Jesus recorded in the Gospels are not attempts of the early church to create a Jesus of faith as a substitute for the Jesus of history. They are the verbally inspired and providentially preserved oral accounts of the gospel ministry of Jesus, sovereignly recorded by divine superintendence for the spiritual health of the church.

62. The distinctive themes of the Synoptic Gospels and the Fourth Gospel are complementary, not contradictory, reflecting the unique purposes of the authors and their perspectives, looking forward to or looking back from Pentecost. But not only from Pentecost but from later days as well since John wrote from Patmos in 97 AD.

63. The juridical themes of Paul concerning justification by faith are not contradictory to but covenantally consistent with Paul’s experiential doctrine of union with Christ.

64. While Second Temple Judaism may be summarized as covenantal nomism, the Old Testament doctrine of the law in the covenant can never be separated from God’s gracious work in divine election and mercy in forgiving grace. Yes, this is what Oecolampadius, the Reformer in 1526-1527 [published post-humously in 1534] said in his commentary on Hebrews: ---"Further, it is not called ‘new’ for the reason that the thing itself is a new and different covenant in substance from what is prior, which truly was always the same, but it is enacted by a certain new way and method..." Then he explains that one nation is now made many nations and a complex system of ceremonies are replaced to almost nothing. Heb 89a. Also the Reformer Bullinger. Bullinger said the covenant "is not new, as if the ancients did not have Christ, grace, and the forgiveness of sins, but [it is] new by comparison to the old, and that the body abolishes the shadow itself with its arrival". Bullinger 84a. "Non ideo novum, quasi veteres Christum, gratiam & peccatorum remissionem non habuerint: sed novum collatione veteris & quod ipsum corpus accessu suo aboleverit umbram". About the law Oecolampadius said: “The law itself was not to blame, but rather the people for they were obstinate. ---God does not blame the law, for it is holy". Commentary to Hebrews 89a.

65. Messianic revelation in the Old Testament is mysterious and progressive but not contradictory to or inconsistent with its culmination in New Testament revelation. Jesus unpacked what He and the Holy Spirit packed in the Old. The evolutionary view of W. Eichrodt in his two volumes are operating with the methodological flaw that when there are little data the proponents of that age knew little but when there are much, they knew much. It is just the other way around. Much need to be explained when the people do not know.

66. The interpretation of the history of salvation in the Scriptures is best expressed as organic Christ-centered revelation moving toward Christ as its goal, and outward from Christ as salvation is accomplished in him. Calvin stated: "the qualities that are in Christ are of such excellence that they reduce all the shadows of the Law [ceremonial law of the Tabernacle] to nothing" COE II, 19:140.19-24; CNTC 12, 120. Bullinger said the covenant "is not new, as if the ancients did not have Christ, grace, and the forgiveness of sins, but [it is] new by comparison to the old, and that the body abolishes the shadow itself with its arrival". Bullinger 84a. Bullinger and Zwingli said that the Law was not given without a purpose but served as an introduction and a pedagogue that pointed to Christ as the "the way, the truth, and the life by which we approach God".

67. A christocentric hermeneutic reflects the direct teachings of Jesus and is supported by the New Testament use of the Old Testament. Jesus did not transform text applied to David to Himself but packed in David’s Psalms references to Himself that He just unpacked in His own time on earth later. They were never meant to be applied to David at all. The Ridderbos view stands under review here.

68. The Old Testament messianic revelation is christomorphic, not explicitly messianic, reflecting the shape of redemption in Christ as part of God’s plan of salvation. The Old Testament messianic revelation was packed in the Old Testament with care and consideration by the Holy Spirit and Christ with specific reference to Himself and served as markers and indicators of Whom to expect in future. They were not just happenstance data that surprisingly compare to Christ. It is not just text that look as if it can be Christ but is not actually. To the contrary, they are Christ texts identified to Christ alone.

69. Efforts to demythologize the Scriptures are an overt rejection of biblical revelation and a patent declaration that they are not the written Word of God.

70. The Scriptures may be interpreted by contrasting law and gospel when the saving call of the gospel is in view. The Reformers did not agree here with this statement by Lullback. Bullinger said the covenant "is not new, as if the ancients did not have Christ, grace, and the forgiveness of sins, but [it is] new by comparison to the old, and that the body abolishes the shadow itself with its arrival". Bullinger 84a. "Non ideo novum, quasi veteres Christum, gratiam & peccatorum remissionem non habuerint: sed novum collatione veteris & quod ipsum corpus accessu suo aboleverit umbram".

However, when the Christian life is under consideration, law and gospel are best understood as the double grace of justification and sanctification (the duplex gratiae) in the new covenant, sometimes described as law in grace. A better way to understand it is a triple grace, justification, sanctification and glorification.

71. When the law is written on the heart of the believer in the new covenant, the inner law is a reflection of the revealed law of God in the Scriptures, summarized in the moral law of the Ten Commandments and Jesus’s two Great Commandments. It includes the command to Saturday worship as Sabbath keeping. Not Sunday keeping.

72. The doctrine of sola Scriptura re-establishes the great summary mottoes

of the Protestant Reformation.

73. Sola Scriptura as a doctrine and method of hermeneutics leads to sola

gratia, solus Christus, sola fide, soli Deo gloria, and the priesthood of


74. The Scriptures celebrate and inculcate salvation by God’s grace alone,

denying any human merit and rejecting the semi-Pelagian covenantal

nomism suggested by some versions of the New Perspective on Paul.

75. The Scriptures hold forth the unique saving work of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, by the types of the Old Testament, by the explicit work of redemption accomplished by Christ, and by the apostolic affirmations of Christ as the exclusive redemptive way to God, of the sole saving name of Christ, and of the Lord’s final and unique mediatorial role. Calvin said "the qualities that are in Christ are of such excellence that they reduce all the shadows of the Law to nothing" COE II, 19:140.19-24; CNTC 12, 120.

76. While the Scriptures call for obedience to God and highlight the necessity of keeping the law of God, the sinner’s hope of salvation is found in the instrument of faith alone for justification. A faith that does not work is no faith James said. If you love me, keep my commandments, Jesus said. A person who does not render obedience after salvation loses it immediately. The two cannot be separated.

77. The message of salvation in the Scriptures shows that justification is by faith alone, but that the faith that justifies is never alone and is always accompanied by God’s saving graces contained in the covenant and experienced by union with Christ. Total consecration to God and living according to His commandments and expectations in healthy pursuit will keep the faith alive.

78. The continuing sale of indulgences by the Roman Catholic Church confirms its continued commitment to merit, even though there has been a declaration of a common commitment with Lutherans in sola gratia. On the mass Calvin said: "The papists make the rejoinder that this is not something new or different from the sacrifice of Christ but the same thing. The apostle on the other hand maintains that the same sacrifice should not be repeated and he says that the sacrifice of Christ was not only unique but offered once for all" COE II, 19:161.22; CNTC 12, 139-140.

79. While ecumenical dialogue has its place and offers some practical social benefits, all efforts at the ecumenical integration of Christian churches must be rejected if they do not first proceed from a clear commitment to sola Scriptura. Ecumenical “dialogue” is basically a kissing of the hand of papists and nothing short of that. It cannot benefit at all.  

80. The Scriptures insist on the theocentric doxological purpose of the church and prohibit all efforts to elevate any mere human into a place of worship, whether it be Mary, saints, apostles, popes, or martyrs.

81. The Scriptures do not give the church the ability to set the day, the time, the hour or the season of the second advent of Christ, and efforts to overcome this godly eschatological agnosticism are theological hubris and spiritual and ministerial folly. The nearness of the coming will be known because Christ and the Apostles preached that.

82. The interpretation of biblical eschatology must not overlook its realized expression in the person and work of Christ, especially in his death, resurrection, ascension, continuing work of Atonement in the Heavenly Sanctuary and sending of the Holy Spirit.

83. The eschatology of Scripture must not be interpreted as exhaustively fulfilled in Christ’s first advent. It is well described by the “already but not yet” character of the coming of the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. The term is somewhat generalized since prophetic periods are stretched out over millennia since 457 BC in Daniel and 1260 years in Daniel and Revelation between 538-1798 by both books.

84. The Scriptures teach that the Second Adam was from heaven and

became a life-giving Spirit, whereas the First Adam from the earth was

a man of dust with the spirit of life divinely imparted to him.

85. The Scriptures maintain that the First Adam failed and through covenant breaking brought the curse of sin and death upon humanity; the

Last Adam has brought the blessings of forgiveness and life for God’s

people through keeping the covenant of grace. There shall never be

any other after him, neither any false messiah, nor Muhammad, nor

any other teacher proposed by human religions.

86. The Scriptures teach that the Last Adam is also the Second Adam,

meaning that he fulfills the duties that Adam failed to do and that

there is no other between the First and the Last Adam who was able to

do what Christ alone did, neither Moses, nor David, nor the prophets.

87. The Scriptures provide a structure for interpreting the history of salvation presented in the Bible through the contrast between the First and

the Last or Second Adam.

88. Contemporary efforts of the emergent church movement to focus on

feelings, social justice, and teachings acceptable to culture, at the

expense of the authority, necessity, and clarity of Scripture, offer a

false gospel and make idols of cultural immediacy, denying the eternal

validity of the faith once delivered to the saints in the Scriptures.

89. The public and corporate nature of the church is taught by Scripture,

but to interpret the New Testament as seeking only to create a new

corporate community of Jews and Gentiles denies the personal necessity of faith and repentance taught by the Scriptures.

90. The quest to integrate various fields of human knowledge with the

Scriptures is a legitimate task, but the insights of Scripture and Scripture’s authoritative role in the development of disciplines such as law,

history, psychology, science, philosophy, and sociology must not be

overlooked, diminished, or denied.

91. The Christian’s world and life view is to be developed from Scripture

and demonstrated to be compatible with biblical teaching.

92. The Bible’s affirmations of the supernatural and the miraculous power

of God are an integral part of an authentic Christian perspective on

reality. Denial of miracle destroys the fabric of revealed truth.

93. The unique role of the charismatic gifts and the miraculous events of

Scripture are best interpreted in what has been called the periodicity

of miracles.

94. Some current expressions of what some claim to be charismatic gifts

are inconsistent with the Scriptures’ description and diminish the

significance of the completion of the canon of Scripture that made

revelatory gifts no longer essential for the church.

95. The abuse of such gifts implies that the authority of gifts has been placed

over the authority of the Scriptures and creates an autonomous source

of alleged revelation that either overlooks or denies biblical authority.