Sola Scriptura "by Scripture Alone" , Discernment and Duty.
I like something Pastor Lars Larson said in his radio message, "The Faith, the need for Discernment" #4 concerning discernment; which, I confess, codifies, my definition of a life guided by "Scripture Authority":
"The mental activity of the Christian, as they are guided by The Holy Spirit and the Scriptures, to view the world from God's perspective."
Look at the points of his statement.
Mental activity - God commands us; Luke 10:27 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind," The God of the Bible is our God.
You chase this not only by faith given but all your faculties.
The Christian - A person who belongs to God through the work of Jesus Christ; following Jesus continually. Matthew 16: 24 "Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? " Jesus is the Christ, our Savior, Lord, our God and King!
Guided by The Holy Spirit- John 14:16 "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. " The believer in Jesus, a Christian, is indwelled by the Holy Spirit of God and believes in our Triune God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Scriptures - 2nd Timothy 3:16 "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." When God gives you faith in Jesus, He will open the scriptures to you. This does not mean that you will understand everything about the scriptures but He will open your heart to their truthfulness. The bible will bring about a changed life of obedience to and behavior for Jesus Christ.
To view the world from God's Perspective - Ephesians 4:20 "But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." In Christ, we then begin to see the world through "scripture glasses", so to speak. We belong to God, bought and paid for; He works within us.
If you have not been called by God; if you have not been given faith; pray to God for His mercies and understanding into His Word; pursue Him with your mind and ask Him for a new heart. Seek Jesus.
Because you are a Believer in Jesus
It should be the Christian's desire to understand God's Word and perspective "correctly".
Martin Luther said, "A simple layman armed with scripture is greater than the mightiest Pope without it."
Greater even than the mightiest Pope with scripture; if the Pope's understanding and teachings do not coincide with God's perspective. The study to correctly understand the attributes of Our True God of Scripture, is called "theology". We must have quality theology and teachings also called "doctrines" to guide us! We understand scripture through the guidance of doctrine. Doctrine will set the "rails" so your bible training does not come off it's tracks.
Churches have gotten away from solid doctrinal teachings. There are links below to solid doctrinal teachings. See and listen to guides given concerning reformed theology; listen to reformed expository preaching; study the Westminster Shorter Catechism. That link is near the bottom of the page. All will provide insight and sound biblical doctrine to get you moving down the right line of thinking with Jesus Christ. Don't miss the good preaching links to my pastor Stephen Tracey and Dr Lars Larson. Pastor Larson's Media and Radio Messages; these are very good in describing the Truth to be sought and the pitfalls of not doing so correctly. Start right at the beginning and work your way through.
We must know our Bibles. To know them is to read them, to understand them, to memorize passages; which are important to increase and strengthen our faith, sharpen our belief, wisdom; all our spiritual gain in the arms of God. We have heard it said, "The Bible is all how you interpret it." Though this remark is used as an excuse that the Bible does not have to be understood; the statement also contains truth. It is your duty as a Christian to strive to understand God's Holy Word. As you do, your relationship with God will grow.
Duty and our Sin
Our sin is paid for by Our Lord Jesus fully, by His Life, His work, His Blood.
Romans 8:1 "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death."
This does not mean we are free to sin. Our continuance in a sin keeps our relationship with God from being as close as it can be; but the distancing falls on us, not God.
John 8:10 "Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”
This is super important. Do not let the above be confusing to you. If you broke something that was not yours, in anger; and the person who owned that thing forgave you; they would not expect you to again, brake another thing in anger. If you did again, brake another object in anger; who turned their back on the forgiveness given? If the woman whom Jesus is speaking to in John 8, goes out and sins; God has forgiven her, period. Who is turning their back on the relationship; who is turning their back on the forgiveness given? To sin, is a direct act against the Grace given by God; but if you are His, GOD STILL LOVES YOU! That is incredible; if you belong to Jesus, you can't screw up the price that has been paid; His blood applied to you! The question becomes, do you love Him? If you answer, "I believe in Jesus, I am not sure if I love Jesus?" This is can be alright, for a time. At first coming to Jesus, I cannot say, I loved Him, but I was surely in awe of Him, I had just met Him. Seek the fullness of Jesus; seek to know your Lord; ask for His help. This is what is right behavior:
Romans 12:1 "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
We bring ourselves to His Holy Word and it bathes us in truth and His Spirit. As we memorize and speak back to God His Words, we pour out of ourselves, "This is what I believe". The Great Counselor of Truth will bring to our hearts our sin which, we confess back to Him, bringing our sin and laying it down at the foot of His Cross. This is furthered by scripture memorization and even further as we speak and sing our memorization back to God! Memorizing and singing the Psalms to God can be a Spirit filled experience. Not that we conduct our lives for God for an "experience" but we seek after relationship such as this, as we fall deeper in love with Jesus, Father and Spirit. As my pastor, Stephen Tracey says, "To show our affections to God". Your life will change as God helps you to let go of your sins; you will experience a freedom and joy as you have never experienced!
I want you to know your 10 Commandments and understand God's law. Here is a start; if you have that "thing" that you do not want anyone to catch you doing; that should be the first thing you bring to Jesus to work on. Give this secret sin over to Him; ask for His prayers on this; ask for His blood upon this sin. The day that sin is dead, what joy there will be, in your heart and in Heaven!
Know The New Testament
The New Testament is the testimony by those who came in contact with Jesus and contains the life of Jesus, the Church beginning, letters on faith, conduct and the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
Know the Book of Genesis particularly and the Old Testament. This is not only the book of the beginning of all of creation, it is also where the Gospel is first announced! The OT is The Word of God and will help you to understand the NT.
Read, memorize, pray and sing the Psalms.
Psalm 23 ESV
What does scripture say about how we are to live our lives now that we belong to Jesus?
Romans 12:1 ESV
What do great theologians of the Christian Faith say concerning scripture?
They had no TV or phones: their full dedication was given to understanding The Word of God. Seek the truth by reformed doctrines.
Pray; again I say pray. Bring everything, your entire life before God. Please read the Westminster Shorter Catechism questions