Imagine your children 20 years from now. What do you want them to “stand upon” and have full confidence in? What will provide the only unshakable bedrock for them in the midst of the world’s changing norms and values? What will they hold fast to as they are bombarded with more and more information in our digital age? How will they be able to discern truth from error in a world of competing ideas and beliefs?
In the past few weeks, the 500th
anniversary of the Protestant Reformation has been highlighted and celebrated. We would do well to pass on to our children and students the importance of this historic event. The very essence of the Gospel was at stake as Luther and the other reformers reaffirmed the eternal truths of Scripture. One of these truths was the importance of the authority of Scripture alone
. For Luther, it was truly a matter of life or death. Here is an excerpt from an article titled, “Here We Stand
” by Albert Mohler:
Martin Luther’s great moment of theological clarification came at the climax of a command performance. Facing the threat of martyrdom and execution, Luther appeared on trial at the Diet of Worms before the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Asked on what authority he dared to defy the Pope and the magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church, Luther famously replied:
“Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Holy Scriptures or by evident reason—for I can believe neither pope nor councils alone, as it is clear that they have erred repeatedly and contradicted themselves—I consider myself convicted by the testimony of Holy Scripture, which is my basis; my conscience is captive to the Word of God. Thus I cannot and will not recant, because acting against one’s conscience is neither safe nor sound. God help me. Amen.”
To those words were added: “Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise. God help me.”
…That moment of exquisite clarification came when Luther had nowhere to stand but on the authority of Scripture alone. Standing on biblical authority would not have been controversial, but the addition of that little sola changed everything. There is an infinite chasm between the authority of Scripture and the authority of Scripture alone.
At present, our children are not facing trial before the Roman Catholic Church. But they are going to be called upon to take a stand, in one form or another, before the world, if they are true followers of Jesus. They will be pressured to compromise the authority of Scripture alone in order to accommodate a variety of other ideas and beliefs. Twenty years from now—and throughout their lives—do you want your children, like Luther, to whole-heartedly declare, “Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise”? Do you long for your children to stand on the authority of Scripture alone, no matter what the situation or what the earthly cost?
We cannot bring about these grace-dependent, Spirit-empowered convictions in our children. But we can and must teach, train, and equip our children toward that end. For example, our children must be…
- well acquainted with Scripture, both the majestic breadth and depth of the entire Bible.
- given reasons to confidently trust in the authority, necessity, sufficiency, and clarity of Scripture.
- taught to righty study and interpret Scripture with increasing depth and vigor.
- encouraged and earnestly implored to submit their lives to Scripture—submitting their lives to the Author of Scripture through faith in Jesus Christ, which then is lived out in growing obedience to Scripture.
- shown that Scripture speaks with final authority into every facet of life and gives answers to all of life’s most important questions.
- taught that knowing, honoring, trusting, loving, and obeying Scripture is absolutely necessary for their lasting joy!
Interested in a resource to help you on this sacred journey with your children? Consider using this child-friendly devotional with your elementary age children:
In this full-color, 128-page, illustrated book, God's Word
, Sally Michael explores how the Word came to us, what it tells us about its Author, what it tells us about ourselves, and why it is the most special book ever written. After children learn about the Bible and how to read it, God's Word
takes them a step further and teaches them to be doers of what they read. Give your children a firm, early foundation on the truth and introduce them to God's Word!