While the medieval church was never so ignorant to say out loud that they did not want to give glory to God alone, the facts betrayed a different reality. I do not mention the widespread immorality and sin that spread throughout the church. By holding that Christ cooperated us to make us righteous to pacify God’s wrath, that we might rest in some way on our merits before God, that we must submit to human authority on matters of faith and practice, by the practice of indulgences, the medieval church undermined the glory of God. I want us to consider soli Deo gloria, that we would be a people who give glory to God in our salvation and in our lives.
For Luther, the authority for the church was Scripture alone. This became a very important matter in the Reformation. It is not without accident that our second catechism question is What rule has God given whereby we may glorify him? The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, is the only rule to glorify God and enjoy him. This simple answerwas not in any way self-evident in the medieval church. But medieval Christianity not only denied that Scripture was the final authority in matters of doctrine and practice, it also kept the Bible from the people. To argue for the doctrine of sola Scriptura, I want to look at three books in particular. It’s not that the teaching isn’t found elsewhere, but I trust this will nevertheless illustrate that the Scriptures do, in fact, espouse that Scripture and especially the New Testament is our ultimate authority.