Searching for peace with God, Luther stumbled through the darkness of the church tradition and just when he was about to trip again, he grabbed a rope. This rope, on one side, opened a door to freedom by justification by faith. But it was also connected to a bell which then ring so loud the whole world could hear it. If the bell represents the gospel, then sola scriptura was the rope that set everything into motion. Sola scriptura means only the Holy scripture is God’s word and can tell me what to do and what not to do, nothing less, nothing more and nothing else. Sola scriptura does not mean, however, that the Bible speaks about all things in our physical life, for example how we should brush our teeth or how to mow a lawn.
2nd Timothy 3:16 says “All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching” so it’s about a spiritual part, about our heart because that’s where the center and the outlets of life. Sola scriptura does not mean that I cannot or should not read anything else. Paul also read parchments and partly quoted extra-biblical poets and these were useful in a certain context but sola scriptura means all of the things are subordinate and secondary to the norm. Sacred scripture is the only infallible authority for individual and collective life of faith because it is the church’s only item to know God’s inspired revelation. This is how the Westminster creed expresses it. Chapter 1, Article 6 “How do we gain knowledge from scripture? “The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from scripture, unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit or traditions of men.”