By Stephen Leonard
“I have not departed from the commands of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread.” Job 23:12
Because it is the next day after the very popular Halloween, Reformation Day gets largely ignored, even by Christians. There are many who do not appreciate the Reformation’s impact on the believing church today. It was a historical event that saved the church once again from great heresy. The church needed to be returned to the gospel preached by the apostles and delivered to them by Jesus Christ.
There were a number of prominent reformers over a period of two centuries. Perhaps the two most renowned were Martin Luther and John Calvin. But there were others like Farel, Bucer, Melanchthon, Zwingli, Tyndale, Hus, Beza, and Knox, among others; all were committed to a full return to the gospel of the Scriptures.
They had no cell phones, nor even telephones, no internet, or even the telegraph. In other words, they were reduced to letters taking weeks for them to communicate, whenever they wrote. They lived in many different places. And even then, they did not always really know one another. Yet they arrived at much the same position on the true faith in their reformation efforts.
Why? Because they were fully committed to one of the Reformation’s great tenets: Sola Scriptura! By Scripture alone! This means that our sole authority on knowing who God is and to what He calls us are the Scriptures, the Word of God! We have no other authority! And God tells us so. All the reformers had the Scriptures at their disposal, and they arrived at their studied positions based on the Word of God through the Holy Spirit, who inspired the Word and them.
Just as the reformers who gave us the Reformation, we all are indebted to the Scriptures as our sole authority of the truth of the gospel. No church councils, no pope or human authority, and no extra-scriptural writings supersede the authority of Scripture.
This is why we devote ourselves to knowing the Bible backwards and forewords. God’s Word must be your constant diet! The Psalmist says you should eat it like honey. Then you must digest the milk and honey of this Word through a process of faithful reading, meditation, study, prayer, and obedience. You must “do” what the Word commands of you. For this is Jesus’ command by which you receive life. He said to you, “If you love Me, you will do what I say!”
So this November 1st, remember to thank God for the reformers and the Reformation. But thank Him most of all for His Word, the Bible, and for the Living Word made flesh, even Jesus! For “Your Word, O LORD, is a lamp to my feet!” May I strive to always walk in its light!
“O send thy Spirit Lord, now unto me, that He may touch my eyes and make me see: show me the truth concealed within Thy Word, and in Thy Book revealed I see the LORD.”
(4th verse of Mary Lathbury’s hymn, “Break Thou the Bread of Life,” 1877)