BATTLES FOR THE BIBLE
Since the Garden of Eden Satan has hated the truth.* Genesis 3:1 it states, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord had made.” Revelation 12:9 reads, “The great dragon was hurled down – that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.” In order for Satan to fulfill his desire to be God, he has attacked his biggest adversaries, the church and the Bible. If not for God placing Christian heroes like Martin Luther in the world true Christianity would be dead.
The Reformation led by Martin Luther had for its slogan, “Scripture Alone”. At its core, the Reformation believed that the Bible is the ultimate principle by which everything the church says or does is to be checked against Scripture. If Satan can, within the church, put doubt about the Scriptures, discredit them, or change them he could seemingly claim victory. But God claims for Himself that remnant that overcomes the evil. There have been many times in history were God lead faithfully true believers, who brought the reality of Scripture to the forefront and, His church continued. God did so in 1517 when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door at the Castle Church in Wittenburg. His famous quote, “I cannot and will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other so help me God”. That statement could have cost him his life. Thank God for men like him and brave others who faithfully followed Jesus and the Bible.
“For where God built a church there the devil would also build a chapel.” Martin Luther
This week's Sunday School lesson was full of facts about how the church became what it is today. The good, the bad, and the downright ugly. For instance, do you know who J. Gresham Machen was? He is part of the good. He was a professor of New Testament at Princeton from 1906 to 1929. He was a pre-eminent defender of orthodox evangelical Christianity (in the old-fashioned sense of the word) in the 1st half of the 20th century. He left his post at Princeton in 1929 to lead a conservative revolt that protested the takeover of the seminary by liberals (which continues to this day) and doctrinally indifferent evangelicals. He then formed Westminster Theological Seminary along with other staunch supporters of the inerrancy of Scripture.
“For Christians to influence the world with the truth of God’s Word requires the recovery of the great Reformation doctrine of vocation. Christians are called to God’s service not only in church professions but also in every secular calling. The task of restoring truth to the culture depends largely on our lay people.” J. Gresham Machen
Culturally people are after a palatable Jesus.* People want Jesus to be whom they want Him to be. The Jesus that will fit into their lifestyle and values. This is why Scripture and its interpretation is so vitally important. It is not whom we want Him to be, it is who He is and the only way of knowing who He is is by knowing, understanding and applying Scripture.
*The God Who Speaks” session seven
Only one session left. Please join us for “Drifting from the Word”