“The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.”
October 31, 1517, 500 years ago this coming Tuesday, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg, thus beginning what has come to be known as the Protestant Reformation. The Reformation has come to be defined by five Solas: Scripture alone, grace alone, faith alone, Christ alone, and to the glory of God alone. While each of these is equally important, yet it is significant that the list begins with Scripture alone. It is the Word of God that reveals the gospel! It is the Word of God that reveals the heart of God!
Multiple generations of people grew up, in Luther’s day, wondering if there was any hope at all for salvation, doubting the goodness of God, and lost in a darkness of superstition and fear! In that context, Martin Luther understood well that the unfolding of the Word of God gives light! The masses of people desperately needed this light, and so the priority of all the Reformers was to get the Bible into the hands of the common people. Luther translated the Bible into German, and John Wycliffe is credited with translating the Bible into English. Today Wycliffe Bible Translators continues its great work of translating God’s life-giving Word into languages spoken in the farthest corners of the world! Praise God for His Word that gives light, and imparts understanding to the simple.
But the question comes to you and me: What are we doing with his Word? Is it precious to us? Are we reading it? Are we delighting in it? And are we trusting it? The people of Luther’s day lived in fear and darkness, and that is exactly where “the Accuser of the Brethren” would like for us to live, but God’s Word gives light – and reveals a God of love, who longs to save to the uttermost all who come to Him! And though our hearts may sometimes accuse and condemn us, we must believe the Word of God more than our own hearts. Martin Luther has well said: “You should not believe your conscience and your feelings more than the Word, which the Lord who receives sinners preaches to you.” May God help us to love and trust His Word more fully!