His Word, Not Ours
Earlier this fall, the Lutheran Church celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
Legend has it that on Oct. 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his “95 Theses” on the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church, in Germany. Over time we may have made this act more dramatic than it was intended. Luther did not seek to be revolutionary. What he nailed on the door of the church was a list of questions and propositions for debate, not a declaration of war.
A key concept of Martin Luther’s teachings is that the church should be based on scripture and not be embellished by mankind. The result of his questioning helped shape Protestant churches as they moved forward. It is important for people to read the scriptures for God’s answers to life’s questions. Too often we turn to our peers for answers instead of to God.
At the time of creation, God “made man in his own image. In today’s society we are tempted to turn the tables and, in effect, make God in our image. We have our own view of what we think is right and wrong and what God is all about. We hope that God agrees with us, and are willing to rationalize when there is a difference. It’s not what you think God is like; He is what you read in the Bible.
Luther’s effort to bring the knowledge of scripture to the people was helped with the invention of the printing press. First invented around 1440 by Johannes Gutenberg, the printing press made it possible for a common man to get access to the Bible. By the early 1500’s there were numerous printing presses in Western Europe. The printed word helped to increase literacy and fostered an emerging middle class. It was perfect timing for the Reformation. Luther himself was involved with translating the New Testament into German, further putting God’s Word in people’s hands.
Having a Bible at our fingertips is easy for us today. Research shows that the average American has 3.6 copies of the Bible in their home. Also, many people carry their Bible on their phone. Unfortunately, only about a third of us read it frequently. We can improve on that. With that in mind, let the Bible be your source of guidance for God’s direction in your life. Resist the temptation to make up your own answers to life’s questions and embellish scripture to serve your purpose. Instead, let the genuine Word of God be your guide. Accept no substitutes.
Scripture: “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” —Romans 10:17
Written by Bruce Boyer, Retired CEO from Kernersville YMCA as part of his weekly devotional series. For more information to receive his weekly devotional thoughts please write BruceBoyer@triad.rr.com