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July 20, 2020 12:01 am
Thomas Bilney never read Martin Luther's writings. But when he read the New Testament in Greek, he came to the same conviction that sinners are justified by faith alone in Christ alone. Today, Michael Reeves describes the people and events that catalyzed the Reformation cause in England.
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In the early 1500s. Martin Luther was condemned by the pope and all his books were burned in places as far away as Boxford, Cambridge and London blending and banning books on the F seems to make some more popular and see how it was and Lutheran books began to be smuggled in even greater numbers through seaside ports like Ipswich on the East Coast, fueling the spread of a network of underground Lutheran groups. Information is gripping.
The church is made like Lutheran others rediscovered the biblical gospel teaching radically transform the church and had a ripple effect. The trip governments and other institutions and will be on continental Europe teacher this week on Renewing Your Mind is Dr. Michael welcome everyone to this teaching series on the English Reformation and Puritans. My hope is that this will bring great glory to God in great joy to you as we look at this note to be doing two things, really. Through this series we going to be getting to know, getting to appreciate getting inside the skin and had solved some great Christian thinkers like William Tyndale Richard Sims, Thomas Goodwin and particularly John ON how we can be giving particular time to join island because will be making acquaintances of a few of these great man, but I thought I wanted to not leave without making good friends with one of them, at least we can spend good bit of time with John ON his key. I want to get in a one of them really well so you get to know the man we can get to know the thoughts that's really what we can to spend the bulk of our time getting to know these Puritan men were also going to get to know the history that surrounds them want to get to know that context, what it was that they were fighting against what it was they were fighting for and through seeing history will get to see God's extraordinary providential arrangements of Kings, Queens, scholars great movements of countries so you see some great men began to get to know the historical context, not just one little question before we get going. Why the English Reformation and not the British Reformation. Is this just an Englishman being fussy well know it's not for the bulk of all. For good half of it at least look at Scotland briefly, but Scotland and England were a separate nation there quite distinct. There were separate kingdoms and quite simply, Scotland has a very different story.
You had it very different Reformation is a different story for another time. As we start out looking the English Reformation. We need to know of course that the English Reformation was because of a guest story. It was a part of the continental Reformation was feeling the effects of what was already going on elsewhere as if we come across the channel into England itself is a little bit.
We need to know about the Reformation itself, particularly the two men you need to know about two men with two stories, for we come to England first man is Erasmus Erasmus of Rotterdam, Erasmus was almost certainly the greatest scholar of his day. This is the early 1500s were talking about, and in 1516, Erasmus produced an addition of the Greek New Testament using the very best text through available to him in the day it was really in scholarly achievement, making the text of the Greek New Testament available in a way simply hadn't been before here was the perhaps revolutionary pot next to that well edited Greek text. He put alongside it notes the church's official Latin Vulgate version of the Bible. He put his own Latin translation of the Greek text of the reason he did this. If he thought, simply some more Bible studies going to be good for Christians. It will encourage a little bit of healthy moral reform. It would cause a revolution. Shortly he certainly thought it would cause no harm to Rome whatsoever, even dedicated to the Pope and the Pope gratefully sent him a letter of thanks and commended it a little too soon, it would seem full when Erasmus New Testament differed from the official church is Vulgate Latin version of the Bible. They could have theological implications. So, for instance, Matthew 417 Vulgate version of the Bible be translated is Jesus saying to tenants which sounds like do some sacramental act, go to a priest who will tell you to do some patents by which you can deal with Nielsen. Erasmus rented it as being penitent later changed it to change your mind now Erasmus was right and that was the accurate reading of the text.
Then Jesus wasn't instigating some external sacrament of penance. Jesus was telling people to change their minds and turn away from sin, but more than that of us that was disagreeing with Rome. Rome's official version of insane know Jesus and do penance, but if Rome is wrong on diverse what else might she be wrong on patent whatsoever.
Spiritual authority is she if she can get things so wrong completely unintentionally.
Erasmus New Testament was taking ball.
Thus, the first story the story of the Bible is the story we'll see unfold in England as the extraordinary power of God's word is displayed, the second story before you cross the English Channel is the story of one of the men who then read Erasmus New Testament.
You probably guessed it were talking about the volcanic monk Martin Luther and North Germany.
Now, when Erasmus had written his Greek New Testament. He hadn't really found himself challenged by its message loose the walls deeply challenged by it. And Luther began to see a disconnect between what Rome was teaching what he was seeing that in this text of the New Testament. His doubts began to grow over the following months, Luther became increasingly clear that, as Rome was disagreeing with what he was seeing there in the New Testament will if Rome held that the Pope's words was in authority above Scripture, then when there is a disagreement. Rome will always win because the Pope's word will always trump God's word and if that is the case set loose the reign of the Antichrist is sealed and it is no longer the Church of God the synagogue of Satan more than all this doubts about what was proper authority was the message loose assortment New Testament. Now this wasn't obvious as old and he struggled and struggled to see what the apostle Paul meant by the gospel is very unclear, very unsure what Paul meant by phrases like justification and the righteousness of God way he was coming from. Is this Luther thought he already knew what justification meant to.
He grown up with the understanding that justification was easily explained by one text in Romans Romans five chapter 5 which says God has called his love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.
He's given us is not of us about justification is a beautiful for us, but that was Luther's understanding of justification, the God by his Holy Spirit because his love into our hearts, therefore making us in ourselves, more, more loving, more, more righteous, more and more just.
That is how God justifies us. He thought the question was, what if that's how God justifies us, making us more more just in ourselves and therefore worthy of entering heaven. Luther was beginning to wonder why that sort of person who's been justified enough to be worthy of meriting heaven and then the reverse is like Romans 117 that simply didn't fit with what Luther understood in his hypothesis, looking at that verse which says the righteous will live by faith, he said, though I lived as a monk without reproach.
I felt I was a sinner before God with an extremely disturbed conscience could not believe that God was protected by my satisfaction. Thus, I raged with a fierce and troubled conscience.
Nevertheless, I beat him proportionately upon Paul at that place. Romans 117 ardently desiring to know what simple ones.
It lost by the mercy of God, meditating day and night. I gave heed to the context of the words, namely in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed as it is written, he who through faith is righteous shall live, my began to understand that the righteousness of God is that by which the righteous live by gift of God, namely by faith.
This is the meaning the righteousness of God is revealed by the gospel save righteousness by which the merciful God justifies us by faith here. I felt I was altogether born again into paradise guides. In other words, loose his understanding of God and salvation had practically shifted justification. He now saw was not a process of gold making us more and more righteous or just will loving in ourselves.
Justification is a divine proration that the sinner is clothed with the righteousness of Christ.
Luther was transformed by this, he was overwhelmed. Now with the desire to share this message, a message that had many components to it. But there are two essential parts. He wanted to share one the Bible stands above Pope and church and all to that justification is a divine declaration that sinners close to the righteousness of Christ are saved not by anything in themselves but purely by the grace of God in 1520. The was the message that was beginning to rock all of Europe message that was going to upset the religion that was the now.
Let's cross the English Channel.
That was what was going on in your England things out was a little different things are done little different. In England blasts just as it had been in Germany with Lou thought it was Erasmus New Testament that started it all in Britain. Before long, a young priest called Thomas Bill me read Erasmus New Testament. He came across these words. Words that were completely fresh to him. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, wonderful words come across for the first time previously been only had to spend for sins, but with these words he said immediately. I seemed on to myself inwardly to feel a marvelous comfort in quietness and so much as my bruised bones leapt for joy.
After this, the Scriptures came to me to be more pleasant than the honey or the honeycomb when I learned all my works on my fasting, my watching all the redemption of masses partisans being done without truth in Christ, who alone saves his people from their sins. All these things I say I learned to be nothing but a running balance of the right way or much like the garments of fig leaves that Adam and Eve went about in vain to cover themselves. They couldn't obtain quietness and rest until they believed in the promise of God, the Christ, the seed of the woman would tread upon the serpent's head, something striking to notice as we look at this story I think is how un-orchestrated. It is there isn't one human ringleader pulling it all together only have not read Luther just read the New Testament and come to the same conclusions of the next few years until he was burned face preaching 1531 Bellamy was instrumental in bringing a number of others to the Reformation the same time as Billy was preaching now a number of… Books started flooding into the country and they will welcomed by quite a few people because some hundred and 50 years earlier, John Wycliffe, who is Oxford academic and preacher whose known later as a MorningStar of the Reformation for holding many Reformation or beliefs so long before it happened. He got many followers still in England who is known as Lola's. These lowlands welcomed the ability to read the Bible and they welcomed Luther's teaching was a receptive audience ready and waiting in England, but by the time this it happened. Luther had been condemned by the pope and so his books were burned in Oxford, Cambridge and London now burning and banning books only ever seems to make them more popular and so it was so was and Lutheran books began to be smuggled in an even greater numbers through seaside ports like Ipswich on the East Coast, fueling the spread of a network of underground Lutheran groups in Cambridge. One group of dorms or professors with none to meet in a tavern called the white horse in where roller bearing Luther talk made it look so much like Melissa's hometown of Wittenberg, the people called it little Germany that was only for the east side of England and pretty unconnected over the rural west side of England. Little Sudbury and Gloucestershire. To be precise, a brilliant young linguist called William Tyndale was starting to cause ructions with his employer.
So John Walsh, now young Tyndale. He was just employed to be achieved to see Jones children but tenderly been reading Erasmus New Testament course of bays and his dinnertable conversation could put even the strongest Catholic stomach software food.
Now listen to the brim with which Tyndale would put a said galley on that we call the gospel is a great class and it signifies God. Mary Gilad joyful tidings to make a man's heart glad make him sing Don's leap for joy, not quite simply, nobody else to fly class. Tyndale had come to see the God freely declares sinners to be righteous and that was a doctrine of comfort and joy that he a failing center was perfectly loved by God close with the perfect righteousness of Christ himself. That gave him a dazzling confidence. One Catholic scholar so exasperated by talking to Tyndale as he blurted out we would be better without God's law the pope's Tyndale replied. I defy the book over his notes and if God spare my life and many years I will cause a boy that drives the plow to know the Scriptures better than you do.
That was no idle boast by this fine young linguist and Tyndale then set about his life's work of translating the Bible from its original Latin and Greek not going through the church is less than the going from the original Greek and Hebrew into English. That was almost impossible to be able to do in England the time so he sailed to Germany and he made his way to Vons. It you write Vons as Williams.
This is the place where five years earlier, Luther had famously made his here I stand speech before the Emperor right there in the historic location Tyndale find is often Luther Tyndale published his complete New Testament in English now for hundred years or so of the followers of John Wycliffe had produced and read translations of the New Testament in English, but he was the difference those translations of the New Testament. They were handwritten so they couldn't be reproduced very easily told the can be distributed for cost and they were not great translations based on the Latin as they came with all the theological problems of the church's Latin Vulgate version and so there was a radical difference between what Tyndale was doing and what was already available. Tyndale we have a version of the Bible in English would say be penitent instead of dependence would have those theological differences in place and Tyndale's New Testament could be printed off and would be preinstalled by the thousands and smuggled them into England and bales of cloth and soon this New Testament would be accompanied by his parable of the wicked man which was his defense of justification by faith alone. Even more importantly, Tyndale's New Testament was a gem of the translation.
It was accurate, it was beautifully written. It was obliged, none of which impressed English bishops to them. Tyndale's translation was plain dangerous and all copies that can be found burned along with their owners and the bishops will write Tyndale's Bible walls, dangerous do penance and the Vulgate was now be penitent will repent and Tyndale's version priest was now simply senior but didn't sound like an intermediary between a man and God is just a senior Christian church was congregation confess was merely of knowledge charity was now love and Tyndale's version of this pulled the biblical carpet right out from the church's claims how to be saved while being a Christian meant look completely different in place of all formal external sentimentalism was a call for change of heart. To be born again as were slowing down to grasp this because this was a monumental change of cool.
Not just for right behavior and right ritual for change of hearts will eventually the rest of the church caught up with Tyndale, but not before he managed to translate a good portion of the Old Testament as well, and some 16,000 copies of his Bible made their way into England. That was a huge number when the population of England was only about 2.5 million.
Most of the population was illiterate. 16,000 was a massive bestseller 5035 he was course and the following October he was officially strangled near Brussels before that happened since the immortal lost words of King of England, the highest now go Don's story. The reformers had a heart for the lost may risk their lives to proclaim the truth of the gospel referred from Dr. Michael Reeves today on Renewing Your Mind and were glad you joined us that Dr. Reeves is Pres. and a professor at Union school of theology in Wales is series the English Reformation and the Puritans provides a sweeping and colorful look at this critical period in church history as the Reformation made its way to the British Isles would like to send you this full series 12 messages in all on two DVDs and that when you contact us today with your gift of any amount will be glad to send it to your couple of ways you can reach us. What is by phone 800-435-4343 or you can make a request online at Renewing Your Mind.word many pastors have bookshelves full of the works by the men. Dr. Reeves talks about in this series, and their influences heard in churches Sunday after Sunday so it's helpful for us to understand the historical context of the Reformation and Puritan thinking this series there would be an excellent resource for Sunday school or small group study. Each lesson is about 23 minutes in length, giving you plenty of time for discussion. So contact us today and request this to DVD set again. Our number is 800-435-4343 or you can make your request and give your gift online at Renewing Your Mind.work well tomorrow we will discover that Henry VIII was known for much more than his many wives insisted that he saw a parliamentary that declared Henry was soon green head of the church magnificent office previously occupied by the Pope.
We hope you'll join us for that fascinating story tomorrow here on Renewing Your Mind