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November 13, 2020 12:01 am
At its heart, the Reformation was a return to the Bible as the ultimate authority for faith and life. Today, Burk Parsons considers how the Reformers sought to bring the Word of God to the church and how we are called to do the same today.
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Today on Renewing Your Mind to either was a time in Israel's history were by and large state forgotten and they didn't know because their fathers had left the word of God aside and it had become a eclipsed by all the other Colton pagan and idolatrous worship of Israel so they had to bring Passover back to God's people because that is the way God demanded he should be worship and the results of neglecting danger in every so today on Renewing Your Mind. We want you to hear from Dr. work to a senior pastor at St. Andrews trap is also a leader.
Teaching fellow in our chief publishing officer and deliver this message at one of our monthly online staff devotional gatherings to encourage us in our work. It's also a message. We hope encourages you I like to read a portion of second Kings second Kings chapter 22 and we're going to pick up at verse 11. Before we read that I want to just give you a little background very quickly. King Josiah asks for the temple to be cleared to go and find the monies that were there in the Lord's house when his servants were clearing the temple. They discovered something they discovered something that had been lost.
They discovered the word of God. They discovered the book of God's law.
So we pick up in verse 11 of second Kings 22 when the king heard the words of the book of the law. He tore his clothes and the king commanded him, the priest, and a hike in the son of Schaefer and asked for the son of McKay and Schaefer, the secretary and a side of the king's servant saying to go inquire of the Lord. For me and for the people and for all Judah concerning the words of his book that has been found for great is the wrath of the Lord, that is kindled against us because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book to do according to all that is written concerning us. So McKay the priest and hike and not born Schaefer and ašai went to hold the prophetess of the wife of Shula and the son of Tikva son of her housekeeper of the wardrobe.
Now she lived in Jerusalem in the second quarter, and they talked with her and she said to them, thus says the Lord, the God of Israel. Tell the man you sent to me thus says the Lord. Behold, I will bring disaster upon this place.
Upon its inhabitants. All the words of the book that the king of Judah has read because they have forsaken me, and have made offerings to other gods that they might provoke me to anger with all the work of their hands. Therefore my wrath will be kindled against this place and it will not be quenched, but to the king of Judah who sent you to inquire of the Lord thus shall you say to him, thus says the Lord, the God of Israel regarding the words that you have heard because your heart was penitent and you humbled yourself before the Lord. When you heard how he spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they should become a desolation occurs and you have torn your clothes, and wept for me. I also have heard you, declares the Lord. Therefore, behold, I will gather you to your father's and you should be gathered to your grave in peace in your eyes shall not see all the disaster that I will bring upon this place and they brought back word to the King. Then the king sent and all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem were gathered to him, and the king went up to the house of the Lord, and with them all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the priests and the prophets and all the people, both small and great, and he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant that been found in the house of the Lord and the king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord to walk after the Lord and to keep his commandments and his testimonies, and his statutes with all his heart and with all his soul to perform the words of this covenant, that were written in this book and all the people joined in the covenant. Now if you're like me, not having grown up in the church. Whenever I hear an Old Testament text like this red. I immediately begin to get a little lost when I begin to hear ancient Hebrew names like the ones we've read in some of this language. I immediately begin to wander off because I don't understand all that I'm reading, but simply put, here's what's going on. They rediscovered the law of the Lord, the book of the law in the temple as soon as the king heard the book of the law or read to him. He tore his clothes, that means that he humbled himself and his heart was broken and contrite and he was truly penitent.
He was truly sorry for his sins and the sins of the fathers of this then they took the law of the Lord and they brought it to the people of the Lord and just sigh and lead the people of Israel in a covenant with the Lord that they would be a people who would return to God's word that day as a nation would be a people to return to God's word to reform their ways to walk in the Lord's laws and statutes. According to the way of the Lord with all their hearts that God might be glorified in the God's people might be once again obedient to him and ask you a question. Do you ever get tired of hearing about the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, when you hear that language used when you hear about Martin Luther you hear about his 95 theses are when you hear about what Luther did and Calvin did you ever give her just get a little tired of us have heard that some read this I keep hearing about it. It's just a constant drum that I hear where I work will have to be honest with you in parts. I get a little tired of hearing about it to because when you look at the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, when you look at Martin Luther. When you look at John Calvin.
When you look at many of the other reformers, the reality of it is.
Is it fundamentally they weren't about the price, the Reformation of the 16th century, fundamentally foundational. He what they were about is about not a Reformation but actually the formation or what was formed what was formed by the word of God understood by the Church of God and written about in the theology in the biblical commentary and in the entire way of life for Christians in the church from the beginning. Putting it simply, what the reformers were about was not themselves was not about anything new that they were doing. It was about drawing people's attentions back to that which was originally formed EC for there to be a reform of anything a Reformation of anything that means that there has to be that which was formed and so the reformers were not fundamentally about the Reformation they were about that which had already been informed that which already existed but which had been corrupted, eclipsed, put aside help. I realize that most of us have a Bible and numerous Bibles and even different study Bibles in our homes. Don't we.
And it seems absolutely impossible for us to envision a time when people didn't have the Bible and didn't know the Bible. Not only could many people not read and not read the Bible. There was nowhere they could go to hear the Bible. The Bible had not just been shamed to the pulpits of the medieval churches. The Bible had been largely eclipsed and it had been eclipsed by large by the church who had risen up and had basically taken over as the supreme authority, unquestionable authority for the entirety of global Christianity. You don't need the Bible what you need is us telling you what the Bible says according to our own interpretation of the Bible. I realize this seems kind of crazy and hard for us to imagine that was what was happening now we look at the 14th century and consider Woodcliff and when we look at the later 14th and early 15th century and consider John +2 very important and even Luther would rightly say that there are more foundational, more significant because of what they saw in the corruptions of the church in the supreme authority of the church over the word of God as they themselves were persecuted martyr Jerome of Prague and many others.
Preceding the Reformation. They were saying by large many of the same things that Luther said at the outset. Now, at the beginning of the 15th century.
Something else was happening was very significant. Namely, it was Verizon humanism from the Renaissance and when you cure humanism you think will.
That's not good. Well, simply put, humanism isn't good. However what was happening through that time in the post-Renaissance.
Is that many of these writers and philosophers who were Christians were going back to look at the father's going back to look at the original sources going back not just several decades, not just a century or two, but they were going back to read what the ancients were saying what the church fathers were sign what Augustine was saying Anna Rasmussen of Rotterdam published numerous works and he was this humanist, and he was a Christian in the early 1500s. He wrote a book on militant Christianity, which really just meant to Christianity and it's there and in other places where you begin to see a call among these humanists to go back to the original sources you perhaps heard the Latin phrase add fun tests which means to the sources. Will that was essentially the cry of these humanists, philosophers, and many of them theologians in their own rights at that time and so Christian scholars Christian theologians and academics began to hear this cry to go back to the sources and then the Erasmus of Rotterdam did something that had never been done before. He published a new translation of the New Testament in the original Greek language with Greek notes and it was translated as well into Latin and this is significant because the church had the Bible only in Latin from the Vulgate of the 13th century. That's all they had cancer now Erasmus brought to them. The New Testament in Greek the original language with notes to help people understand it and listen to what Erasmus said to the Pope. At that time, rightly, rightly writing this letter. This introduction this epistle to his new translation in the Greek, Rasmussen said that we can now go to the founts and we no longer have to go to or drink from the muddy pools and rivulets. Now here's what's so significant about those words and that one epistle in the introduction to Rasmussen's Greek New Testament what Erasmus had done is not just direct the church to the father's in all matters but he had directed the church to the word of God to that ultimate source that ultimate found in a fountain as we know, gives forth in over whelmed with fresh, pure water. When Erasmus was doing say. Isn't this wonderful Pope, but he knew exactly what he was doing business wonderful that we now have the New Testament in the original language we no longer have to go to the muddy waters in the muddy pools in the rivulets of what we have been given throughout the Middle Ages for the past few hundred years, we can now go to the original source we can now go to the word of God and friends that fundamentally was what the Reformation was all about the fire to go throughout the room this morning and I were to ask you all what is the Reformation.
What was it all about. I would imagine that many of us would say with a Reformation was about the gospel or some of you might say well I know that justification by faith and faith alone was fundamental to the Reformation, or you might say it was about the soul is of the Reformation so script tour Scripture alone saw Grazie a grace alone so effete a faith alone.
But fundamentally, that wasn't what the Reformation was about the foundational or what.
Later theologians called the formal cause of the Reformation was the issue of authority. What is our authority for faith and life, the Pope to a large degree for hundreds of years had placed the burden on people's backs and the constantly developing constantly changing laws and dictate from the popes they placed the burden on people's backs that the final authority for faith in life. The unquestionable infallible authority for faith in life is the church you don't need to read the Bible you don't need to go to Bible just trust us will tell you what the Bible says and will interpret the way that you can understand it because most of you can't read in your uneducated anyway so just do what we say and they developed just countless systems that developed into an all-encompassing life religion that could not be identified as biblical so in your content so the seller of indulgences came around through the high Rhenish region of Germany in Europe and began to sell his indulgences. In order to get the poor people to give to get the souls of their loved ones out of purgatory. Get them a lesser time out of purgatory in order to build St. Peter's Basilica. That was one of the triggers that cause did that Augustinian monk and theologian at Wittenberg to say this is in opposition to our only infallible source how Luther would not have developed it at that level. At that time. He himself was studying the word of God and preaching to the word of God. And now for the first time with the New Testament in Greek and hand and what Luther and the other reformers did was we as the church have to do exactly what Erasmus what Wycliffe what hosts what they've been doing all along. We need to challenge ourselves. At that point wasn't Luther against anyone.
It was Luther is a part of the church think we need to go back to the sources and we need to go back ultimately to the ultimate source the word of God. We need to look to the word of God is the reformers would later understand and develop and see that what they were saying was is that the Bible is our only infallible authority for faith in life is the only authority that doesn't change, and it is the only authority that is unquestioned is the only authority that can really ultimately dictate how the entirety of our lives should be lived and so what they were doing is really rediscovering and reforming the church from within to go back to the Bible that said and so it flowed from that the gospel was rediscovered and when I say rediscovered I mean discovered for the first time in a long time because anyone who had dared attempt to preach the plain and simple, pure gospel of Christ was executed because the pure plain simple preaching of the word of God in the gospel of God contradicted the mass of duties and responsibilities and requirements that the medieval church and placed upon people in order to be right with the church and thus to be right with God. And so that's why Luther former said it's by faith. It's right there in Romans one, the just shall live by faith and what that meant for Luther was, not just the Christian life is about faith. Everyone believe that to some degree, but that the whole of one's Christian was led by that the whole of the Christian life is a life lived by faith trusting the Lord, depending upon the Lord. Looking to his statutes into his laws and to his truth. Looking to the gospel. Looking to his grace.
Looking to the way in which God had demanded his people worship. That's why we read in second Kings 23 is just Seiyu now introducing the Passover again to Israel to either was a time in Israel's history were by and large they'd forgotten and they didn't know because their fathers had left the word of God aside and you become eclipsed by all the other Colton pagan and idolatrous worship of Israel for so they had to bring Passover back to God's people because that is the way God demanded he should be worship so the time the Reformation wasn't just the gospel that was rediscovered. It wasn't just the way worship was rediscovered because when we hear worship when we think we think about is worshiping on Sundays in a sanctuary and it meant that in part for the reformers and for the church but to most Christians, are all of history are worship to God meant our entire life's service to God that culminated in our Lord's day gathered worship of singing and praising him, but that as we left our Sunday Lord's day worship. We went out to continue to worship and serve God with all of life.
That's why just so I was insistent in this covenant, that it wasn't just about how this was going to change or rediscover our temple worship but that it would inform the entirety of our lives. The reason we are so passionate about the Reformation is not because were so passionate about the Reformation is because were passion about what the Reformation was trying to bring back to the church and with the Reformation and the reformers were trying to do is to bring back to the church. The word of God so that the church would not have to go and drink from my pool. One of the reason we are so passionate about the teachings of the Reformation is because we do not want to be responsible in our generation for our lives to have the wrath of God come upon our descendents. Years from now if not hundreds of years from now into the reason we do what we do. The reason we work with churches throughout the world. The reason we serve churches throughout the world for the reason we come under churches throughout the world to listen to them is to determine how we might help them what resources we might provide them what books we might author teaching series conferences subject to all sorts. One of the reasons we do what we do, so that people would understand that they need to become constantly going back constantly fighting error from without and from within, constantly fighting the error that might be creeping into the church subtly so that we might constantly help God's people go back to the original form of the word of God. That's what we talk about Reformation as well. Talk about being reformed. That's what we talk about before the face of God. That's what we talk about right now counts forever. That's what we talk about Renewing Your Mind, because our minds renewed by the spirit through the word of God. All of these things fit together and it's all about helping God's people continually go back to and you're listening to Renewing Your Mind, Dr. Burk Parsons there reminding us why RC Sproul named this program Renewing Your Mind when it first went on the year more than the 25 years ago. What we just heard there is a message I Dr. Parsons delivered to the staff. Regular ministries recently but we realize that we all need to hear this, especially now, we all need to be reminded why we press into God's word and why we continue to engage the culture with its truth. Glad you joined us today and wanted to let you know that our listener offer is a Bible study basics collection of several series from Dr. Spruill designed to aid you in your study for a donation of any amount you'll receive RC's video series, including knowing Scripture knowing Christ.
The parables of Jesus and Psalm 51 will also send you for complete audio series including one on the life of Joseph to request the RC Sproul teaching collection when you call us at 800-435-4343 or when you visit us online at Renewing Your Mind.Ward as Dr. Parsons said in the today's message everything that we do here at later ministries is centered on God's word were carrying on Dr. Spruill's legacy. He had a laser focus on Scripture and preaching the gospel and standing for the essential truths of the gospel. He understood that if we failed to get the gospel right we have no hope in this world or in the world to come.
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