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Progress to Worms

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
October 29, 2021 12:01 am

Progress to Worms

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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October 29, 2021 12:01 am

After posting his 95 Theses, Martin Luther found himself at the center of numerous disputes with the Roman Catholic Church. Today, R.C. Sproul describes how this conflict culminated in Luther's famous stand at the Diet of Worms.

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Martin Luther had drawn the ire of the Roman Catholic Church when he questioned the practice of indulgences. He was called to a meeting with the church's leading theologian Cardinal Cajun caged and became so angry with them. Things got so loose that Luther was barely able to escape from Augsburg with his life and get back to Wittenberg. The flames of persecution flareup. That's next on Renewing Your Mind this weekend. As most people observe Halloween many in reform circles will celebrate Reformation Day October 31 was the day in 1517 when Martin Luther posted his 95 theses to the castle church door at the. The hierarchy of the Catholic Church and didn't take kindly to Luther's protest and it led to an ultimatum.

We can't afford the high my last session mentioned Luther's visit to Heidelberg and how that was a wonderful occasion for winning many more people in Germany to the Lutheran costs for the next great crisis took place the same year, 15, 18, when instead of Luther's going to Rome to be tried for heresy. Rome came to Germany in the person of their most able theologian Cardinal Cajun, Luther was promised safe conduct if he would meet with Jay Jensen in the city of Augsburg. Some of his friends urged him not to go, fearing that he would be betrayed and would be carried off to Rome and be burned at the stake as a heretic, but Luther wanted to go because this was his wish come true, that he would have the opportunity to have a reason debate and discussion with the princes of the church about these matters well in Augsburg. Luther had four interviews with Cardinal Cajun and they did not go as Luther had hoped.

Instead of an open discussion and debate. The Cardinal just insisted that Luther would first of all repent. Second of all Rick can't his teachings and third promise that he would never teach these things again and Luther grew more and more frustrated as Cajun turn became more and more angry that the students of history say that in the very clear manner. Cajun turn in his erudition really got the best of Luther because he was able to maneuver Luther into taking a position that clearly brought him in conflict with the Roman Catholic Church. Much of their discussion. There in Augsburg focus on the treasury of merits and the issue of indulgences that Luther had challenged in his 95 theses Cajun turn armed with the knowledge of church history pointed out to Luther that in 1300 Pope Boniface the seventh had authorized by papal authority. The whole principle of indulgences and their sale and later in 1343 still in the 14th century, Pope Clement the sixth, in his papal encyclical unit gently developed and authorized the doctrine of the treasury of merit and so with these historical teachings by the popes themselves. Cajun was able to show that by Luther's antagonism toward the treasury of merit in the sale of indulgences was in conflict with two historic popes, at which point Luther said that this is not in the Bible and he dared to challenge the authority of the popes in these matters, saying that the popes in these cases, simply erred, I have to understand that the doctrine of papal infallibility had not yet been officially decreed that did not come until the 19th century of Vatican Council, one in 1870 under Pope Pius IX. And of course even though the church said they declared it in 1870 doesn't mean that they believe that for the first time in history the pope became infallible in 1870.

It just became a day for the day. Matter of faith.

Formal doctrine of the church, but the course the argument was that tradition had always maintained this idea of infallibility and so Luther was shown to be in direct conflict with as I said to popes, Cajun became so angry with them. Things got so loose that Luther was barely able to escape from Augsburg with his life and get back to Wittenberg so again because of this debate the issues of Luther's orthodoxy in the charges against him as being a heretic were only exacerbated which led then to the next disputation which took place in 1519 at life sake, and on that occasion. Life sake, Luther was meeting with John act. As I said was the chief Roman Catholic theologian in Germany now this particular debate took a different tack from the one in Augsburg with Cajun on this occasion asked was able to bring up teachings of the Bohemian reformer from 100 years earlier, John Haas, we've already looked at briefly and he indicated that there were certain doctrines for which Haas was condemned and burned at the stake that were similar to the teachings of Luther because Haas had been arguing 100 years earlier that the ultimate authority of the Christian church and the only authority they could find the Christian conscience was holy Scripture, the word of God, and Luther, after challenging the authority of the Pope at August board was now sounding the same message and so just as Cajun turn had maneuvered Luther into admitting that he differed with two popes in history now act in his own brilliant way was able to get Luther to admit that he believed that in some of the charges that the church convicted of John Haas, for which he was burned at the stake that the church was an error that is where Haas was condemned not just simply by local Bishop, but by a church council and that counsel was the Council of Constance, which condemned Haas to death. So now Luther is maneuvered to say popes can make mistakes and church councils because of her low still before the formal definition of papal infallibility, who argued that it wasn't the Pope individually but it was the church in counsel that had the supreme authority in the Roman Catholic system.

Now Luther has laid his acts of the root of both trees of the papacy and of the authority of church councils. So, again, Luther is now likened to John Haas of these called the German Haas and he gets that reputation and the reports go back to Rome so that the following year. In 1520.

Leo the 10th issued a papal bull no papal bull is not open bovine animal or a male cow a papal bull is an edict written by the Pope with his authority by which he communicates something to the church in the way of an encyclical.

For example, and the Pope wrote a papal bull condemning Martin Luther as a heretic and all the papal encyclicals are named by the opening words that they have in Latin boom on a dangerous, for example, an just to name one. The name of this papal bull was X RJ dominate which bank translated means rise up. Oh Lord, rise up, oh Lord, there is a wild boar loose in your vineyard and then it goes on site rise up St. Peter or somebody challenging your authority rise up St. Paul and so the Pope calls for Christ to rise up for the apostles to rise up against Luther.

In the meantime Luther's Works and made their way to Rome and had been publicly burned in the square St. Peter takes three months for the papal bull to reach Wittenberg and when it does, Luther burns it in a bonfire there at Wittenberg, so the game was now afoot, and there was no turning back. Because of this the authorities of the Holy Roman Empire were getting engaged in the issue before he died. The Emperor Maximilian was outraged at the fewer this Lutheran revolt was creating throughout, not just Germany now, but it crossed the borders into other countries of the holy Roman Empire. The course before he could do anything to snuff it out.

He died and was replaced as we saw before. By Charles who then became the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire as well. Charles was involved in wars here and there and the last thing he needed was this kind of a upheaval to take place in the church and so it was urged upon him by leaders of the church to call and cereal counsel or an imperial diet which is a trial of sorts that is overseen by the Emperor itself. And so this imperial diet was called 415 21 in the German city of Forbes WORMS some people read that in their literature and they see the words diet of worms and they think that it's a rather exotic method of losing weight, but the diet was this imperial trial to which Luther was summoned by the Emperor and was given safe conduct to come and have his ultimate day in court with respect to his writings and once more.

Somewhat na´vely Luther expected to be able now to go before church and state, and give a reason defense of his writings.

His friends didn't trust the Emperor or the authorities of Rome who would be represented at Boris and strongly urged Luther not to go.

Even with the safe conduct that have been given by Charles V a new holy Roman Emperor and they said the Luther, don't you understand the that counts can be filled with devils. Every one of them out to get you a Luther was well acquainted with Satan. He wrote about experiencing relentlessly what he called the fact on the relentless assault of Satan against him, but he was convinced of the truth of his teaching, but by now included the doctrine of justification by faith alone that he had to defend these things publicly.

He said to his friends if there are as many devils in forms as there are orange tiles on the roofs of the town. I'm going up you've ever been to Eastern Germany and some of the cities over there. You'll say that in virtually every house is the orange tiled roofs and so if there was many devils and forces there were orange tiles on the roof. There would've been a lot of devils assembled there in that place, Luther and a couple of his friends made the journey from Wittenberg to forms and they made it in a covered wagon that was moved on to wheel's none of your nursing covered wagons and we think otherwise we think the explorers and frontier people in our country the gone Conestoga wagons before we too will wouldn't variety of covered wagons.

If you've ever been to Europe, particularly Eastern Europe and you had the opportunity to sing the wagons used by modern day Gypsies. You get an idea of the kind of awkward conveyance by which Luther and his friends made their way to forms. Luther was apprehensive about what would be waiting for him when he got there he did not expect that 4 miles outside of the city of forms that the streets were lined with peasants shouting and cheering and rooting for Luther, which was making the authorities nervous to say how much popularity. Luther had gained in this particular time.

Well, finally he came in to the diet and when he got into this great hall where the Emperor was seated in the papal legates were there as well, representing Rome. Luther was not given the opportunity to debate the interrogator who was there also.

Ironically's name was act, but not the same act that debated with him in life. Satan and there was a table in the middle of the hall that was piled deep with the books and pamphlets that Luther had produced. In just a very short period time people can believe how many books he had written from the time this thing started until his trial now at warm's minicase. The interrogator said to Luther, are these your books and he said yes and so then accepted him. You must say before the authorities assembled here today rather vocal. That is, I recant of what I've written here. Luther said what specifically do you have in mind I've written on all kinds of subjects, many of which are not at all in conflict with the classic teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.

One of the specific issues I have an actor said nevermind to say revoke and we want you to answer us right now no one that is without forms. We want a straightforward answer and so the place became hush and quiet. And Luther responded back in audibly makes it speak up. What did you say answer is noncommittal without horns. Luther said can I have 24 hours to think it over. I said four years to think it over. Been through all of this counsel.

All of this discussion, and now at crunch time he falters, and they agreed to give them a 24 hour respite to make sure that he appeared the next day so that night in his cell. Luther wrote a prayer that I like to read for you know, because I believe it's from most poignant prayers I've ever read in my life. Luther alone in his cell monastic so waiting for the morrow were his fate will be determined prayed like this of God Almighty God, everlasting, how dreadful is this world behold how it's mouth opens to swallow me up how small, is my face in the other. The weakness of the flesh, and the power of Satan to find the depend upon any strength of this world. All is over, the Nellis truck sentences gone forth.

Oh God, oh God, oh thou my God help me against all the wisdom of this world do this, I beseech thee, thou shouldest do this by thine own mighty power for the work is not mine, but thine. I have no business here are nothing to contend for with these great men of the world. I would gladly pass my days in happiness and peace. But the cause is thine, and it is righteous and everlasting Lord help me au fait for unchangeable God. I lean not upon man it would be vain whatever is of man is tottering whatever proceeds from. You must fail. My God, my God, don't you hear me are you no longer living. No, you cannot die, you despot hide thyself that was chosen for this work.

I know it.

Therefore God accomplish your own will forsake me, not for the sake of your well beloved son, Jesus Christ our defense my buckler and my stronghold board. Where are you my God where you come I pray I'm ready, behold, be prepared to lay down my life rely truth, suffering like a lamb to the cause is holy, it is your cost. I will not let you go, no, nor yet for all eternity. And though the world should be thronged with devils in this body, which is the work of thine hands should be cast forth trodden underfoot. Cut in pieces consumed actors my soul is thine, and I have your own word to assure me of my soul belongs to you and will abide with the forever. Amen. Oh God, send help.

Morrow, he was brought once more into the assembly Hall miss it now.

Luther will you recant when you say revoke oh Luther said since you've asked me to respond plainly and without horns. I will do so unless unconvinced by sacred Scripture, or by evident reason I cannot recant for my conscience is held captive by the word of God and to act against conscience is neither right nor safe, here I stay I can do no other God help. That was the watershed, the Protestant Reformation with those words the audience exploded in fury and confusion. Some wanted to grab Luther and Lynch him as he left the hall a fake kidnapping was staged by his friends may whisk them off deep into the forest to the board for Castle, where he worked for year translating the New Testament the German under the disguise of a night sir viewing such a dramatic story is that and we learned so many lessons from Luther's life. First and foremost not to be afraid to stand for biblical truth and I can't help but think of what Dr. RC Sproul always said it and what he wrote about many times that right now counts forever because in the story we learned about how to be productive, even under the most difficult circumstances were wrapping up a week of messages from Dr. Spruill series Luther and the Reformation here on Renewing Your Mind. The 504th anniversary of the start of the Reformation is coming up this weekend. We want your family to know about this histories who were making this entire series available to you along with the paperback book by the same title will send you these 10 messages onto DVDs and the book when you give a donation of any amount to look in her ministries.

As for Luther, and the Reformation DVD and or feel free to call us. Our number is 800-435-4343. This is the final day for this offer. So we hope to hear from you soon. Before we go today. I've invited leaders, Pres. and CEO Chris Larson to join me here in the studio select for you and our listeners to hear a portion of a phone call we received recently back in 2003, the church member and now very legalistic church in Ukraine because of that fact. I was fighting with us at the depression at 10, but in God's providence. There was one book that I found in the church's library in a basement preserved by God for me and that book was chosen by God are Cisco. It has changed my life forever. I have never heard biblical reformed theology before so I moved to America and started to grow under Ligon you ministries teaching.

Thank you Ligonier ministries for not only have you transformed my life that you are transforming the lives of Christians in Ukraine today, gentlemen's name is Slavic and Slavic. We thank you for sharing that with us and it's a great example is in and of God's providence he found that book chosen by God to library in Ukraine and Chris as we hear Fleming sure his story. It's all the more motivation forces and it did to expand our outreach to places like Ukraine and in around the world that's rightly we are stepping on the gas pedal as the Lord's people have continue to support and advocate for this ministry because our goal is to put biblical resources that teach reformed theology into the hands of his many people as possible and then the other thing we know is that once we do that distribution. They take that truth and give it to others and this is the way the kingdom of God is growing and it is our privilege to be able to serve God's people around the world.

So thank you for our listeners who pray for this ministry and support this ministry. There's a billion souls on this planet. And while reaching millions every year there's a lot of work to do. Certainly, as they can produce in our work is to keep the focus on God's word.

So next week we will be doing my regular teaching fellow, Dr. W.

Robert Godfrey will help us discover the rich promises God has made to his people in the book of Saul learning to love the songs next week here on Renewing Your Mind

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