Friday, October 31, 2008

HAPPY REFORMATION DAY!!!

Readers,

Happy Reformation Day!

Today, on October 31st, 1517 (491 years ago today), our brother Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the castle church door in Wittenberg. This was not an uncommon thing; people did this all the time as a bulletin board or for academic debates. Dr. Luther had no idea what was about to happen.

The whole Western world would be changed.

The Pope commissioned John Tetzel to go around selling indulgences (which, although not as common, are still part of Roman Catholicism today). Indulgences were a way to pay to bring one's relative out of purgatory, or to buy time out of purgatory. It was said, "When money in the coffer rings, a soul from purgatory springs."

The Pope needed the money to build St. Peter's Cathedral, so he made a special "plenary indulgence," one which said that one could completely skip purgatory and enter straight into heaven if they paid an indulgence.

Luther responded to this in his 95 Theses by saying, "If the Pope can empty purgatory, why wouldn't he just do it out of love, and not for money?".

Luther also stated in his 95 Theses, "the treasure of the church is not indulgences, but the holy gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ."

I almost tear up as I type this. Praise God for such a brother as Martin Luther! Praise God that someone stood up against the tyrrany of the Roman Catholic Church, that apostate whore of Babylon.

God in His providence had also ordained that the printing press would have been invented; before he knew it, copies of his 95 Theses had been formulated and circulated all over Germany.

And this is not even half of the wonderful history. God used Luther to translate the Bible into German. Now people could read the Bible for themselves and see how off the mark Rome's interpretations are.

And most of all, Luther (and Calvin) read their Bibles and saw that the good news of the gospel is that God justifies the wicked!

Today, this Reformation Day, may God be pleased to cause us to meditate on the riches of Christ Jesus our Savior.

In Jesus' precious Name. Amen.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

HAVE YOU SEEN CHRIST?

The Lord Jesus Christ is on every page of Holy Scripture. But the gospel is so foreign to our law-oriented thinking, that it takes a miracle of sovereign grace to reveal the beauty of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Have you seen Jesus Christ? Have you seen Him with the eye of faith? Have you seen your own sinfulness with the eye of faith? Have you come to the point where you *know* that nothing within you, even with the help of God, can lead you to attain eternal salvation?

Have you come to the point where you know that God is holy and His standard is complete perfection? Have you seen that God cannot be holy if He were to grade on a curve?

Have you seen, with the eye of faith, that God has provided His perfect righteousness as a covering at the cross of Jesus Christ? Have you seen that it is God Who is *for* us if Christ is revealed to us?

Have you seen the friendly heart of Christ? Have you seen the Father revealed to us in the perfection of His Son?

O Christ, You are the perfect Lamb of God. You are the only One Who can save me. I confess that You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God. You are the only Way to the Father. Apart from You, I am nothing. I praise You, Lord Jesus, for Your perfect work. I praise You for Your perfect fulfillment of the Law. I praise You for taking my penalty on the cross. I praise You for suffering the wrath of the Father, for me. I praise You that Your perfect work was accepted by the Father, and that He proved that by raising You from the dead. I praise You that You reign and will return for me. I praise You for keeping me. I praise You for loving me, the chief of sinners.

Lord Jesus, You are beautiful beyond comparison. Forgive me for my sinfulness and my sins. Let me serve You, O Lord, forever.

Make me more and more Your slave.

In Your precious Name, Jesus, my Messiah, Savior, Defender, Redeemer, Lord, and Friend.

Amen.