Proto-Catholicism!

In April, 1521, Martin Luther appeared before his ecclesiastical accusers at the diet of Worms. They had given him the ultimatum to repudiate his unwavering faith in the sufficiency and perspicuity of the scriptures. Luther is said to have responded, “Unless I am convicted by scripture and plain reason – I do not accept the authority of popes and counsels, for they have contradicted each other – my conscience is captive to the word of God…God help me! Here I stand.” Like Martin Luther, may we rise above the doubts within and confront the threats without when God’s word is assailed. God help us to be loyal contenders of the faith. Let us stand with God and the scriptures alone.

When Martin Luther decided to confront the errors in the traditional religion of Roman Catholicism, he knew he was in for the battle of his life; that it may indeed cost him his life! Yet, he did not waver; but rather went straight to work systematically refuting error with scripture. Martin knew that God was a God of love, and that He did not reserve His counsel for only those in high position. Martin knew that God the Father desired above all to have a loving relationship with man – His creation; and that relationship was possible for anyone who opened there heart and called upon his name. Not just popes and counsels! In short, Martin Luther did much to advance the common man’s relationship with God through the scriptures. I think it is important to note at this point for the sake of this writing, that although Martin did much to advance the unfathomable loving grace of God, he did not fully conceptualize the absolute finality of the finished work of Christ as many do today. This assumption of course, is by no means designed to diminish the awesome fortitude and tenacity of his tremendous work. It only stands to highlight the revelationary flow of God’s grace as He continues to lavish it upon us in ever increasing measure throughout the centuries! For instance, Martin did not understand just as many Christians do not understand today the issue of God’s forgiveness. Martin was under the impression just as so many Christians are today that the forgiveness of God is accomplished in increments; in other words, little by little. We sin, then we ask God to forgive us. We sin, then we ask God to forgive us – That we may be made righteous again; or rather placed back in right standing with God. Unfortunately, the scriptures do not substantiate this claim, but in fact, outright reject it! Ephesians 1:7 tells us that in Him we HAVE redemption through HIS blood, the forgiveness of sins. Notice that redemption and forgiveness are a packaged deal. I John 2:13 says your sins ARE forgiven you because of HIS name, NOT YOUR MANY CONFESSIONS. II Corinthians 5:21 says that if we are IN HIM, we HAVE BEEN MADE the righteousness of God.

Authors note:

My friends, I believe it is important to take into consideration two things when considering Martin Luther’s position and stance: 1. He was young, or rather early in the church age; which means that it’s understandable that he would miss things that should be obvious to us some 500 years after the bible was translated into English. 2. We should take note of how tenaciously he dealt with error when he knew that the truth of God’s word was being assailed. Whether purposefully or unknowingly! The fact is, that we according to scripture are eternally righteous and forgiven the moment we received the life of Christ into our hearts. So let us not be Protestant – Catholics postured up in I John 1:9, (Father forgive me for I have sinned), but rather let us be grateful that we are forgiven people!

Commentary by:

George L. Miller

Letting go of the “I wills”!

The following is a statement taken from Isaiah chapter 14. These statements speak of the devil and are most commonly referred to as the five “I wills”:

I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.

These next statements are what I perceive to be modern Christianity’s equivalence of the famous five “I wills”:

I will transform myself into the image of Christ by what I do; I will sanctify myself by what I do not do; I will remain justified by observing the commandments; and I will keep myself cleansed and righteous through my confession. I will keep myself saved!

Author’s note:
My friends, the devil would love to keep us stuck in the “I wills”, but we are not his we are Christ’s; and we have been transformed into the image of Christ by Christ Himself! In other words, we were sanctified, justified, cleansed and made righteous the moment we received salvation. Thus, it is Christ and Christ alone who is and will remain the eternal author of our salvation! So if you are stuck in the “I wills”, please my beloved, refocus on the He has and He wills! God bless!

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. ~ Galatians 2:20

Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. ~ Heb. 12:2

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. ~ II Cor. 3:18

Commentary by:
George L. Miller

P.S. Here is Paul’s attempt to reason with the Galatians regarding this subject: This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Have you suffered so many things in vain – if indeed it was in vain? ~ Galatians 3:2-4