Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Bethany Bullet Sermon Message - Week of October 8, 2017

Sermon: “Scripture Alone!”

“The B I B L E, yes that’s the book for me;
I stand alone on the Word of God, the B I B L E.”

It was of monumental, world altering significance that a monk, turned priest, become professor and parish pastor would stand in front of the Sacred and Secular authorities and say,

“Pope’s and Councils can make mistakes…and therefore my conscience is captive to the Word of God and unless I can be shown from the B I B L E that I am wrong I can’t recant – here I stand – God help me.” 

It is of monumental significance whenever the people of God stand on the truth that never changes, while striving to be a church ever Re-Forming.  When we echo those words of Luther or sing that children’s song we’re not claiming something about ourselves.  We’re not declaring ourselves right and those who disagree with us incorrect, we are not boasting about having better understanding, we are actually claiming something about Scripture! – that we’re right and others are wrong, or we understand greater than those who disagree – rather we are claiming something about Scripture! 

It is, “all of it” (II Tim 3:16ff) “God-breathed.”  The Word is the self revelation of the self existent one.  Thus it is, as the apostle states, God’s way to “rebuke, correct, instruct or train” whatever the case maybe and whatever is needed. 

The Word changes us and it impacts us differently as we change.  The Word is active and alive.  
There is a story about a professor of New Testament Studies that had been teaching college students in the states and had them write a personal reflection on the Parable of the Prodigal Son.  The professor states that almost 90% of the students, in their reflection, grab hold of the portion of the parable about running out of money.  The story continues as the professor the following semester taught as a visiting chair at a sister school on the other side of the globe.  He gave the same assignment and found that this set of students, in almost the same percentage, focused on having no food in the country.  He looked back over his notes to realize that not one of the American students spent any significant time reflecting upon the famine, whereas none of the students from the third world college spent any significant time reflecting upon running out of money.  The professor then wrote a personal reflection upon his assignment and came to the conclusion that neither set of students missed some important part of the text but rather that the text did not fail to miss either set of students.  The Word connects to them where they were.  It is living and active.  It penetrates.  It not only describes reality, it creates it!  That Word of Christ, which proclaims we are free, is at the same time that to which we are captive; as a people ever Re-Forming we must ever be captive to the Word of God. 

“Oh Lord, let Your Word have its way with us; save us from domesticating Your Scripture, from having our way with it to force it to say what we want to hear.  Let Your Word have its way with us and make us expect it to change us, for the sake of You, Your Word and Your truth which changes not. Amen.
 -Pastor Kevin Kritzer


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