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October 2014 - You Have the Truth (And It Sets You Free)

You Have the Truth (And it Sets You Free)

 

     It was a difficult night for Luther.  There in his dark and lonely room in the Wartburg Castle, Luther thought about what had been asked him during the diet/meeting at Worms where he had been summoned to recant his writings and teachings against Rome.

     The words of the questioner John Eck came back to him: “Martin, how can you assume that you are the only one to understand the sense of Scripture?  Would you put your judgment above that of so many famous men and claim that you know more than they all?” 

     The question haunted him: “Are you alone wise?  Have so many centuries gone wrong?  What if you are in error and are taking so many others with you to eternal condemnation?” But after considering what he had learned from the Word of God, his doubts gave way to quiet confidence and solid confession.

     “Yes” was the answer – yes he had the truth. It was the leaders of the church in Rome that had left the Gospel of Christ.  He had the truth. (And the truth had set him free from the lies of the devil and false teachers.)

     Think about that statement.  What could be a more offensive statement for the ears of our society today than, “Yes, I have the truth.”   Not, a truth, or one of many truths, but The Truth.  Modern man will not accept such a statement.  How offended will someone get if you tell him he is wrong.  How arrogant can you be to say that you have the truth? 

     How dare you Lutherans.  I know what you do on Reformation Sunday, how you celebrate that you have the truth.  How can you say such a thing?  Are you alone right in all the world?  Are all other denominations wrong?  Are millions of fellow Christians in error?  You members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church are alone right and have the Truth?  

     Yes, you do have the truth.  But before you begin to feel smug or have an arrogant spirit begin to fester within you, having the truth is not about being right.  Having a pure doctrine is not about being right. It is about comfort.  It is about having the peace and assurance (and certainty of salvation) that God intends for His children to have that the Truth of His Gospel alone gives.  It is about having the truth that sets you free.

The devil is a liar and a thief. He sweet-talked and deceived our first parents into sin, robbing us of everything we had as those alone created in God’s image.  This thief literally robbed us blind as with our rebellion we became spiritually blinded, our souls murdered with spiritual death, to be followed by the slow agonizing life-long process of a dying body, and awaiting the horrors of eternal death where we would be forever robbed of God’s presence – all hope, relief, comfort and joy taken forever.

And when God gave us back what was stolen by means of the Messiah Jesus Who accomplished the forgiveness of our sinful guilt that separated us from our Lord and restored true Life back unto us, the Thief would not sit idly by.   For years the devil would work through false teachers to twist the Good News of the Gospel of Christ, robbing Christians of the hope and comfort God would have His people enjoy.

     As we approach Reformation Sunday, we do give thanks unto our loving God that through men like Martin Luther, we enjoy the recovery of a stolen/hidden object, namely the Gospel.  Once again, the Truth of God’s love for us in Christ and the Life He alone has won for us on the cross and given to us through faith alone created in our hearts by His Means of Grace has been delivered to God’s people.

You have the Truth and the Truth sets you free.

Pastor   

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