Home » Friday: Further Thought – Faith Against All Odds    


Friday: Further Thought – Faith Against All Odds — 15 Comments

  1. We diminish the work of the reformers if we think that their only contribution was to point out the failings of the Papacy and to give us a legacy of "truth". Unfortunately, in a daily Sabbath School lesson, that is all you are going to get due to time constraints and screen space.

    It is worth jumping the barrier of the formal lesson and searching their stories for yourself. I spent considerable time searching the web for information about the reformers and it has helped me understand much more about the reformation and the personalities of those involved.

    Here are a couple of take away items to finish the week:

    • The reformers were people who worked with but were not bound with the culture of their time. Their legacy is not just the truths they discovered or emphasised but the dynamic of how they went about their work. They were on a search for meaning beyond the creeds and dogma of the day. And that came as a direct result of their relationship with God
    • They did not set out to create a cult following. That happened but they were highly critical of the notion that they had to be followed. They really wanted their original churches to catch a greater vision of what it really meant to be Christian.

    For us, living in the 21st Century, the simplest message is to seek a personal relationship with Jesus. That does not mean we should ignore an organised church structure. Such a structure should provide a framework but not a restraint on our spiritual growth.

    • I have a book called Heroes of the Reformation from Pacific Press Publishing Association copyright, 1951. It came from my parents' library thirty years ago.

      I have read parts of the 307 pages. If anyone can find a copy, it is a comprehensive source of information written by Gideon David Hagstotz, Ph.D. and Hilda Boettcher Hagstotz, Ph.D.

      Contents page shows reformers from Bohemia, England, Scotland, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Poland, Scandinavia, Spain, and Switzerland, with the majority from England and Scotland.

    • Thank you, Maurice, for sharing some extra information about the reformers. One theme that seemed to run through their lives was their concern for the poor and the church taking advantage of these people. But it seems we never emphasize these elements. I wonder why? And maybe we should.

  2. So well summarized, Maurice, thank you.
    Two thoughts which come to me from this lesson:
    1. A question which came up in the “Hit the Mark” lesson discussion really struck me –
    “What was so revolutionary about the Bible that changed Martin Luther (and others) into a Reformer?
    I wish I could catch half the vision that made these courageous Reformers study, stand, work, live and die for the Word of God’s Truth!
    2. The increased interest and remembrance of ANZAC soldiers who gave their lives for our countries is appropriate. This week I realize how much MORE acknowledgment is deserved for these courageous Reformers. Indeed, where would humanity be without their legacy?
    Praise God for His mercies!

  3. I can start saying "I love you" because of a strong attraction, but as I get to know the person, I can find reasons not only to say but to act lovely. If I say I love Jesus, I need to get to know Him, and the more I know Him, the more I see His love for me. Through appreciation and admiration, my change becomes inevitable.

  4. The first time I heard the term "Cheap Grace" it baffled me. With what God did in sending His Son to take upon Himself Humanity and pay the penalty for the sin of each and every human that ever lived or would ever live and then go on to offer that grace to every living human with "Spiritual and Material Gifts" via His Holy Spirit till He comes to claim His rightful place on this planet as King of Kings and Lord of Lords has never been and will never be "Cheap Grace." God's Grace has never been and will never be "Cheap Grace."

  5. I have really liked the lesson and your comments .my question is why are there no reforms in our church today

    • Joseph, that is a good question and I ask it of myself at times. And the answer always comes back at me, "Hey Maurice, what did you do to point people to Jesus today?"

  6. As we believe to have been justified by Faith - Jesus Christ’s faith vested in His and our loving, just and merciful Father -, we have been set free to exercise this same faith by 'resting in Him' as we trust this precious Truth.

    All we are called to do is to demonstrate this mighty, by heaven-inspired faith through the loving interaction with our fellow man – applying His/our Faith has the power to win each battle, as His Faith has already won the war; it has opened the gates to Eternal Life to all how believe!

    • Legalism is when you do things in order to be aprroved by God to be saved. Grace is when you accept God's love and do things because you are saved.

      I am married and there is a legal document (that I have never read) that lays out the legal basis for our marriage. I love Carmel and that is the basis of our marriage. It seems that works because we are still married after 55 years.

  7. I learnt, how important prayers is. And in many instances, I have taken prayers for granted. Now in recents times, I leaned how important prayers is and how it help you in everything.

  8. Others have explained the balance between the grace of God and the law of God, and between good works and faith in Christ.

    Now let me give my observation, or if you prefer subjective thinking, in as short of a reading as I can manage.

    The grace of God passeth all understanding. The law of God is consistent with perfect order in the universe, except this world. where disorder does abound, which started about 6000 years ago. The order was disrupted in Heaven where there was and still is perfection, with perfect order. Lucifer was cast out of heaven because his disorder came to the point were God said, "enough is enough." God said it and we believe it and that is enough for us. Dispelling the opinions that, before order there has to be chaos.

    Let me make it simple, good works is an expression of our love for Christ. What are good works you may ask. We could venture off to doing personally what is right. I believe you have to tie in helping others for the betterment of them not necessary of ourselves all the time.

    If I said to much more I would have consternation on my hands. The best way to answer question #1 is to read it in the Bible for yourself. The answer may not be clear at 1st, but with time in the Word of God and asking the Holy Spirit to guide us, understanding will be with us. We are promised.

  9. "The Law" is (The Legal Document) of the "Righteous, Pure, Sinless and Holy Behavior" that God wants for all those He will save for eternity. Grace is that Holy, Righteous, Pure, and Sinless behavior of God's Son Jesus to stand in the place of each and every saved human when God judges and allows those He saves to enter His Eternal Abode and live forever with all the unfallen beings that have never fallen and to live along side of them too for all eternity.

  10. Righteousness (right-making) is defined and expressed by how we use what is in our hands. The lives of reformers are marked by their understanding of God’s character (which is founded on his Love) and that understanding is revealed by how they lived their lives. The Bible spoke powerfully to their hearts, because as they read it, they began to see God as he truly is. They recognized it as a powerful tool to change the hearts of men and women as theirs had been changed, and they hoped it would transform the church from what it had become to what Christ intended it to be, free from the distorted images of God it taught. Anyone who knows God and his love, and responds to his love in kind, will “translate” his Way into the Truth that can display the Life that will draw all mankind back together with God.

    Just a thought.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags allowed in your comment: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>