October begins a busy time of year, especially with the 125 th anniversary of the Eureka Reformed Church on the 13 th and 14 th of October. And then there is the early harvest this year that came about because the extraordinary dry summer. Notwithstanding, it is also the time of year that many begin to remember all the wonderful blessings that the Lord has bestowed upon us this past year; and a time of when we begin thinking about Christmas and the birth of Jesus Christ, who was born of the virgin Mary in a manger in Bethlehem some 2,000 years ago. But, there is one other event in history that took place, which changed the course of history, which we ought to consider at this time of the year; it was an event that lead to many people to reflect upon the truths that are revealed in Scripture in contrast to what they had been taught by the church leaders of that day. On October 31, 1517, a devoted Roman Catholic monk, Martin Luther, nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenberg Chapel in Germany, and in doing so; he unwittingly triggered the Reformation of the church in his day.
Many people during the time of the Reformation came to realize that what they had been taught by their religious leaders was error; indeed, contrary to the Word of God, which is the Bible containing the Old and New Testaments. Out of this realization, one of the mottos that came out of the Reformation was a Latin phrase, Sola Scriptura, which means “ Scripture Alone. ” This Reformation cry caused people to begin to look into God’s word, the Bible, for answers concerning what they believed and how to practice the Faith, and it changed for the good what Christians believed in doctrine and in life. No longer would the superstitions, opinions, commandments of men rule over many of the people who had been brought into bondage by the religious leaders and thought of that day, but rather began to submit to the truths and the way of salvation and righteousness, which is revealed by the only True and living God, Creator and Redeemer in the Bible.
Today, there are many religious leaders that still stubbornly teach the traditions and opinion of men and society, requiring adherents to submit themselves under the commandments of men. There are even many people of various academic disciplines, such as science, philosophy, and even religion, who are seeking to discredit the Scripture in order to elevate their opinions above the voice of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. And many of the churches that have come out of the Reformation have lost sight of the Reformation cry, “ Sola Scriptura .”
And so we might ask ourselves, at this time when we remember the Reformation, “Whose voice are you listening to?” Are you listening to those who have mixed their opinion in with Scripture, where the truths that are revealed in God’s word are twisted to fit a political or religious agenda? Are you listening to the opinions of men to discover truth? Or, will you listen to voice of the good Shepherd, who is speaking to us in His word, the Bible? If you profess faith in Jesus Christ, whose voice are you listening to? In the Gospel of John, Chapter 10, verse 27, Jesus tells us whose voice we will listen to if we are truly His sheep. He said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” It is the voice Jesus that we are to listen to, and follow if we belong to Him. It is not the philosopher’s of our day; it is not the religious leaders of our day, but Jesus’ voice that we, who belong to Him in true faith, will listen to and follow. It is His voice that is speaking to us in the Bible. And it is His voice in the words of the Bible that we are to follow.
But why should we follow the voice of Jesus, and no one else? It is because He is the only one that gives and guarantees us eternal life. Those who listen to Jesus and follow Him by faith alone in their walk of life are guaranteed eternal life. We read, in verse 28, “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” WOW! What a guarantee! He gives eternal life to His sheep, and guarantees it because no one can snatch them out of His hand.
And so, the question for us in this time of remembering the Reformation is, whose voice will we listen to? Will we listen to Jesus’ voice alone, which is the Bible? And in listening and following His voice alone by faith alone be counted as belonging to Him, to be counted one of His sheep? And in belonging to Him, be assured of eternal life for the sake Christ’s death on the cross on our behalf for the forgiveness of sins? Will the cry of the Reformation be your cry? – “Sola Scriptura, ” “ Scripture alone ”!