Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A Note to Reformers

"I am more afraid of my own heart than of the pope and all his cardinals. I have within me the greatest pope" - Martin Luther

In our work of reforming the church in our day, this statement from a great Reformer is a good reminder to us. There are errors within our churches which grieve us deeply because we believe they grieve God deeply. We do see insidious encroachment of paganism within the people of God as was described in the book of Judges where people practiced paganism in the name of Yahweh. These things should and do bother us. They even discourage us at times.

However, we must remember that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, and our greatest battlefield is not out there anywhere but in our own hearts. Let us not become so engrossed with the planks in the eyes of the church out there that we become ignorant or careless about those in our own eyes. We must continue to be aware of our own need for being personally reformed according to the Word of God and growing in holiness. This will guard us from arrogance and infuse us with graciousness and mercy as we do the necessary task of pointing out error. One cannot truly labor for the purity of the church while bypassing the pursuit of personal purity.

7 comments:

Gordon Cloud said...

Great reminder.

I heard a story once, I believe it was about Spurgeon. A lady in his congregation came to him and praised him for being such a holy man of God.

Spurgeon replied, "Dear lady, if you could see what was in my heart you would spit in my face."

God grant us that kind of humility.

Ray Van Neste said...

Indeed, Gordon!

Glenna Marshall said...

Thanks for the well-wishes and prayers, Ray. William is doing better--he even did some studying from home today which is progress in my eyes! He still deals with pain, but I know that's just part of it. We are thankful that he is feeling as good as he does now. Compared to where he was last week, any improvement is good!
Blessings,
-glenna-

Ray Van Neste said...

Glenna,

I'm glad he is improving some. I'm surte you already know, but he was mentioned in prayer Sudnay night.
I am now waiting to hear iof his first sermon back is on 'brokeness.'

Glenna Marshall said...

Hahaha--should have known that would come from you, Ray! :)
As always, we appreciate how CCC remembers us in prayer. We miss our faithful brothers and sisters there!

Jeff Lash said...

I feel like the more I read of Luther the more I connect with him. He seems to say the things that meet me right where I am today. Certainly the Lord is continuing to use him and his struggle to draw people to himself. As frustrated as I get about the state of the church, I am most upset about the ungodliness that continues to hang around in my own heart. There is no doubt in mind that if I were without Jesus I would be overtaken. It's just more reason to give God praise.

Ray Van Neste said...

Amen, Jeff!
There is much for us to learn from the past.