Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Bible Stands

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isaiah 40:8

Tomorrow is Reformation Day, the day we remember Martin Luther, the German priest and theologian who initiated the Protestant reformation. He is probably best known for his radical idea (at the time) that salvation is a gift of God through Christ Jesus, and that we are saved by grace, rather than by works or by the purchase of indulgences.

But Martin Luther also did Christians throughout Germany and the world a great service through his translation of the Bible from Latin to German. Now people could read the Bible for themselves, instead of relying on what the priests to tell them what it said. And Luther encouraged people to do just that. His translation had a huge influence on the German church and the culture, and eventually led to the King James translation into English. He used standard language, so that everyone could read and understand the Bible. In his words, "we are removing impediments and difficulties so that other people may read it without hindrance."

We are so blessed in our day to have absolutely no hindrance in reading the Bible - we have many different translations at our disposal, countless helps in commentaries and concordances and other study tools, and, just as they had in Luther's day, most importantly, the Holy Spirit to guide us in our reading and studying.

The Bible stands! And I am grateful for it!

The Bible Stands
Words by Haldor Lillenas

The Bible stands like a rock undaunted
’Mid the raging storms of time;
Its pages burn with the truth eternal,
And they glow with a light sublime.

The Bible stands though the hills may tumble,
It will firmly stand when the earth shall crumble;
I will plant my feet on its firm foundation,
For the Bible stands.

The Bible stands like a mountain towering
Far above the works of men;
Its truth by none ever was refuted,
And destroy it they never can.

The Bible stands and it will forever,
When the world has passed away;
By inspiration it has been given,
All its precepts I will obey.

The Bible stands every test we give it,
For its Author is divine;
By grace alone I expect to live it,
And to prove and to make it mine.

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