Also a Transcript done for our reader who requested so, this was my first attempt to do a transcript and I hope it meets the readers approval.
So if you want to get an idea of how sincere and genuine your love for Jesus Christ really is, then set aside for the moment the Christian cd’s and the walks in nature and the “what would Jesus do” bracelets, the fish symbols on your car and just ask yourself how much do I love the Scriptures , which bears Christ’s image upon them. Surely you can see that your answer testifies that either in favour a strong love for Christ or a heart that runs cold towards Christ. It either speaks of hypocrisy and merely the outward empty shallow of hypocritical religion, or it speaks of the fact that you have a true and genuine spiritually alive relationship with God.
But of course in the church today when you say that a love for God’s word will testify in favour of a love for Christ, you really have to be a little more specific, because there are many modern professing Christians who would be quick to be very, very fervently profess their love for Christ and His Word that would also be just as quick to reject any fervent defence of doctrinal truth. They would say they love the Word because they read it every day, yet they simply see no need or urgency to passionately defend the truth that the word of God contains. Well, of course the problem with that is if you truly love the Scriptures, and you truly realize that they bear Christ’s image upon them, you will also love the Word of doctrine and the truth found in those same Scriptures. Doctrinal truth bears the image of Christ. It is not something that is open to personal interpretation, it is Christ’s truth and wisdom and we must conform to it, not vice versa. Again, listen to Hebrews 4:12 which we quoted earlier, only this time listen in particular to those last nine words, .. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any double -edged sword, It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the Heart.
So Scripture is supposed to judge our hearts not the other way around, yet there are many professing Christians today who profess loudly their love to Christ, yet who don’t feel all that compelled to defend doctrinal truth, in fact quite the opposite, doctrinal truth is minimised in such cases as quote “non-essential to vital Christianity ” and very often the reason that is given is “unity amongst the brethren”. But doctrinal truth bears the very image of Christ Himself , for the heart that burns with true love for Christ, will burn with true love for accurate doctrine. In short the heart filled with love for Christ will stand with the likes of Martin Luther, when he said: ” Just as in the day of the Apostles, so at this day we are forced to hear from certain denominations, that we by our obstinacy to adhere to the truth do offend against love and unity in the churches, because we reject their doctrine. It would be better (they say) that we should let it pass, especially since the doctrine in dispute is what they call non-essential and, therefore (they say) to stir up so great a discord and contention in the church over one or two doctrines, and those not the most important ones is unfruitful and unnecessary. To this I reply, Cursed be that love and unity which cannot be preserved except at the peril of the Word of God” ~ Martin Luther.
Why, why would Martin Luther say that? Was he just some kind of heartless legalist, or was he just a book Christian, rather than a people Christian, as defenders of doctrinal truth are often accused of being today(?) No, no not at all, Martin Luther simply loved Jesus Christ… passionately, and so he loved His Word and he loved the truth in the Word that bears Christ’s image. And therefore that love showed up in his life and in his actions, to the point where , in defence of doctrinal truth Martin Luther was willing to place his very life on the line. In fact at a point in history that the church would do well not to forget, Luther defended Biblical truth against religious hypocrisy and error with a bold, tenacious conviction that is representative of any man who passionately loves Jesus Christ.
Clip from the movie “Martin Luther”, 1955)
“Dr Luther, yesterday you admitted these writings were yours, will you tell us now, do you persist in what you have written here? Or are you prepared to retract these writings and the beliefs they contain.”
“I ask pardon if I lack the manner that befit this court, I was not brought up in Kings Palaces but in the seclusion of a cloister. I am asked to retract these writings but they are of different kind. In some I discuss faith and good works, if I were to retract these, I should be denying accepted Christian truths! In others I attacked popery) and assailed men who have afflicted the Christian world and ruined the bodies and souls of other men. If I were to retract those, I should be like a cloak that covers evil! Most serene emperor, illustrious princes, noble lords! I am only a man and not God. But I must defend myself as did Jesus Christ when He said, as I say now, if I have spoken evil bear witness against me.”
(Laughter in the court)
“Martin Luther you have not yet answered the question, give us a simple answer! Will you recant or will you not?”
“You ask for a simple answer. Here it is, unless you can convince me by Scripture, and not by Popes or councils who have often contradicted each other, unless I am so convinced that I am wrong, I am bound to my beliefs by the texts of the Bible! My conscience is captive to the Word of God! To go against conscience is neither right, nor sane. Therefore I cannot and I will not recant!! Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen”
(End of Luther movie clip)
So, again, what about you? You say you love Jesus but do you love the Scriptures which bear His image ? Do you love the Word of doctrine in the Scriptures, because it shines forth Christ’s truth and wisdom. Do you love the promises found in Scripture because they testify of Christ’s goodness, grace and love? And do you even love the commands and the threatenings) of Scripture because they shine forth Christ’s purity and holiness, because that’s another good indicator of where we stand.
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(Transcribed by Elmarie on 27/03/2012 @ 11h36pm)
John 7:16-17 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. (17) If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
2Timothy 4:2-4 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (3) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; (4) And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
John 10:27-30 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: (28) And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (29) My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. (30) I and my Father are one.