"The Word We Still Shall Let Remain" Weekly Address: Week of October 30
“The Word they still shall let remain, not any thanks have for it” … that’s the first line of the final stanza of Martin Luther’s triumphant hymn A Mighty Fortress Is Our God. It follows that although heresy continues to make strong attacks against God’s Church and his Word, there would be those who faithfully remain in the Word and proclaim it in the midst of these attacks.
Martin Luther backed up these words by letting God’s Word speak for itself, as opposed to imposing his own reason onto it. In solidarity with his mission, the Reformers of the Catholic Church laid out clearly what the Bible taught, speaking only after what the Bible itself clearly taught. They provided thousands of would-be protestants with the opportunity to know and experience the truth of the gospel for themselves, and so experience freedom from guilt and condemnation of their sins.
We praise God for those men and women of the Reformation who rediscovered the truth of God’s Word and remained in it. Our Lutheran heritage owes itself to learn from this period of history, less we forget the lessons learned when others sought to wipe out Lutheran Protestantism.
Heresy is nothing new. ‘Religions’ are continuing to inflict their heresies upon the Word of God in the name of ‘enlightenment.’ Many will continue to reinterpret God’s Word to make way for their human reasoning. Many will spuriously condition the truth of God’s Word to fit their time and age. They will ask: How can we make the Word fit our understanding of morality and truth?
It is a dangerous time to be a saint in God’s Church. It always has been. But Jesus promises:
“If you remain in my word, you are really my disciples. You will also know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)
The truth can only set us free when we remain in his Word. When we humbly let God speak to us through his Word, he reveals to us his grace and mercy. And if you’re still asking how this applies to our daily lives, it frees us to stop searching for our identity. We are freed in the blessing of knowing that we are restored to live as a child of God.
May it flavor your perspective in how you view God’s Law - Not as a burden but as a holy standard meant to bless you in every aspect of life.
And in how you view God’s gospel - Not as something to be ashamed of, but as something to be unabashedly comforted by.
Shall we not let the Word remain what it is and read, study and take it to heart? God’s greatest gifts are found within… and are understood by faith.
God grant that his Church will remain triumphant while it undergoes the attacks of the world.