Posted on Mon, Feb 3, 2020
Pastor Joshua Walker
Throughout Church history, the Church has turned back to God’s word as the way to grow the
Church. For instance, think of the Protestant Reformation and its insistence on the Bible as the only final authority for the Christian (sola scriptura). As Martin Luther searched the pages of the Bible, he
saw that is was through faith alone (sola fide) in Christ alone (solus christus) by God’s grace alone (sola gratia) that we are saved and that all of this was to the glory of God alone (soli deo gloria). These wonderful truths that we hold dear as believers were not the product of human cunning but were the clear teachings of the Bible. You see, it is the Bible that is at the foundation of our faith. We are, after all, a people of the book. It is the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, that we turn to in order to find out what God ha s for us and what the Lord wants and expects from us. God promises that he will grow his Church. This is Paul’s point in Romans 10:17. In this passage,
Paul makes it clear that it is the faithful proclamation of God’s word that will bring about true lasting
growth in the Church. It is by hearing God’s word explained and applied that brings forth the fruit
of faith in the life of believers and the Church. If we, as Church of the Resurrection, want true and lasting growth, we must devote ourselves to the word of God. This is exactly what the early Church did. “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42). By devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching, they demonstrate to us that we ought to do the same. We ought to devote ourselves to the apostles’ teachings found in the pages of the Holy Bible. Commenting on Romans 10:17, John Calvin, the 16th century French Reformer, says this: “And this is a remarkable passage with regard to the efficacy of preaching; for he testifies, that by it faith is produced. He had indeed before declared, that of itself
it is of no avail; but that when it pleases the Lord to work, it becomes the instrument of his power. And indeed the voice of man can by no means penetrate into the soul; and mortal man would be too much
exalted, were he said to have the power to regenerate us; the light also of faith is something sublimer than what can be conveyed by man: but all these things are no hindrances, that God should not work effectually through the voice of man, so as to create faith in us through his ministry. It must be further noticed, that faith is grounded on nothing else but the truth of God; for Paul does not teach us that faith springs from any other kind of doctrine, but he expressly restricts it to the word of God; and this
restriction would have been improper if faith could rest on the decrees of men. Away then with all the devices of men when we speak of the certainty of faith. Hence also the Papal conceit respecting implicit faith falls to the ground, because it tears away faith from the word; and more detestable
still is that blasphemy, that the truth of the word remains suspended until the authority of the Church establishes it.” Paul’s point in Romans 10:17 is clear, we must be about the Bible, all of the Bible; not
just the parts that make us feel good or are easy to swallow. We need to be about all of the Bible; this includes the hard things that God declares to us. We at Church of the Resurrection need to be a people that trust that God will grow his Church the way he said he will grow His Church. The Church will not have true and lasting growth that is based on human schemes or human cunning
(Ephesians 4:14). We must stand on the only firm foundation that is available to the Church, the word of God. As the Prophet Isaiah declares, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8).
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