Saturday, June 14, 2014
"Unless I am convicted by scripture and plain reason…
my conscience is captive to the Word of God…
here I stand…I cannot do otherwise. God help me."
April 18, 1521
Martin Luther, when brought before the emperor at the Imperial Diet of Worms, was expected to recant of his teachings which threw fuel on the Reformation. Instead, he firmly stood on the Word of God. He was unable to withdraw his teaching because they were firmly grounded in the scriptures.
He claimed his conscience was captive to the Word of God.
Interesting choice of words, don't you think? It gives us a word picture of bondage and though in America, bondage is a word of the past and freedom is preferred, truth be told we are all in bondage to either sin or God. The picture of redemption - being bought off the auction block - was a favorite of Paul, as he opened many of his letters reminding his readers that he was a "bondservant of God."
Romans 6:20-23 clearly teach that we are either in bondage to sin and free to righteousness (meaning that righteousness is not expected of us) or we are free from sin (sin is not expected of us) and in bondage to God.
So what are you in bondage to today? Do your desires and your feelings rule your decisions? Ephesians 4 describes those in bondage to their sin-encrusted feelings like this:
So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.
But it goes on to say:
But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
The key to this passage is the renewal of the mind - how does one renew his mind? If when in bondage to sin, we act on our fleshly desires, how does one act when in bondage to God? He acts in faith - believing the Word of God, acting on it, laying aside his feelings because he knows God's way is best!
So let me ask you again - what are you in bondage to? Do you know the Word enough to be in bondage to it? Or do you simply believe in the concept of God and Jesus but continue to live daily, making decisions based on what feels right to you - that's your conscience leading you, rather than living with your conscience being captive to the Word of God…
Are you captivated with the Word or with yourself?
Good thing to ponder on today...