I encourage you to remember those who loved the Lord most through faith.
It may be a friend, a parent, an uncle or aunt, possibly a cousin or work place friend, but for most of us there will be someone who stands out from the crowd as one who loved the Lord more sincerely and passionately than others. Often they are the ones who live the love of God best, who sacrifice most for Christ, and are willing to take the greatest risks for the Saviour. They are the ones, who like Hebrews chapter 11 records, stand out because of the depth of their faith.
The 31st October was the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther posting his 95 theses on the castle door of Wittenberg as a “protest” against the Pope and the selling of indulgences in 1517. It’s fitting for us to think of the heart that beat within those believers of the reformation. What they loved most was not their religion but their God. Through Christ their priorities were changed, their loyalties redirected, and their courage emboldened for the Lord and His written word, the Bible.
These believers in Christ living throughout the Reformation period often paid for their belief with their very lives. Their willingness to stand up and pay the price to spread the 5 Sola truths changed the direction of the worldwide church, and we live in the blessing of that today.
Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone) “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Sola Gratia (Grace alone) “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Sola Fide (Faith alone) “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).
Solo Christo (Christ alone) “Being justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24).
Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God alone) “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Today, Christians are responsible to “let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good” (Romans 12:9). These 5 Sola Truths are not only good, they are the very best that our Heavenly Father could gift us with. Therefore, “let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23).
The Legacy We Leave
Those who follow behind us will never hail us for indecisive disbelief on the day they stand before God. Nor will they benefit from our acceptance of all things pleasing to self. They will most likely evaluate the authenticity of our faith by the degree to which we emulated these five Sola truths found in God’s Word, even though they may not consciously think of the 5 Solas. Our next generation will look back at our lives, whether in belief or disbelief, looking to see if we were “doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22).
Be encouraged to remember those who loved the Lord most, who left you a legacy of distinguishable faith; thank God for them and replicate such loving faith. May we fulfil Paul’s exhortation to young Timothy; “set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).
Together for Christ: Lincoln Forlong www.bbf.net.nz