Reformer’s Duty pt II

Since all authority should be submitted to Jesus Christ and His word, Paul’s command, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:2), applies to every authority. All authority personal or established should be in this process of renewal through the Word of God thereby discerning the will of God and not conforming to this world. Where any authority is not submitted to the word of God, conforming to the world or outside the expressed will of God, that authority is in sin and it is the duty of those that discern this to gently restore that authority. (Gal. 6:1) In Galatians 6:6 Paul directly states that, “One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches.” Even “teachers” need to be encouraged and reproved by the word through discerning “ordinary” believers.

This correction is crucial for three reasons. First, that God’s name is at stake. Jesus in teaching His disciples to pray makes the disciple’s first desire, their first “prayer”, to be that God’s name be considered Holy. (Luke 11:2) God’s name isn’t just His proper name it is His nature and character. Where scripture is distorted, ignored, or disobeyed it is the nature and character of a Holy God that is misrepresented. Secondly, correction is crucial because eternal lives are at stake. In Matthew 7 Jesus clearly states that there are those that claim the lordship of Christ yet are outside the will of the Father. That an establishment or authority may even unintentionally encourage believers in a false assurance that their faith is genuine when scripturally it is not is terrifying in the implications of that false assurance. Finally, correction cares for that authority and establishment. God in His word clearly pronounces judgment on those that would add to or take from His word. (Deut. 4, Rev. 22) Far from being an act of defiant rebellion towards the “establishment” the call to reformation should be an appeal to those who are held to a greater accountability (James 3:1) to rightly fear the Lord. This awesome responsibility toward the word of God extends to the reformer as well, to humbly stand on the authority of scripture not personal preference, or prideful assumption.

The church today like any age is confronted with distortions, heresies, and cultural pressure. The responsibility of every believer is to follow the example of the Bereans, Paul, James, Augustine, Marten Luther, John Calvin, and so many others to diligently study the scriptures, to stand on that authority as governing their conscience, and at times challenge established authority with the word of God. To not do so is to not desire God’s name and reputation to be considered Holy. To not do so is to not care for brothers and sisters that might be perishing worshiping a false God. To not do so is to not care for those in authority that might stand condemned. Being a “reformer” isn’t about being “right”. It in fact, is fulfilling the greatest commandment, “Love God with all your heart soul mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.”


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