Right Devotion, Daily Reform, Day 24

Galatians 1:6 & Acts 2:42-47

From the Reformer

Paul deplores the fact that it is difficult for the mind to retain a sound and steadfast faith. A man labors for a decade before he succeeds in training his little church into orderly religion, and then some ignorant and vicious poltroon comes along to overthrow in a minute the patient labor of years. By the grace of God we have effected here in Wittenberg the form of a Christian church. The Word of God is taught as it should be, the Sacraments are administered, and everything is prosperous. This happy condition, secured by many years of arduous labors, some lunatic might spoil in a moment. This happened in the churches of Galatia which Paul had brought into life in spiritual travail. Soon after his departure, however, these Galatian churches were thrown into confusion by the false apostles.

—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

Pulling It Together

The superintendent of nearly 100 churches encouraged the young pastor to not be discouraged. He thought it likely that the church that this pastor had labored in for almost six years, that had grown in the knowledge of God’s word and love of the Family and even attendance, would fall apart after he moved on to his next appointment. The church had grown from 23 to 86 on the typical Sunday morning but true to the Superintendent’s words, within two weeks after his departure, attendance had fallen to 22.

A new pastor had come in with strange teachings that sounded at odds with the Gospel that the little church knew. Worse, he lorded his seminary-informed dogma over them. In short, the “happy condition” the church had come to know was ruined “in a moment.”

Most of those folk were not swayed by false teaching. Some held on until the new pastor was sent elsewhere. Most went to other churches where sound doctrine was the rule. Others were simply lost in the commotion. It is difficult to keep the faith when the gospel is not taught. Be careful to know, insist upon, and hold on to the faith and doctrine of the Apostles. How you believe affects everything, particularly your relationship to God. Be devoted to the true Faith and be rightly devoted to Christ in God.

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