Daily Reform, Day 76
Galatians 2:6 & John 8:31-38
From the Reformer
This is a good point in Paul’s refutation. Paul disparages the authority and dignity of the true apostles. He says of them, “Which seemed to be somewhat.” The authority of the apostles was indeed great in all the churches. Paul did not want to detract from their authority, but he had to speak disparagingly of their authority in order to conserve the truth of the Gospel, and the liberty of conscience.
—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians
Pulling It Together
I don’t care what Billy Graham said. For that matter, I don’t care what Martin Luther said either. The Gospel is what we should care about hearing. Now, where Billy and Martin are speaking the Gospel, I am listening to them. But too often people quote someone as a way of appealing to their own view of the world or to enforce their preferred behavior in others. Well, Billy said you should be baptized this way. Martin said it should be this way.
What does the Scripture say? If you quote Billy or Martin in order to promote “the truth of the Gospel” then you are on solid footing. But if you quote them to hold my conscience captive, to dogmatically enslave me, then you are also holding the Gospel prisoner. You are then on your way to a fall and taking others with you.
Always appeal to the Word of God and be careful you are not using the Word to defend a viewpoint. If your use of the Word sets people free, you are quoting the Gospel. If it enslaves people, you are only using the Gospel to defend your own opinions.
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers