Have you noticed how we Christians tend to worship humans instead of Christ? Every Christian is guilty of doing this in one way or the other when we put man’s opinions of the Bible above the Bible itself. Catholics do this when they put the popes and the church tradition above the Bible. Protestants do this when they put Martin Luther’s writings and opinions, above the Bible even though the falsely claim to be sola scriptura (scripture alone). Is it any wonder Christians sometimes struggle in their faith walks, trying to follow a human being instead of following Christ? What would happen if we became true Bible-believing Christians allowing the Bible to speak for itself? We would see the Bible come alive, and we would get to know Yehovah, the God of the Bible.
Martin Luther is known as the one who freed us from the “shackles” of the catholic church. He is credited as the one who “rediscovered” the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith alone. And because of him, we protestants believe in sola scriptura (scripture alone) and sola fide (faith alone). Because of him, we dont have to pay indulgences to the pope anymore, and we can all read the Bible for ourselves.
When Luther translated the Bible, he felt as if the book of Hebrews, the book of James, Jude, and Revelation, should not be included in the Bible because they did not support his doctrine of faith alone. History tells us Martin Luther’s followers disagreed with him, so they reached a compromise, and these books were added in an appendix to the Bible.
In your Bible, you will find these books among the rest of the New Testament scriptures and not in an appendix. But even so, Luther’s opinion about them has been adopted by most pastors and denominations.
What would have happened today, in 2020, if someone translated the Bible but allowed their doctrinal views to dictate what books would be included and what books would be removed? Any serious theologian, and pastor, would quickly label that person and such an attempt as heresy and sectarian.
If we allow the Bible to speak for itself, we will quickly notice how there is no conflict between the Gospel message and the books of Jude, James, Hebrews, and Revelation. They all support the idea that salvation is by grace through faith alone.
If that is so, why was Martin Luther so opposed to including those books in the New Testament?
Martin Luther was very aware of his sins, being a Munk in the catholic church, he tried everything possible in catholic tradition to atone. He was very faithful in everything he did, but even so, he never experienced God’s peace and forgiveness.
When Martin Luther was called to preach, he began studying the book of Romans. Stumbling across Rom 1:17, he saw a connection between the phrase “the just shall live by faith” and the justice of God. Suddenly he understood that the justice of God is that righteousness by which through grace and sheer mercy, God justifies us through faith. Specifically, justification is an act of God in which He pardons or forgives all our sins and accepts us as righteous in His sight. This is possible because of what Jesus Christ has done in dying on the cross for our sins. Justification is all of grace, meaning God didn’t have to do it, He was under no obligation. And it is all of faith, meaning it must be received as a gift. It cannot be earned.
When Luther made this connection in the Bible, he finally had peace with God, and the doctrine of justification by faith alone was born. In Luther’s opinion, the books of Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation disagreed with the doctrine of justification by faith alone. This is why he wanted them removed from the Bible. So we have to ask ourselves this one important question, who do we obey? God who wrote the Bible? Martin Luther, a created mortal, sinful, human being?
Most pastors and denominations would say, “we obey God and not Luther.” Most Bibles have moved the books of Hebrews, Jude, James, and Revelation to a more prominent and rightful place in the New Testament. But even so, the spirit of Martin Luther’s opinions are still very much alive in the church in 2020.
Every time you hear a pastor or a preacher saying something along the lines of “we cant obey Moses, it is impossible. So the law of Moses is a burden that was done away with at the cross” you hear the spirit of Martin Luther’s opinion and not the Holy Spirit.
Why is there such a vast discrepancy between Martin Luther’s doctrine of the justification of faith, and the books of Hebrews, Jude, James, and Revelation? Because of Martin Luther’s hatred for the Jews.
It is a well known historical fact Martin Luther did not like Jews; he hated them to such a degree he approved of violence and murder of Jews. We know Jesus was a Jew; we know the Bible is a Jewish book about the Jews and the Jewish God Yehovah. It is impossible to understand the Bible correctly when you have a burning hatred for the Jews. Martin Luther allowed his hatred to influence how he read the Bible, and this is why there is such a vast discrepancy between his doctrine and the books he wanted to be removed.
Why are pastors and preachers today allowing the spirit of Luther to come through on the pulpit, instead of the Holy Spirit?
So what happens to the doctrine of justification by faith alone if we allow the Bible to speak for itself?
When Paul wrote, “the just shall live by faith ” (Rom 1:17), he quoted Habakkuk 2:4 and Ezekiel 18:9. So to understand Rom 1:17, we first have to understand Habakkuk 2:4 and Ezekiel 18:9. In both of these verses, we realize that the righteous and just that lives by faith is the one who obeys Moses. So what Paul is saying in Rom 1:17 is this, if you believe Yehoshua (Yeshua/Jesus) died for your sins, your faith has to show itself from now in obedience to Moses.
When we allow the Bible to speak for itself, we suddenly see there is no discrepancy between Paul in Rom 1:17, the book of James, Jude, Hebrews, and Revelation. We also understand there is no discrepancy between Rom 1:17, the text of Galatians, and Matt 23:2.
If the Bible is allowed to speak for itself, there is no doubt salvation is by faith in the cross shown in active obedience to Moses. (James 2:10-26, 1. John 2:6)
So what has happened in the church?
Because mainstream protestant Christianity allows the spirit of Luther to guide and correct their doctrine, we have a lot of stillborn Christians who will one day hear “depart from Me for I never knew you, you who are without Moses.” (Matt 7:21-23)
Because mainstream protestant Christianity allows the spirit of Luther to guide and correct their doctrine, we have a Bible filled with contradictions and billions of denominations, all claiming to know how to interpret them their way.
Who do you worship? Martin Luther or the Bible? If you are reading these words, there is still time to repent and come back to worship of Yehovah, who wrote the Bible. There is still time to avoid being among those who will one day hear “depart from Me, you who are without Moses.”