It happened again today. I heard again, regrettably, of a pastor’s fuzzy (I’m being generous) explanation of the crucial biblical doctrine of justification. It is a good thing for folks to be asking questions about how a person may be right with God, but it is a bad thing for those who are supposed to be the caretakers of souls to neglect the most important course of the feast that is found in Christ.
Martin Luther said that justification is the doctrine by which the church stands or falls…if this is true, then what is happening today? We are in dangerous times when you are hard pressed to find not only a church member but also a pastor who can articulate the biblical doctrine of justification.
Do we need another reformation?
The first reformation happened due to the obscurity and perversion of the biblical doctrine of justification by the Church of Rome. As a result few were able to know and experience the saving peace with God that comes through full dependence in the Lord Jesus Christ. So too today there are countless who do not live in cognizant recognition and appreciation of this doctrine.
Much like the 16th Century the contemporary church is increasingly blurring the lines of the gospel through the mouths of it's preachers. Today we all too often find that doctrine is often replaced by drama, spiritual needs are neglected while felt needs are attended; and ministers of the gospel are occupied with the business of amusing the goats rather than feeding the sheep…and it shows!
Therefore I am refreshed with the motives behind the Together for the Gospel conference that took place this past week in Louisville. I am refreshed because it is a step towards reformation. Implicit in the need for this conference is the prevailing ignorance and confusion that plagues the evangelical church today and the need for faithful leaders to articulate biblical doctrine thereby drawing a line in the sand for the would-be spiritual parasites.
I am so encouraged to hear of a confession that has come out of this conference and will no doubt serve as a plumb line of orthodoxy in the years to come (the text of which is forthcoming on this blog).
The bride of Christ must recapture her precious diamond, namely, the doctrine of justification. There is nothing that exalts the grace of God and humbles the pride of man like the sovereign declaration of filthy enemies as perfect (though they are not) on the basis of the work of the crucified Son of God.
Luther preached the truth and he exposed Rome’s veiling of the gospel; today we are to likewise proclaim the truth that we might eradicate this gospel subterfuge and focus single-mindedly upon the biblical doctrine of justification.