The Sovereignty of God

May 27, 2008

Note:I apologize for a misapplied title. The title is supposed to be “Ersamus’ Skepticism”.

In the days of today’s modern skepticism, there are many who wish they could go back to the ‘good ole’ days’ when all men were godly, wise, discerning, good-natured, and peace abounded. Unsurprisingly, if we were to examine the past, we would find utter disbelief, skepticism, sin, and hatred to God throughout the world in every period of history. In the days of Jesus Christ, the Pharisees are portrayed are some of the most notorious skeptics recorded in history and  by the apostle John. Luther, in the days of the Reformation, ardently attacks the skepticism of Erasmus in his book On the Bondage of the Will. With this example before us, let us learn from the skepticism of Erasmus and submit ourselves to the truth of Scripture unwaveringly.

What say you, Erasmus? Is it not enough that you submit your opinion to the Scriptures? Do you submit it to the decrees of the church also? What can the church decree, that is not decreed in the Scriptures? If it can, where then remains the liberty and power of judging those who make the decrees? As Paul, 1 Cor. xiv., teaches “Let others judge.” Are you not pleased that there should be any one to judge the decrees of the church, which, nevertheless, Paul enjoins? What new kind of religion and humility is this, that, by our own example, you would take away from us the power of judging the decrees of men, and give it unto men without judgment? Where does the Scripture of God command us to do this?

Moreover, what Christian would so commit the injunctions of the Scripture and of the church to the winds,—as to say “whether I follow them, or follow them not?” You submit yourself, and yet care not at all whether you follow them or not. But let that Christian be anathema, who is not certain in, and does not follow, that which is enjoined him. For how will he believe that which he does not follow?—Do you here, then, mean to say, that following is understanding a thing certainly, and not doubting of it at all in a skeptical manner? If you do, what is there in any creature which any one can follow, if following be understanding, and seeing and knowing perfectly? And if this be the case, then it is impossible that any one should, at the same time, follow some things, and not follow others: whereas, by following one certain thing, God, he follows all things; that is, in Him, whom whoso followeth not, never followeth any part of His creature.

From: Martin LutherOn the Bondage of the Will: Section 2

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