Praising God for the Protestant Reformation

Dear God, thank you for the Protestant Reformation we are celebrating this year. We thank you for the great truths from your Word that were contained in the 95 theses nailed by Martin Luther at the door of the Castle church in Wittenberg 500 years ago. We praise you that the Reformation brought to life many gospel truths from the Holy Scriptures that church leaders and church traditions had ignored. Thank you for many who stood for truth, most of whom choose to die rather than deny the good news of the gospel. We pray that you will equip us today to be ready to suffer for the gospel and you will give us joy to endure, as you helped the apostles and the many reformers who were killed for standing for the gospel.

Thank you that you gave us your Word, the Bible, as our supreme authority. We pray that you will help us in this age where preference and experience are highly esteemed, that we will find Scripture alone as the highest and final authority in our churches and even in our lives. Help us that in our pulpits your Word will be proclaimed since when your Word is preached, you speak. Help us that we will grope where the Word is to find Christ. We pray that you will remind and equip preachers of your Word to proclaim it faithfully, remembering that Christ still reigns through his Word, read and preached. We acknowledge that when the Word is faithfully preached, truly the Word will do everything as it was in the times of the early church and even during the Reformation.

We are grateful that we can access your inspired Word in different languages, remembering many who gave up their lives to see Bible translated into common man’s language. We pray that you will continue equipping many Bible translators who by your grace are translating your Holy Scriptures to make them accessible to many local languages all over the world. Dear God, we pray that many will come to the knowledge of you and of our Saviour Jesus Christ through the reading and preaching of the Bible in their own local language.

Almighty Father, we thank you for the good news of Jesus and what his death on the Cross accomplished for us. Thank you that through the gospel, your righteousness was revealed. We acknowledge that you have saved us by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. We pray that you will help us to see grace alone as the only hope for resurrecting spiritually dead sinners.

Lord, please help us to have faith in Jesus and to see faith alone as the only instrument by which we are joined to Christ and justified by the imputation of his righteousness. Save us from trying to earn your salvation through our good works. Help us that because of our justification in Christ, we will bear fruits and do good works, loving one another and keeping the hope for eternal life.

We pray that at this age of scepticism, we will see Christ alone as the only atoning sacrifice for sin, and you alone God as the ultimate object of our worship. We thank you and celebrate the wonders you have done for us in Christ Jesus. We pray that our churches will treasure the holiest gospel of the glory and grace of God and that we will gather every week to hear your Word preached and to exercise our faith in you in prayer. Help us to remember that you are highly glorified in us when we are most satisfied in you.

We pray like Luther, that you will help us to remember that you’re not angry with us anymore when we believe and put our faith in Jesus, and thus we can stand on our head for joy! Thank you that the gospel is the source of comfort and hope for us who believe in the midst of the struggles of life.

Now to you who is able to keep us from stumbling and to present us blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever.

Amen.

 

 

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William Tyndale: A man who laid down his life to see the Bible translated

Have you ever appreciated having the Bible in a language you can understand? If you don’t, you need to! Do you know there was time in history when it was a crime having an English translation of the Bible? Those in possession of whole or any part of the English translation were condemned to death.Bible trNSLTN

I didn’t love autobiographies, my ignorance to history has in the past robbed me an opportunity to learn and appreciate things as we see them today. Thanks to iServe Africa where I have been nurtured in reading about the lives of early church fathers who risked their lives for the gospel.

John Piper in his book, Filling Up the Afflictions of Christ connected me to William Tyndale, an English scholar who became a leading figure in Protestant reform in the years leading up to his execution. Tyndale risked his life to translate the Scriptures into English, giving us a reason to appreciate God that we can read the Bible in our own vernacular languages.

Passion for Bible Translation

william_tyndaleWilliam Tyndale at the age of 28 had a great passion to translate the New Testament to ordinary English that all his compatriots would read and understand the scriptures. He sought permission and funds from the bishop of London, and instead the church opposed his idea of translating the Bible. He even had to ran away to exile for 7 years, in fear of his life.

King of England then, King Henry VIII, desired that Tyndale would come back to England out of hiding, but Tyndale would insist that he would go back to England if only the King would authorize him and give his official endorsement to a vernacular Bible for his subjects to read. John Piper notes that ‘Vernacular Bible for English subjects’ was the note that Tyndale always sung.

Tyndale efforts bring reformation

In 1525, while in exile, Tyndale managed to produce the first English translation of New Testament from Greek and smuggled it into England in bales of clothes. The translation was the beginning of a transformation, people were able to read and understand the scriptures in their language! They no longer depended on their priests to read the Bible for them. This was against the early church tradition where it was believed that only the priests were given the divine grace to understand the scriptures.

Tyndale efforts were able to give many a chance to understand scriptures. For many years, the only translation of the Greek and Hebrew Bible was Latin Vulgate, and a few people could understand it, even if they had access to it. At 42 years, Tyndale was tied to the stake and then strangled by the executioner; afterwards the fire consumed him. He died with a prayer, that the Lord would open the eyes of the King of England. And yes God did answer his prayer and King James I ordered translation of the Bible that had nine tenths of Tyndale’s work giving rise to the famous King James Version.

Suffering for the Gospel

William Tyndale shows what it means to suffer for Christ. He who laid down his life for us; therefore we ought also to lay down our lives for the brethren. “In times of suffering, we ought to have faith and pray to the Father in the Name of Jesus, and he will ease our pain, or shorten it,” Tyndale advises us.

BIBLESSSSAll Glory to God in that the Bible has been translated into many languages from the biblical languages of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. As of last year, the full Bible was translated into 531 languages, and 2,883 languages have at least some portion of the Bible.

 

Article by Kenneth Irungu
iServe Africa Apprentice 
Serving at DOVE Christian Fellowship, Kawangware.