One of the hallmarks of the Protestant Reformation was the motto ad fontes, meaning: â€œto the sources.â€ This led them to read the Bible for themselves in the original languages. What they found there they could neither keep to themselves, nor keep quiet about it.
The Apostlesâ€™ Gospel of free grace, which the Reformers rediscovered, was found by reading Scriptureâ€™s witness. The Word of God was the engine for the whole project. As Tyndale discovered the glories of Scripture, he remarked, â€œChrist desires his mysteries to be published abroad as widely as possible. I would that [the Scriptures] were translated into all languages, of all Christian people, & that they might be read & known.â€
Calvin frequently exhorted his people to read Scripture: â€œThus must we also read the Scriptures. We must greedily, and with a prompt mind, receive those things which are plain, and wherein God openeth his mind. As for those things which are hid from us, we must pass them over until we see greater light. And if we be not wearied with reading, it shall at length come to pass that the Scripture shall be made more familiar by continual use.â€
A later Reformer insightfully said, â€œa home without a Bible is a ship without a rudder and a Christian without a Bible is a soldier without a weapon.â€
Weâ€™ve been undertaking to renew a fervor amongst Godâ€™s people for the regular reading of Scripture. Our BRC campaign flows from the reality that your spiritual life cannot be sustained by infrequent reading and hearing of Godâ€™s Word. The condition of our Nation is directly the result of our neglect of reading, believing, and obeying the Bible. So Augustine was once told, â€œTake up, and read.â€ The Reformation we desire wonâ€™t come apart from the conquering sword of the Word.
In an age where our phones have every imaginable translation of Scripture and even the tools to read Scripture in its original languages, we have opted for the distractions of newsfeeds, quizzes about what our spirit animal is, and all manner of other frivolities. It’s no wonder we are a skittish generation, for we have no foundation and no anchor. Our nation is a crumbling ruin, for we have sought to build on another cornerstone than God’s Word. Our nation is a ship adrift in a hurricaneâ€“â€“without sails, oars, or a compassâ€“â€“for we have cast overboard the eternal Gospel declared in Scripture. The church has, all too often, treated the Word flippantly, and this shows in the fact that frequent reading of Scripture is a duty which few have fulfilled. May God forgive us for neglecting His Word, and may He renew in us a hunger for the Bible as never before.