Text: Acts 23:23-35
To ask and trust God to guide your decisions
To cultivate a spirit of humbleness
IN FELIX THE GOVERNOR, Paul has now encountered the “machinery” of the Roman state, its bureaucracy and its intrigue. From this moment on, God will use the insignificant Paul to trouble the counsels of the wise and the great, and his testimony will go all the way to Rome itself. Paul’s decision, guided by God, to appeal to the emperor will affect all of human history.
Paul before Felix calls to mind the Reformers presenting their testimony to Emperor Charles V. At a diet (assembly) called to debate the religious and political divides rending Europe, the Lutheran princes gave account for the reforms they had introduced, and the decision of one insignificant Augustinian friar, following the theological path of Paul, will again trouble the counsels of the wise and the great and affect all of human history.
As we draw near to Reformation Day, here is a portion of the opening statement of the Confession the Reformers presented to the Emperor and the Diet in Augsburg:
The Confession of Faith which was submitted to His Imperial Majesty Charles V at the Diet of Augsburg in the year 1530 by certain princes and cities
I will speak of thy testimonies before kings, and will not be put to shame.
-- Psalm 119:46
…and inasmuch as we, the undersigned Elector and Princes, with others joined with us, have been called to the aforesaid Diet the same as the other Electors, Princes, and Estates, in obedient compliance with the Imperial mandate, we have promptly come to Augsburg, and—what we do not mean to say as boasting—we were among the first to be here.
Accordingly, since even here at Augsburg at the very beginning of the Diet, Your Imperial Majesty caused to be proposed to the Electors, Princes, and other Estates of the Empire, amongst other things, that the several Estates of the Empire, on the strength of the Imperial edict, should set forth and submit their opinions and judgments in the German and the Latin language, and since on the ensuing Wednesday, answer was given to Your Imperial Majesty, after due deliberation, that we would submit the Articles of our Confession for our side on next Wednesday, therefore, in obedience to Your Imperial Majesty's wishes, we offer, in this matter of religion, the Confession of our preachers and of ourselves, showing what manner of doctrine from the Holy Scriptures and the pure Word of God has been up to this time set forth in our lands, dukedoms, dominions, and cities, and taught in our churches…
May your day be grace-filled ~ Pr. Dave Brooks