This morning, I had the unique privilege to attend two lectures given by my dear friend and brother, David Murray, who is the guest speaker for Grace Presbyterian Church’s annual reformation conference. David is a pastor in Grand Rapids and a professor at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary.
In his first lecture, David gave us a brief sketch of the life of John Knox, the Scottish Reformer. Following this sketch, David drew eight lessons from the life and message of Knox.
- Get back to the Bible. The secret to the Scottish Reformation was not Knox, but the Word of God. The Bible, Knox taught, is only dangerous to those who oppose it.
- Love your confession of faith. Knox believed that without a confession of faith we are on quicksand and we cannot stand long on quicksand.
- Prioritize preaching. When Knox began his ministry in 1560 there were only twelve ministers in Scotland. Seven years later there were 250 ministers, 150 exhorters, and 450 lay readers.
- Oppose false religion. We are not only to love righteousness, but also to hate wickedness. As was demonstrated in the Old Testament, idolatry is what God hated most then and what He hates the most today.
- Fear God, not man. It was said at Knox’s funeral, “There lays a man who never feared the face of any man.” John Knox’s pursuit of the glory of God, rather than the glory of man, is now graphically on display for all to see. His gravesite has been turned into an asphalt parking lot.
- Provide for the poor. Knox was the first man in Scottish history to promote a national plan for the care of the poor.
- Support Christian education. Knox saw biblical education as part of a broader education that would prepare Christians to live in the world and strengthen and feed the church and, ultimately, the whole nation.
- Don’t despair. Knox said at the end of his life, “So I end, rendering my troubled and sorrowful spirit in the hands of the Eternal God, earnestly trusting at His good pleasure to be freed from the cares of this miserable life, and to rest with Christ Jesus, my only hope and life.”
Here is the link for the audio messages from the conference.