Geneva: International Hub of Reform | Episode 29 | Lineage

Here in Geneva, the Reformers’ Wall commemorates the
role that this city played in the Protestant Reformation. The city became a refuge for many of the
hunted reformers of Western Europe. John Knox from Scotland spent several years here and the Protestants of Holland and Spain
and the Huguenots from France all sought refuge here in the city,
but then carried the gospel from here elsewhere. Indeed, this city has often been referred to as
‘the Protestant Rome’ [music] The city publicly accepted
the Reformed faith on the 21st of May 1536 and whilst Farel was a key player in the Reformation
here, it was Calvin that would make this city famous. Some have referred to Calvin
as the ‘International Reformer’, such was his influence beyond
the boundaries of the city limits. [music] The Central idea that Calvin developed was that
a consistent and coherent theological system could be derived and defended on the basis of the Bible. Calvin’s greatest legacy was arguably not any doctrine,
but rather a demonstration of how the Bible could serve as a foundation of a stable understanding
of Christian belief and structures. [music] Another key thing that Calvin did for the city
was founding the University of Geneva in 1559. Calvin had a huge sway of influence over the
notable men and women of that time in the 1600s. His influence spread to England, Scotland,
France, Germany–it was far-reaching. In fact, from this city over 1700 preachers
were sent out to France alone. 1785 congregations were formed
in the country of France, and the preachers that were trained here had to
secretly make their way over to France. They used an underground network system similar to the one used by the French
during the Resistance in World War II. They would sneak across the border
and they would make their way from house to house until they reached their place of work
in the country of France. [music] One of the greatest things to happen here in Geneva
was the publishing of the Geneva Bible, the first English version that had numbered verses in it. The theme of the Reformation here in Geneva was
‘Post Tenebras Lux’, meaning ‘After Darkness Light’, and truly a lesson we can learn from the Reformation
here is that when God’s Word is studied, when it is read, it takes the darkness of our
minds away and brings light. May we study God’s Word,
may we spend time in God’s Word, that the darkness of our mind may be
removed by the light of God’s Word.


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