Monday, August 8, 2016

4:12 Series - Jane Grey

Only seventeen, Jane was deeply devoted to the Lord and His Word. But it had gotten her into very serious trouble. Privileged Upbringing

Jane was born into one of the most powerful families of England (in stark contrast to our previous hall-of-famer, John Brown). She was the grand-daughter of Princess Mary Tudor, the sister of King Henry VIII.

But she was privileged in another way. Her father, Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, was a strong supporter of the Protestant Reformation in England. He made sure that Jane learned the Scriptures, and by God's grace she developed a deep love for Christ and strong biblical convictions.

In Over Her Head

Noble-born and strong in faith, young Jane was sure to be a great help to the Reformation in England. But before she had the chance, crisis struck.

Her uncle, King Edward VI, was dying. He and Jane were about the same age, and shared the same love for the gospel. During his reign he had championed the Reformation in England. Now, he wanted to secure its future even after his death.

But he had to act quickly. His half-sister, Mary, was next-in-line to the throne, and she was a staunch enemy of the gospel. So, on his deathbed, Edward nominated Jane as his successor.

Though this caught Jane completely off guard, she bravely accepted her duty. The people, however, rejected her in favor of Mary. After only nine days of being queen, Jane was dethroned and Mary crowned the new queen. Poor Jane was convicted of treason and sentenced to death.

Standing Firm in the Faith

While Jane awaited execution, Mary sent a priest to convert her. She stood firm, however, in a way that would have made the Apostle Peter proud (1 Peter 3:15) When the priest insisted that she ought

to believe in the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, she replied,
No, I ground my faith upon God’s word, and not upon the church: for if the church be a good church, the faith of the church must be tried by God’s word, and not God’s word by the church....
She writes, "my faith had armed my resolution to withstand any assault that words could then use against me."

A Brave Death

Soon, execution day came. Jane testified to the people gathered in front of the scaffold, saying,
I pray you all, good Christian people, to bear me witness, that I die a good Christian woman, and that I do look to be saved by no other mean, but only by the mercy of God in the blood of his only Son Jesus Christ: and I confess, that when I did know the word of God, I neglected the same, loved myself and the world, and therefore this plague and punishment is happily and worthily happened unto me for my sins; and yet I thank God, that of his goodness he hath thus given me a time and a respite to repent and now, good people, while I am alive, I pray you assist me with your prayers.
Then she recited a Psalm and prepared for the end. The executioner kneeled down and asked for her forgiveness, which she gladly gave. She had only one request: "I pray you, despatch me quickly." She leaned over the executioner's block, and seconds before the blade fell, she said, "Lord, into thy hands I commend my spirit."

Lady Jane died when she was only seventeen years old, but her steadfast love for the Lord and strong convictions were a breathtaking testimony to everyone who witnessed them.


  1. Hanson, Marilee. "Lady Jane Grey – Facts, Biography, Information & Portraits".
  2. Eric Ives, "Conference with Dr. Feckenham"
  3. John Foxe, Fox's Book of Martyr's.
  4. Carter Lindberg, The European Reformations.

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