Words mean things. Jesus is The WORD. When preachers preach the word, they are preaching The WORD. When preachers preach the word it bears with it the WORD. “The Word is the manger and the swaddling clothes in which Christ is laid”, Luther said. From the word comes other words that define the doctrines that the word bears to us. Doctrines like justification and sanctification are couched in words that try and bring home to us divine truths of what Christ has done and still does to save us. Declaring us righteous and making us holy are the ways that God brings us the benefits Christ won for us on the cross.
For me this is where things get interesting because from the word that bears the WORD all other words derive their meaning. If they do not they can and do become meaningless. Progress is a word like that. What does progress look like today? By almost any measure what accounts for progress today is going backwards from what was once considered progress.
G. K. Chesterton was a writer and a Catholic who used words like weapons and understood the fact that words mean things….here is what he said.
“Progress, properly understood, has, indeed, a most dignified and legitimate meaning. But as used in opposition to precise moral ideals, it is ludicrous. So far from it being the truth that the ideal of progress is to be set against that of ethical or religious finality, the reverse is the truth. Nobody has any business to use the word “progress” unless he has a definite creed and a cast- iron code of morals. Nobody can be progressive without being doctrinal; I might almost say that nobody can be progressive without being infallible— at any rate, without believing in some infallibility. For progress by its very name indicates a direction; and the moment we are in the least doubtful about the direction, we become in the same degree doubtful about the progress.”