Today is Reformation Day. Did you know that? Happy Reformation Day! Here are some reasons why i believe that the Reformation is not only still boneshakingly important today, but also why i believe it is the second most significant moment in history not recorded in Scripture.
The Bible is the most important thing we have to help us to persevere as Christians. Where else are we to find a book that is God breathed? Where else are we to find a book that contains such good news? Nowhere? Where else are we to find a book that is useful for teaching and correction and rebuke? That tells us of our Savior? Nowhere. Lose the Word, and soon you're probably going to lose the virgin birth or the resurection or the bodily crucifixtion...lose those and you've lost Jesus. Lose Jesus, and you'll waste your life. The Reformation called people back to the Word of God, to a literal interpretation of it. The Reformation today calls people to live by every word the Lord speaks and to humbly submit to it. There is nothing more important than that. What would you rather listen to? Someone using vague 'biblical principle' to illustrate his point, or someone soaked in God's Word, handling it well, book by book, chapter by chapter, verse by verse to enthrone the Lord in our hearts? I know which one i'd choose.
It upsets me to my core that i live in a time where people are denying the all sufficiency of the cross of Christ. I want you to stop reading and say five times, out loud: penal substitution is true and vital...done that? Once more, penal substitution is true and vital. Some people have lost the message of the cross and liken the idea of propitiation to 'cosmic child abuse'. How dare they. How dare they compare and debase the wisdom of God in salvation to the grossest form of perversion there is. Where they rob God of His mighty Holiness. What sort of God do these people worship? Not the One i worship, thats for sure. Luther fought against this loss of Cross focus, which in his day took the form of paying for indulgences at church...salvation by works under another name. If we are to have a big view of God we must have a big view of the Cross and majesterial work and effectiveness. We must kneel at Calvary, staying close to it all our lives. Otherwise arrogance and pride are the results. The Reformation bought us back to the cross, and the Reformed superheroes since have carried on that work.
I have been blessed by being part of an amazing church, and it's probably because of that that i have such a passion for local Church. If you are a Christian and you're not committed to one local church...sort it out. Church should be the place where people feel safest of all, where people who have nowhere else to go can feel totally at home, where the lost and the broken can just come and sit, where single mums can bring their kids, where people who have been made to feel socially outcast can feel at home. That is church. People from every conceivable walk of life coming together in breathless gratitude and worship. Not somewhere where people are made to pay for their salvation (financially pay) or where they are made to feel like second class citizens if they can't. Not some sort of upper middle class social club where people dress up, drink coffee and pat eachother on the back. It should be somewhere where people are confronted with God's truth, where people are challenged and loved. Going to and hearing of some churches today, you get the impression that the Reformation was just something that happened to other people. I never want to be part of a church like that. The Reformation, bought us back to a model of church that is biblical, and for that, i am thankful.
Last, but never ever ever ever least ever ever ever, comes the Lord. Through some of the things i've just mentioned, which is in no way an extensive list, people were bought back to the Lord. By His word, His people and His truth, from the Reformation, many were saved. God did not let us slip into something that would condemn and judge us, and for that we should rejoice. He did not judge us by hardening our hearts, He gave us men to point us to the truth. Real life heros. And now, thanks to the work that started 489 years ago and continues the Reformed Tradition today, we have a much bigger, better and clearer view of God than we would have done otherwise. We have an actual view of God, and not some misguided view. We can be justified through faith, and know God through faith. Before the Reformation we were losing sight of these things.
The Reformation was pretty cool...anyone think we kind of need another one?
"None of these is without difficulty" - Last Sunday I preached from 1 Peter 3, on 'An Understated Journey'. *(Download the mp3 here: An Understated Journey - 1 Peter 3:13-22)* Most of which is d...
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