The Need For Another Reformation
Reform (footings), Renew, Restore, Revive … TRUTH
500 yr. Celebration – going back to truth.
Psalm 119:160 The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever. John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
Slogan: Times change, truth does not.
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 8:31-32 If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Even in Rev. 2 and 3 the churches needed reformation, but it begins within.
~Church Fathers era
~Approx. 391 Christianity becomes official religion of Empire.
Ideally – separate but interwoven.
In 1384, John Wycliffe, the morning star of the reformation, died of a stroke in England — then John Hus (goose) – then William Tyndale (“a plough-boy would know more of the Scriptures than [the church].”) — then Luther.
The true church is Christ’s Church built 2000 years ago that holds to His teachings – not perfectly, but they tighten their grip when needed.
Key for us today too:
1. Sola scriptura: “Scripture alone” – 2 Tim. 3:16 KJV All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
GotQuestions.org: a New Testament book was truly inspired by the Holy Spirit if: 1) The author was an apostle or had a close connection with an apostle. 2) The book was accepted by the body of Christ at large. 3) The book contains consistency of doctrine and orthodox teaching? 4) The book bears evidence of high moral and spiritual values that would reflect a work of the Holy Spirit? Again, it is crucial to remember that the church did not determine the canon. No early church council decided on the canon. It was God, and God alone, who determined which books belonged in the Bible. It was simply a matter of God’s imparting to His followers what He had already decided. The human process of collecting the books of the Bible was flawed, but God, in His sovereignty, and despite our ignorance and stubbornness, brought the early church to the recognition of the books He had inspired.
Fox News Debate
2. Sola fide: “faith alone” – Romans 5:1 KJV – Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:8 KJV For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God…
Faith has shoes called ‘works’…
3. Sola gratia: “grace alone” – Romans 3:24 KJV – Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
4. Solo Christo: “Christ alone” – Matthew 7:21 KJV – Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. John 14:6 KJV – Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
5. Soli Deo gloria: “to the glory of God alone” – 1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Individual reformation leads to larger change.
No Reformation without accepting the Holy Spirit’s correction and guidance.
How does salt lose it savor and its preserving effect? How do churches, pastors, and Christians fall away?
An outside influence – moisture.
An internal change in our taste buds: something in us is changing…drifting.
SOLA ACTION: 1. Put feet to our faith – It’s been said – “We’re professing believers, but practical atheists.”
HM, CM, Homeless, Waterwells.
2. Go back to the old paths.
Wycliffs who stood so unyielding for the truth that he was called The Morning Star… Tyndales and Huss’ who were burned at the stake. Luthers who, when asked to recant or face possible execution, said, “Here I stand; I can do no other”? John Calvins – John Knoxs who cried, “Give me Scotland [for the cause of Christ] or I die”?
Whitefields who shook continents? John Wesleys who said, “Give me one hundred men who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and we will shake the gates of hell?” Brainerds who spent so much time in prayer. McCheynes who, even though he died at age twenty-nine. Moodys who brought America to her knees? Where are the Puritans like Richard Baxter, who said with such humility, “I speak as a dying man to dying men”?
Our prayer – Psalm 25:5 Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.
Lead me to Your truth…teach me!
For You I wait: Hurry Is the enemy of devotion (retreat).
Our action – Lamentations 3:40-41 Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the Lord; let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven.
Search – Examine and investigate – does my lifestyle line up with God’s Word, or do I need to tighten my grip?
If not, I need to turn back.