Issue 1292 – So What? – November 8, 2023
In light of Reformation Day, I was recently in a discussion about why the church should bother to recognize things like “Reformation Day.” After all, who cares about a bunch of dead theologians anyway? If we do celebrate, aren’t we making those people idols?
Those are fair questions.
Let me begin by making one thing perfectly clear. It is God who keeps and protects the gospel. Without the Holy Spirit working in the reformers and pre-reformers, the gospel would never have been “recovered.” That’s always been the way. It remains true in the pulpits in every congregation; God keeps some faithful to his gospel no matter what.
There is no danger of making any of the reformers into any sort of idol. Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of church history knows that they were all flawed people, some very profoundly so. That shouldn’t surprise anyone because the entire church, except for its head (Jesus), is a collection of flawed saints, justified by faith and in the process of being sanctified.
They bickered and fought with each other. They were often profoundly sinful. Even on critical issues, they often didn’t agree. That sounds like the church today. The followers of the reformers often went off the rails, but that isn’t any different than the church today.
The reformers were willing to give their lives for the truth of the gospel and to get the Scriptures into the hands of people in languages they could understand. Many were indeed martyred.
They brought back the truth that the Scriptures should be first and foremost where we source truth. They recovered the truth of salvation by faith alone.
Where would we be without a proper understanding of verses like:
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
They dragged us (sometimes unwittingly) out of religious systems that taught Scripture was trumped by human interpretation and salvation was in the hands of the “church.” They pulled us away from the lie of earning our salvation. We owe them a great deal.
They gave us the five solas,
Sola scriptura (“by Scripture alone”)
Sola fide (“by faith alone”
Sola gratia (“by grace alone”)
Solus Christus or Solo Christo (“Christ alone” or “through Christ alone”)
Soli Deo gloria (“glory to God alone”)
We might not use that terminology, and some might never have heard those phrases. Those five obscure Latin phrases lay out the truth as most Protestant Christians would understand it.
They don’t somehow override the Scripture or rob God of His glory. Instead, they point us to the value of the Word, salvation by faith in Christ by grace for the glory of God alone. The solas aren’t the Word, but they codify much of what we believe.
God uses the weak to confound the wise. He uses the ordinary to bring extraordinary change into the world.
Should we remember them? I think we ought to remember those who came before us. Guided by Holy Spirit, they carried the torch of truth in a dark era. Jesus is the Light, but he uses flawed people like the reformers, you and me to take the torch.
Thank God for the men and women who gave so much that the truth could be brought to people like you and me. May we never forget what it cost them to do so.
May we be found faithful to our Lord in keeping the torches lit.
Hallelu Yah / Praise God
Gleanings From The Word
Experience an extraordinary God in ordinary life.
Soli Deo Gloria (For the glory of God alone)
Please like and share this post with friends and your circle of influence. Also, feel free to comment.
Did you know that we have an email version? It has the same great content but in a different format. Subscribe today https://mailchi.mp/f27bbeb09c22/gleanings-1
All contents, “Gleanings From The Word” and “Experience an Extraordinary God in Ordinary Life,” are © 2001, 2023 KF “Kevin” Corbin Gleanings From The Word.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is from the English Standard Version (ESV).
#love #peace #hope #Gleanings #theWord #devotional #gospel #Christian #hope #encouragement #Biblestudy #faith #dailyBible #verseoftheday #grace #KevinCorbin #god #life #Jesus #father #son #HolySpirit #grace #mercy #hope
#reformation #reformers #prereformers #martyrs #solas #fivesolas