Christ Reformed Church at Indian Creek

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Pastor Scott

“500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation”

This October 31, 2017, will mark the five-hundredth anniversary of the Reformation. That’s the date (“All Saint’s Day Eve/All Hallowed’s Eve”) that Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Church. That day in 1517 has proven to be one of the most important events in the history of the world! Indeed, many evangelicals trace their beginnings to this moment that launched the Protestant Reformation, which we of course consider ourselves heirs. I hope the History is a familiar one, but for everyone’s benefit, a quick summary will help us understand better what we are commemorating, as well as aid us in explaining to others why this event is worth our commemoration!

The Church in the West began to give in to the sins of pride, arrogance and avarice. The Scriptures were placed on equal footing with Church tradition and  the edicts/bulls of councils and Popes. The basic tenants of the faith were forgotten and replaced with a system of sacrementalism, works righteousness and merit. All of which of course was superintended by the Roman Church. As power tends to corrupt, the conditions in the Church grew increasingly wicked and perverse! Thankfully, as God has always preserved for Himself a remnant, He did so through pockets of Godly men and women, which included the likes of Jan Hus (Bohemia) and John Wycliffe (England). Both men, as well as hundreds of others later, were burned at the stake (in Wycliffe’s case, his body was exhumed from the ground and his bones burned because he had died before his excommunication and sentence as a heretic could be carried out) for daring to translate the Scriptures and preach the Gospel in their native language.

Luther, an Augustinian Monk, traveled to Rome and was appalled to see the avarice, perversion and gluttony displayed by the Church.  His eyes were also opened to the “righteousness of God” as he studied the Letter to the Romans. At nearly the same time (circa 1517) Ulrich Zwingli, a Priest from Zurich Switzerland, began to see the stark difference between what was taught by Rome, and what was taught by the Scriptures! Other visionary pastors and leaders like John Calvin spearheaded a movement that transformed Christianity and eventually led to the emergence of the Protestant denominations that exist today. These first generation Reformers were guided by the conviction that the church of their day had drifted away from the essential, original teachings of Christianity, especially in regard to what it was teaching about salvation—how people can be forgiven of sin through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and receive eternal life with God.
The Reformation sought to re-orient Christianity to the original message of Jesus Christ in His Gospel, the Apostles as delivered unto them and the early Church Fathers (Polycarp of Smyrna, Athanasius of  Alexandria, Clement of Rome, Irenaeus and others), as well as Gregory the Great (to whom many point to as the First Pope in Rome).

The five solos (sola scriptura-"by Scripture alone", sola fide- "by faith alone", sola gratia- "by grace alone", solo Christo- "through Christ alone” and soli Deo Gloria- "glory to God alone") of the Protestant Reformation offered a strong corrective to the faulty practices and beliefs of the time, and they remain relevant today. We as Christians are called to focus on the Scriptures alone as our final authority in faith and practice, accept salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, and to live for God’s glory alone.

Today we see God’s word again being subject to ridicule and derision. As Satan first said so long ago, “Hath God truly said…?”, the truth of God’s eternal word is being questioned yet again! We see this primarily in the realm of anthropology- Who or what is man (mankind/humanity)? Are we created in “the imagine of God”? Is there a divine design to our being? As Jesus said to the skeptics of His day, “Have you not heard that in the beginning God created them male and female” (Mark 10:6)? Satan has blinded the unbelievers of our day, just as he has unbelievers of every generation since the beginning. Today there is just as much a need for a Reformation as there was 500 years ago! For wherever and whenever the Word of God comes under attack, those who are faithful MUST take their stand! To do otherwise, is neither safe nor sound!

Pastor Scott

Christ Reformed Church at Indian Creek

171 Church Road

Telford, PA 18969

office@christ-reformed-church.org

215-723-7338


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