OK, I can't say I am in the mood for anything much. Thanks to my ultra-busy schedule especially at this time of the year (see the entry for today on my personal blog), my brain is not functioning as it should. I really do need to get some sleep soon...
Anyway, tomorrow 31st October is Reformation Day which celebrates the beginning of the Great Protestant Reformation which broke the chains of the Roman church-state who has taken the true Church of our Lord Jesus Christ captive and free her to once again worship God and to be able to be used as God's instrument to bring about the salvation of countless sinners throughout the world. As children of the Reformation, we are indebted to the countless sacrifices that especially the early Reformers paid to secure for us the availability of the Word of God and to rediscover the great truths of the Gospel which was obscured for hundreds of years.
Now, even as we relish in the freedom we have in Christ, let us not forget the Gospel truths which were rediscovered for us by the ealy Reformers, lest we as the Body of Christ sink back into our former ignorance and return back to captivity (2 Peter 2:22). Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses (Heb. 12:1), let us lay aside every weight and run the race set before us, ever following our Lord Jesus Christ who is the embodiment of all these precious truths which were recovered in the Reformation.
So what are the truths that are recovered in the Reformation? The truths can be mainly summed up in the 5 Solas of the Reformation: Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Solus Christus, Sola Scriptura & Soli Deo Gloria. Or rather, in English: Faith alone, Grace alone, Christ alone, Scripture alone and For God's glory alone.
Faith alone basically that we are saved by believing in Christ, not on account of our works or our 'goodness', but solely because we believe in Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. This doctrine of salvation by faith alone thus go against any works-based system and tell us that we can never save ourselves, but salvation is a free gift which is to be received by people who are broken before the Lord; who despair of salvation as it is humanly unattainable and thus all Man justly deserve the punishment of God in condemnation to eternal hellfire. Thus sorrowful of their sins, they come to the Lord on HIS terms and receive the free gift of salvation which Christ has purchased for them.
Grace alone is the doctrine that the salvation of men is by grace from the beginning to the end. Salvation is thus not dependent on anything anyone has done, but it is based on God's own pleasure to give grace to some unto salvation. As an extension of faith alone, it totally shatters the pride of Man by removing any ground whatsoever to boast, since the determining reason why one person is saved and the other person is not due to good works or the person being smarter in choosing Christ, but is due to God's own good pleasure in choosing His elect unto salvation and leaving the reprobates unto damnation as they willingly continue in their path of disobedience. Since though we are once like the world in its decadence and rebellion, but now am saved by the exceeding mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in His great mercy (Eph. 2:1-9) draw us out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9), let us in humility praise God and give Him all the glory for the salvation that He has purchased on our behalf which we do not even deserve to partake of even one small bit.
Christ alone. This doctrine of salvation in Christ alone recovered the proper object of worship from the Roman church-state, who added statues of saints and of Mary to be 'venerated', which is in actual fact little different from idolatry except in the semantic realm. Our focus should thus be on Christ and His atoning sacrifice on the Cross which paid the full price for our sins, having made full satisfaction for all of them. We are to worship Christ alone, and not idols made up of our own imagination or by our own sinful desires (i.e. Mammon), and definitely not departed saints like what apostate Rome does and commands.
Scripture alone is the doctine that only Scripture has primary authority in the lives and beliefs of Christians, and thus everything we do and believe must be subject to Scripture. It is the doctrine which we in this present age have witnessed being savagely attacked and derided, even from professing Christians. From the out and out heretics like the liberals who deny the deity of Christ and the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ our Lord; to the Neo-Orthodox heretics like Karl Barth who turned the Bible into a subjective, errant text; to the Word Faith Charismatic movement with its adherents like Benny Hinn who play fast and loose with the Word of God under the pretext of 'receiving direct revelation from the Holy Spirit', and sometimes even contradicting Scripture; and lastly to the Emerging Church Movement with its postmodernism and its denial of certain, objective truth (and don't ask me how they can be certain of the 'correctness' of their denial), this foundational doctrine of authentic, biblical, evangelical Christianity is under heavy attack. Satan definitely knows the epistemological foundation of our entire Christian faith is the Word of God, and thus he expands huge amounts of energy in trying to remove it from the lives of Christians so that they could be rendered weak and ineffective and thus bring disgrace to the cause of Christ. It is thus a most pressing need of the moment for us to cling on to this precious doctrine again as in the days of the Reformation, as our entire faith epistemologically depends on it, and our growth and our effectiveness in ministry also depends on it.
Finally in all things, we do them for the glory of God alone. Since God is God, who is our Creator and our Redeemer, He demands our total obedience and worship. For His mercy towards us in our salvation which is all of grace, he deserves ALL our praises, ALL our thanks, ALL our worship, and ALL the glory. Therefore, in whatever we do, we ought to do it for the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31) and that alone should be our primary motive in everything we did and ever will do
With this short exposition of these Reformation slogans, let us meditate on these precious truths of the Reformation especially as Reformation Day approaches and truly once again return back to God to worship Him in reverence and in awe. Also, may we embrace these truths in our hearts (NOTE: NOT head knowledge) and let them transform us in our walk with Him, our service towards Him and our witness for Him, in order to bring glory to His marvelous name.
Now to Him who is able to strenghten us according to the Gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the mystery that has now been disclosed to bring about the obedience of faith — to the only wise God, be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen. (Rom. 16:25-27)