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500 years on – does the reformation still matter?

This will be the theme for a series of sermons and studies we undertake as a church in Term 2.  A number of churches in the shire are also doing this.  It will also be the topic for a Wednesday night seminar by the Principal of Moore College, Dr mark Thompson at 7.30pm on 26th April.  I’m hoping that we can start our LIFE groups the following week so that as many of us as possible can attend.

The fundamental question for every human being is and of the Reformation is, ‘How can a sinner like me stand before God on the Day of Judgement?’

Does this still matter? There is only one answer.     This year we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The Christian faith and the Church appeared early in Britain. But over the years, the teaching of the Church sadly obscured the good news of the Gospel of Jesus.  By embracing the doctrine of the Protestant Reformers, the Church of England returned to its biblical foundations. It was not a new Church, but the Church “reformed”. Our English Bible, our Prayer Book and the Articles of Religion were the product of those who were prepared to lay down their very lives for the truths which had gripped them. As far as they were concerned, the gospel itself was at stake. And that was more important than institutional unity.

The Protestant Reformation of the 16th century changed Christianity forever. Roused to action by the corruption and abuses they saw in the Church of the time, visionary pastors and leaders like Martin Luther and John Calvin spearheaded a movement that transformed Christianity and eventually led to the emergence of the Protestant denominations that exist today. The Reformation sought to re-orient Christianity on the original message of Jesus and the early church.

The Five Solas are five Latin phrases that emerged during the Reformation to summarize the Reformers’ theological convictions about the essentials of Christianity.

The Five Solas are:

  1. Sola Fide (“Faith alone”): We are saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
  2. Sola Gratia (“Grace alone”): We are saved by the grace of God alone.
  3. Sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”): The Bible alone is our highest authority.
  4. Solus Christus (“Christ alone”): Jesus Christ alone is our Lord, Saviour, and King.
  5. Soli Deo Gloria (“to the glory of God alone”): We live for the glory of God alone.

We’ll do bibles studies on the first four solas plus four reformation outcomes:

  • Prayer and worship
  • Marriage and family
  • Work and vocation
  • Church and state

Your brother in Christ, Graham Crew