Happy Anniversary

Published on Mar 29th, 2017 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. I don’t know about you but my calendar is packed with anniversary parties. I am wearing out my Martin Luther costume. While we may kid about the real amount of parties we go to (I have been to one weekend party/conference and we did not dress up) we cannot deny the impact that the Reformation has had on our lives and how we worship. So much of what we believe has been shaped by agreeing or disagreeing with what the Reformers taught. Their courage and desire to know what God had truly said in his word, apart from what the church was teaching, set a fire that effects believers today. A summary of the what the Reformer taught is found in their five solas. The five solas are five Latin phrases (or slogans) that summarize the Reformers’ theological convictions about the essentials of Christianity.

The Five Solas are:

  1. Sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”): The Bible alone is our highest authority.

  2. Sola Fide (“faith alone”): We are saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ.

  3. Sola Gratia (“grace alone”): We are saved by the grace of God alone.

  4. Solus Christus (“Christ alone”): Jesus Christ alone is our Lord, Savior, and King.

  5. Soli Deo Gloria (“to the glory of God alone”): We live for the glory of God alone.

Even as I read those five convictions I am moved by the depth of faith and the soberness of life that each of those bring. I wonder how Martin Luther, or John Calvin, or Huldrych Zwingli would fair in our church services today? Would they find the same level of conviction for the great truths of the Word of God? Would they find the awe of God in each service that leads to worship that is reverent, God centered, and full of joy? Would they find a group of people who would be willing to die for what they believe in and who recognize the responsibility given to them to protect the truth for the next generation? Would they find the Word of God boldly proclaimed as the Spirit of God moves the hearts of people?

I believe the answer to those questions on a personal level may be iffy but on a corporate level I believe that they would find a remnant of churches that God is using to further his kingdom. God always has a group of his children that he is using be salt and light in this dark world. Some may be fully aware of how the Reformers were used in the Kingdom and some may have no clue. Either way, as they meet together they keep the Word of God as their authority and they keep Jesus Christ lifted up in his proper place. The reason that happens is because it happens in their lives each day. They recognize that today is a day gifted by God to bring him glory in all that they do and say. They spend time in the life giving words of Scripture each day and they seek the filling of the Spirit of God. They are filled with great joy and they are sobered by the grace and mercy shown to them by their awesome God. The question of whether or not they would give their life for their beliefs is irrelevant to them at this time but in reality they have a great realization that their life is not their own and they give their life each day to the Savior. If God, one day, calls for them to give their life, they know God will fill their mouth with what to say. Today, though, they will continue to serve him and give him glory.

But like I said before, this is iffy. Some live today as if it is their own. The precious, life giving Word of God is left to Sunday…if they make it to church. Today is a day filled with appointments, things to do, and children to shuttle around. There is no time to think about how Jesus died to give us this day to live for him. Of course we are thankful but we must use what he has given us to its fullest and we must be good stewards of it all. That hand they feel on their back pushing them must be God’s hand as he asks them to do and be more. Being still and knowing he is God is in the schedule but…

We have a choice today. The Reformers had a choice. Continue to live life and to worship as our lives dictate or go back to the Word of God and live and worship as God’s Word dictates. Allow our lives to be God centered or keep our lives focused on our desires and our schedules. Scripture alone. Faith alone. Grace alone. Christ alone. To the glory of God alone.


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