Happy Reformation Day
May the Lord bless you on this special day and make his amazing grace even more greatly impressed upon our minds. What a rich heritage we have been blessed with in enjoying the ongoing effects of the Protestant Reformation, often marked by this day in 1517. Aside from the tremendous impact this period had in shaping our western culture, leading to freedom politically, economically, etc. – this movement was truly a recovery of the gospel from the darkness characteristic of medieval times. As was said of this era - “After darkness, light”.
Today I am thankful to be able to wear a shirt I recently ordered which quotes Luther’s observation, “Simul justus et peccator” , that is, “Justified and a sinner at the same time”. What an important truth that we are not inherently righteous, nor even yet made righteous, but we are declared righteous by God due purely to the righteousness of Christ. As Augustine observed over a millennium before the Reformation, any good within us is of God, whereas any evil is of ourselves. How appropriate for us to be humbled under the continual sin that troubles us, breaking down our pride, and to give all glory to God for counting us righteous due only to the righteousness and atonement of His holy Son! He saved us purely of His own good pleasure!
We are thankful for our inherent inability, because in us the glory and power of God can be made known.
And so with the brothers of old, we say:
1) Grace alone! (What a precious truth! All praise and glory to our Maker for His underserved favor in choosing and saving us.)
2) Faith alone! (… and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. God has given us faith, of His own free will!)
3) Christ alone! (The only way! This also reminds us that the gospel of Christ must be preached – the internal saving call is accompanied by the external call of the gospel! God has ordained not only the ends but the means of salvation!)
4) Scripture alone! (We still appreciate and find great help in the creeds and confessions of the historic church, but the Word of God is our final rule and authority for God’s revealed truth. Praise Him for it, and let’s continue to be in the Word all the more!)
5) The glory of God alone! (This is what life is all about! As His dear children He graciously allows us to enjoy His glory forever, but He is the only one worthy! We must always point to His glory and nobody else’s.)
Grace – all of Grace!
Happy Reformation Day.