During the month of October we have explored the history of the Reformation, leading up to this special day, October 31, 2017, the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation! For all those who call themselves "Protestant," this should be an extremely joyful and deeply moving time. Without the courage of men like Martin Luther and others, the religious world may look very different. The Reformation still matters! Grace, faith, Christ, God's glory, and Scripture alone are still our central themes! Here we stand!
We urge you to pause and consider the implications of the Reformation on your life in 2017. Here are several reflections from conference leaders and pastors on how the Reformation has specifically impacted their lives and ministries:
Our Need: A Bible Reading People
"As I think about the reformers, I am deeply moved by their passion that people have the Bible available in their own language. Tyndale’s passion that even the plowboys among the English should know the Bible well was not about dumbing down the Bible translation into colloquial language, but about making the Bible—the whole Bible—available to everyone to read for themselves, rather than limiting people only to hearing what religious leaders (specifically the Pope) thought was important. We have the Bible available, but many people never bother to read it! What can we do to get people today to read seriously, pray fervently, and obey specifically? That’s our need!" (Timothy Cooley, Sr.)
God Delights to Share His Glory With Us
"One of the key truths that is revealed from a study of the Reformation is that God delights to share His glory with us. Not only is the Bible our sole authority but its' Author can be personally known and thoroughly enjoyed. As we live in obedience to His Word we can be rewarded by His smile of approval on our life, and by our assurance of eternal life in heaven. It is a joy to know Him and to live for Him!" (Alan Walter)
Preach the Bible: No More or Less
“The reformers have been an inspiration in countless ways: from Hus' courage in the face of persecution, to Luther's commitment to the Word of God, to Calvin's passion for God's glory. I am especially challenged by their common devotion to "Scripture alone" in preaching and teaching. The pulpit was moved to the center of Protestant churches and a more careful, expository approach to preaching was taken. The importance of clearly and simply expounding on what the Bible says, nothing more or less, cannot be overstated. The Word of God does the work of God! There is such a temptation to be clever with illustrations and outlines — what people really need is to understand the transformational Word of God! May God help us all to do the hard work of exposition." (Johnathan Arnold)
The Power of God's Word
The Protestant Reformation liberated untold millions from the darkness of an evil empire. One man stands courageously at the center of this great Spiritual Revolution. Martin Luther was a man of uncommon bravery. He came to believe in the Power of God's Word when he discoverd that justification is by faith. His solemn protest against the established Church (the Ninety-Five Theses at Wittenberg) eventually led to the translation and printing of the New Testament in the German language. This was the genius of the Reformation that brought lasting change in the world: the Word of God for the common man. This is the crying need of the twenty-first century. The Bible is no longer chained to the pulpit. Instead in many places across the world it lies buried under the daily newspaper or the latest novel. The masses have lost their interest in the Word of God. We must find a way to arouse that sacred curiosity which now lays dormant in the jaded breasts of mankind. When we do, we too shall have all the Forces of Heaven to our aid." (Jeremy Fuller)
Don't Underestimate Your Influence
"While thinking about the Reformation, one thing especially stands out to me: the awesome influence that one man, though one of many reformers, had on this earth because he dared to step out and do something different! I am convinced that Martin Luther had no idea how his actions would affect mankind for the next 500 years. What are we doing to influence the world around us? Oh, how we need a new reformation of Christianity and Holiness in our day that would have an effect on generations to come!"
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Dr. Timothy Cooley, Sr.
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