Celebrating the Reformation

Submitted by Michael Thompson on Thu, 12/06/2018 - 6:00am
The Daily Orientation

 

These things I have written to you … so that you may know that you have eternal life.

1 John 5:12–13

Your salvation can’t be lost, and it can’t be preserved through effort and works. Today, embrace the message of a second Reformation—grace that transforms. God’s grace is unexpected, unearned, unending, unwavering, unmerited, undeserved, and not something we can ever repay. Your ongoing and ever deepening friendship with God must be based on the re-forming, transforming truth that our gracious God delights in you, His child. Today, wrap your head around the radical truth that God’s love for you is causeless (you can do nothing to earn or deserve it), ceaseless (He will never stop loving you), and measureless (God’s love is infinite, never changing, never ending). Even though the apostle John was over ninety years old, and a follower of Christ for over sixty years, he still marveled at the extent of God’s love and at his status as God’s son:

What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it— we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are.

1 John 3:1–2 (MSG)

In his book, Stages of Faith, Don Willet writes about the Saving Grace of the First Reformation of Luther:

One of the major issues that concerned Luther pertained to the matter of church officials selling “indulgences” to the people as a means of releasing them from having to perform penance for their misdeeds. Indulgences were also claimed by the Church to limit the amount of time the purchaser’s loved ones would have to spend in Purgatory. “As soon as the penny jingles into the money-box, the soul flies out [of purgatory].” Luther exposed the teaching that people could literally buy their way into the kingdom of God or buy God’s approval. The 95 Theses exposed saving grace—salvation is through faith in Christ alone. Martin was part of one of the most momentous changes in the history of the church. He brought the simplicity of a personal relationship with Jesus to our attention. God doesn’t grade on a curve!

He continues about the Transforming Grace of The Second Reformation:

Today–almost five hundred years later–we need a second Reformation! The “Wittenburg Door” of every church needs to post the neglected truth of Transforming Grace. What needs to be revealed is the radical truth that authentic spiritual growth and deep transformation is through faith in Christ alone. Yes, Martin Luther had discovered the assurance of his salvation and saving grace. But, the first Reformation didn’t go far enough, failing to broadcast the message of [Transforming] Grace. Salvation is just the beginning of a friendship with God. Yes, the believer is totally accepted, and forgiveness is final and complete.

Don Willet, Stages of Faith.

You and I are a part of something so Large. History was crafted in such a way that you and I could step into it. We are a part of something that will be passed on. How we live, how we love, our choices driven from deep beliefs hold futures in sway. Like a little monk 500 years ago, all of us can step into a moment that will make history, if not for millions than maybe just for one. I’ve always loved history, and this part of church history reminds me there is always much going on in the Kingdom, and my part, like yours, is very important. There is no substitute for your life or mine. God has something for us today … I pray you have eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to engage it.

An excerpt from The Warrior's Heart Blog. Learn more here.

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