Volume. XXVI, No. 18
Sunday, 30 October 2011


The 21st Century Reformation-Part 2


The Supreme Authority of the Scripture: The Driving Force of Reformation

The Reformation in Luther’s time was grounded upon the verbally and divinely inspired, infallible and inerrant Word of God. The whole church of the 21st century is divided between those who believe and accept the Bible as the pure Word of God and those who insist that it is a human book filled with errors, myths, half-truths and contradictions. Dr. Francis Schaeffer was right when he called biblical inerrancy “the watershed issue” now confronting the church.

Luther, Zwingli, Calvin and other Reformers believed in the infallibility of Scripture, not in the infallibility of fallible pontiff or church councils. They accepted at face value what the Apostle Paul rightfully declared: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim 3:16). When Paul visited the Bereans, “they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11). Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and scribes for “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.” (Mark 7:7-8). Until and unless Christians return to the Reformation principle of “Scripture alone” in determining their beliefs and practices, and walk in humble obedience to the same, reformation and revival will remain an unrealised experience.

The Deception of the “Great Harlot”

Like Luther, Christians today too must stand on Scripture alone, not on the traditions of churches or on some whims and fancies of fallible men. As the Westminster Confessions affirm, “The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.’ (Chapter I, 10)

Many church leaders and Bible teachers today would have us believe that doctrinal differences between Protestants, Roman Catholics and even Christian cults and non-Christian religions no longer exist. This deception is helping to usher in the great harlot church prophesied in Revelation 17! Let us be clear with one thing – not a single doctrine within the Roman Catholic Church that brought about the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century has been rescinded but reaffirmed by the second Vatican council in 1962-65. Indeed, many new doctrines and teachings have been promulgated by the pontiffs and councils throughout the years since the Reformation.

As for other world religions, let it be stated that the Word of God refutes any notion that the God of the Bible will co-exist with false gods of other Satan-inspired religions no matter how noble and decent it may seem. There is but one true God—He is the God of the Bible! (Deut 6:4) He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and He is the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, His eternal Son of God. The Satan-inspired ecumenical movement today calls upon everyone to lay aside doctrines and come together in Jesus, but under which Jesus are we to unite? Is it the Jesus Christ of the New Testament whose atonement covers all our sins, without any merit on our part? Or, is it the Jesus of the cults whose atonement still requires our personal works and sufferings to achieve our salvation? Or, Jesus of the Islam who merely accepts Him as a great prophet? Shall we all come together under the banner of the apostate church’s Jesus who denies sin, judgment and hell?

If we are willing to close our eyes to revealed truth in the written Word of God, if we are willing to compromise our convictions and foundational doctrines, then a unbiblical type of Christian unity will not be far off. The Psalmist rightly says, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3) But if we want to be unified in the truth, we must search the Scriptures and obey God’s every Word out of love, for Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments”. (John 14:15) We must not be part of the great ecumenical deception of the “harlot” that seeks to unite all Christians by blending truth and error which was the Edenic lie that expulsed us from the Garden. The great Apostle warns us, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” (Col. 2:8). The Word of God reveals that true Christian unity already exists among those who embrace and obey God’s Word. Our Lord prayed, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth… That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee” (John 17:17,21a).

Each year it seems that fewer Protestant churches celebrate Reformation Day. Instead, observances are often marked by ecumenical services and apologies for the divisions caused by our forefathers. At a symposium sponsored by Concordia College (ELCA) Moorhead, Minnesota, October 31-November 2, 2004, Roman Catholics and Lutherans gathered under the theme “The Future of the Reformation Tradition.” According to a press release, “the presenters agreed that whatever the future brings, the past is mostly past.” The Rev. Mark Hanson, presiding bishop of the ELCA, said he believes “Martin Luther prayed for the day when Lutherans and Catholics would again be united.” Bishop Victor Balke, head of the Catholic Diocese of Crookston, Minnesota, stated: “Really, it was a matter of language the churches used and not truth.” It is a sad, indeed, when Protestant leaders feel that they must apologise for the Reformers’ courageous stand on the Word of God. The Protestant Reformation came about as men and women of God were moved by the Holy Spirit to stand upon and proclaim Scripture’s foundational truths—Grace alone, Faith alone, and Scripture alone!

Conclusion

A reformation in the 21st century is possible if we Christians will find our voices and reaffirm our reformed heritage and stand where our spiritual forefathers stood—upon the unalterable Word of God! The Bible stands, regardless of all efforts to discredit its truth by the theological liberals and workers of iniquities posed as angels of light. God’s Word is pure and powerful and will stand throughout the ages! The Bible is our guide for all of life, yes, and even eternity. It is a book of comfort for the broken souls, a book of hope for those in despair and sadness. God’s Word convicts of sin and leads the repentant sinners to heaven by the road of Calvary! Only through the inspired, infallible and inerrant Word of God will the church ever find the pathway to revival and reformation! All glory be unto the LORD!

Ps Weng

 


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

*Kitchen Roster: Team Leader: Bro Cong Pham. Next Lord’s Day: Dns Joyce Gong.

*Warm Welcome to Sis Myung Ki.

*Hope Bookstore - open 12.30-1.45pm.

*Congratulations - Bro Tevi & Sis Edna Obed (Vanuatu) on the birth of twins (son & daughter); Bro Pee-Yau & Sis Kim Tan (Melb) on the birth of a son.

*Fellowship Lunch today is catered: $5 per person, Free for under 5 years old.

*Reminder: Today is Reformation Sunday. Remember to stand stedfast “for the faith that was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3).

*Christmas Concert invitation cards on literature table. Please distribute them to your family, relatives & friends.

Praise and Thanksgiving

1. Journey mercies: Ps Ki (London) & Sis Myung Ki; Bro Joseph & Sis Chrisanthi Selvanayagam & family (Adl); Bro Raymond & Sis Swee Yee Chia (S’pore); Bro Raphael Ng (Adl/Pt Aug/Adl); Sisters Christabelle Selvanayagam & Iris Surman (Adl); & others who have arrived at their destinations. 

2. Church activities - over the past week.

3. God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.

4. 21th Anniversary Thanksgiving - Maranatha B-P Church (S’pore) today.

5. Births of twins for Bro Tevi & Sis Edna Obed, & a son for Bro Pee-Yau & Sis Kim Tan.

Prayer Items

1. Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren; Rev & Mrs James White; Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser;  Bro Len & Sis Margaret Pearson; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Auntie Oei; Bro Elton Law; Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth, Margaret Hooper, Irena Kurek-Braden (NSW), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Lehia Paauwe (Per), & Susan Varadi; Mr Swee Liang Ng (Bro Raphael’s father); Mr Tony Wong (Bro John’s father); Mrs. Chuilin Yap (Malacca); & others in affliction. 

2. Sisters Lai Kheng Chiong (Gleneagles Hosp - KL) & Myung Ki (Adl) - Speedy recovery & healing.

3. Dn Tony Law (Tas) - healing from injuries sustained from a fall.

4. Cambodia Missions - Rev Stephen Choi & Ministry (Phnom Penh); Rev Luke Kim & Ministry (Veal Renh).

5. Ministry in New Life BPC (London): Ps & Sis Ki; Ps Ki’s Ministry in South Korea next week.

6. Batam Missions - Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry; Next year’s missions trip: 4 - 7 Jan 2012.

7. iSketch&Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry - Pr HS Lim (Melb).

8. IBPFM (USA) - Missionaries around the world.

9. Ps & Sis Weng - Ministry in Hope BPC.

10. Ministry in New Life BPC, London - Ps & Sis Ki;

11. Presbyterian Missionary Union - Missionaries.

12. Hopefuls in S’pore; In Kuching: Teo family.

13. House of Hope, Cebu, Philippines.

14. Journey mercies: Ps Ki (S Korea); Bro Raymond & Sis Swee Yee Chia (Adl); Bro Raphael Ng (Pt Aug/Adl); & all those travelling.

15. Logos International School (Phnom Penh) - Bro Peter Koo

16. God’s comfort: Rev & Mrs Stephen Choi; Mr Gregory Tan (late Mrs Valeryn’s husband).

17. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin & Korean.

18. Street-Evangelism - Protection of participants & Salvation of those who received Gospel tracts.

19. Christmas Concert - participants & preparation.

20. Sis Clara Sim - guidance for future plans.

21.  Year 12 & Uni students - studying for final exams.

22.  Believers in Thailand affected by the ‘catastrophic’ floods. Sis Mariam Atijatuporn & her family.

 

 

 

 

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PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063