Volume. XXX, No. 25
Sunday, 20 December 2015


The Reformation Study Tour Nov 2015


I had long wanted to go on a Reformation Tour in Europe and when the opportunity came up with Rev Jack and Sis Angie Sin, I jumped at the chance. I wanted to know about what the Reformers did, but I learnt a lot more. This article is just a summary of the main points that really stuck with me.

Courageous Reformers

One of the things that struck home was the strength and courage of the Reformers. They stood up for what they believed in based on the Scriptures and did not waver in their con-victions even through threats of punishment and even of death. And not just the bravery of the Reformers, in whose steps we followed as we went through Wittenberg, Erfurt, Eisen-ach, Torgau, Strasbourg, Konstanz, Zurich, and Geneva, but also the Pre-Reformers, the post-Reformers, and even their wives. There were those who came before and after Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, and John Calvin that started and carried on the Lord’s work, and many of their names were largely forgotten and/or unknown (Waldo, Farel, Zell, Malanchthon, Bucer, Bullinger, Beza etc.).

How important it is to continue in the faith of our fathers who stood up for the faith and how important it is to teach what the Refor-mation was about and pass this on to the next generation. I pray that this generation will learn of the sacrifice and courage of those who fought before, for the right of common man to be able to hear and read the Scriptures in their language, and to know that salvation comes through justification by faith alone.

I’m thankful that Sis Angie made a point of the Reform-ers’ wives to be brought out especially, too. We learnt a little about some of the Re-former’s wives, who were their partners in the minis-tries, as well as their support system. This is how God had planned it to be, and how He intended it to be, as their husbands worked for the Lord. They supported their husbands and the ministry throughout their lives, through the danger, and amidst their own sorrow. Only a gracious and good God can give grace to His children that would enable and strengthen them.

Sola Scriptura

Luther, Calvin and Zwingli preached to the people in their own language and from the Scripture, without which the people would not be able to come to faith (Rom 10:17). Thank God for stirring the hearts of these men to search the Scriptures, and Who re-vealed the Truth to them so that there would be the Reformation Movement which would turn the world "upside down" after the many years of the "dark ages" where the Word of God was not available to commoners. Let us continue pray for the ministers and servants of the Lord who faithfully expound God’s Word, and not the traditions of man nor any other idea/revelation that is found outside of the Scriptures. How easily we forget how precious the Word of God is!

While walking through the towns and seeing the houses and churches that the Reformers had lived in and preached before, we were also reminded of the impact that they had left. In some places, the stand that the Reformers took is still strong. In other churches, we were

told that they now hold to the ecumenical movement (they accept many different faiths within the church). Please pray that the legacy of the Reformation Movement will not be forgotten, that we will continue to stand con-victed in our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The awe-inspiring scen-ery we saw also reminded me of the creativity and glory of our Creator. I saw the carpet of golden leaves in Tiergarten, the ever-flowing River Rhine, and the amazing snow-capped moun-tains with rolling green at the foot of them. I remember looking at the Swiss Alps we were passing by and singing, "The Bible stands though the hills may tumble, it will firmly stand when the earth shall crumble; I will plant my feet of its firm foundation, for the Bible stands". The Swiss Alps look like they would stand for a very, very long time, but what a reminder that God’s Word will stand forever, and that we can stand firmly in His Word! And it was Ulrich Zwingli who said, "The Word of God is as unstoppable as the Rhine".

Thanksgiving

"Behold, how good and how pleasant

The warm fellowship we had within the tour group will also remain as a sweet memory of this tour. The encouragement, help and cheer-fulness of various members, as well as the excitement shared over new things we learnt, reminds us that "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." (Prov 27:17). The devotions that we had in the mornings were also a wonderful time of learning from the Scriptures. Thank and praise God for raising godly men to lead us in devotions; it is very encouraging to see a young brother (Bro Kelvin Chin) lead! And also for all who led in the singing sessions as well. Thank God for Pastor Jack Sin, who is the lecturer in Emmanuel Reformed Bible Lectures on Reformation History, and a foun-tain of information and able to answer our many questions patiently.

Though we had a few scares, we truly praise and thank God for His hand of protection and grace on all of us. Thank God for the beauti-ful weather we enjoyed through the time on the tour! The locals kept telling us how un-usual it was for it to be so warm and sunny at this time of the year, but we were thankful for it, as we had to walk quite a bit.

It was like a church family camp (from the ages of 6 to 79, from 13 different churches) that went on for 10 days! A great opportunity to get away from work and other distractions to be saturated in things that God wants us to learn and do; just like Martin Luther who, when holed up in Wartburg Castle, had no distractions and was able to translate the New Testament to the common German language. And when the rest of the tour group left, the warmth left with them! But I thank God for keeping Aunty Peng Ha and myself safe for the remaining days; and for Bro Zheng Wei who brought us around Lausanne and even to Pierre Viret’s church.

This time on the reformation tour has re-minded me how good God is to us, and re-minds us to keep being faithful and to con-tinue in the work of the Lord, not fainting. "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." (Gal 6:9)


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

*Session wishes all worshippers a very Blessed Christmas.
*Catered Fellowship Lunch is $3 per person. FREE for primary & pre-primary school children.
*From Jan 2016 Catered Fellowship Lunch will be on the 1st & 3rd Sundays of the month.
*Special 5th Christmas Fellowship Lunch: Anyone wishing to join or contribute to the lunch,
please let Elder Michael D Lee know ASAP.
*Junior & Adult RPGs for Jan-Mar QTR available on the literature table. Donation $1 per copy.
*Bible Witness (Jul-Aug 2015) available free on the literature table.

Praise & Thanksgiving

1. Journey mercies: all arriving safely at their destinations.

2. Church activities in the past week.

3. Visitors & new worshippers.

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

5. God’s help & protection during the heatwave.

 

Prayer Items

1. Health & God’s healing - Pastor Ki; Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev Patrick Tan (S’pore) & George van Buuren; Rev Edward & Sis Lehia Paauwe & others in affliction.

3. iSketch & Tell Ministry: Pr Hai Seng Lim’s ministry in Melbourne.

4. Cambodia Missions.

5. IBPFM & PMU: Board members & missionaries all over the world.

6. New Life BPC (London) - Dr Carl Martin; God’s guidance & encouragement for congregation.

7. Providence B-P Church, Mawson Lakes - Ps David & Sis Susan Weng, & congregation.

8. Youth & Assistant Pastor for Hope B-P Church.

9. Journey mercies: all those who are travelling during the summer vacation.

10.Safe labour & delivery.

11.Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.

12.Jobs: Those seeking for jobs in Adelaide.

13.Persecuted believers in Islamic countries & Communist countries (N Korea, China & Vietnam).

14.God’s guidance & provision of new church property for worship, office & fellowship activities.

 

 

 

 

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PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063