Volume. XXXII, No. 21
Sunday, 19 November 2017

After Darkness, Light - The Dawning of the Reformation (Part 2 - Final)

Inaugural message delivered at the Combined BP 500th Anniversary Reformation Conference on 9 August 2017. The article has been modified to enable publication in the Lively Hope.

I. Justification by Faith
Luther rediscovered that the biblical doctrine of Justification by faith alone. That it is the truth Christ Jesus accomplished, through His suffering and death on the cross, all that is necessary for salvation. He is the propitiation for our sins and he satisfied fully all the righteous demands of God. Man has no part in his redemption for Christ had paid it all (Romans 3:24-26). He found that when he was asked to teach Romans at Wittenberg University.  
II. Authority and Sufficiency of Scripture
The second important doctrine of the church was the sole and absolute authority, inspiration and sufficiency of the canonical Scriptures. The Reformers asserted that the Bible alone, not the church, has authority over believers and the Word of God alone and nothing else should govern the life of believers and the church (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). They should for the Word of God as the rule of faith and practice without compromise.
The Reformation advanced when Luther translated the New Testament into German in 1522. Later, William Tyndale translated the New Testament into English in 1525 for England. The foundation and basis for our Christian faith that was hidden from God’s people was now given freely to sinners and saints who could read and understand the Scriptures in their own languages. Today, we have the Bible translated in more that 2,000 languages worldwide and more needs to be done to reach out to the wide harvest fields.
III. Universal Priesthood of Believers
The third important doctrine was the universal priesthood of believers. This is the biblical doctrine that Christ being our mediator has reconciled us to God and we do not need any human mediator (or mediatrix) to intercede for us or to present us before God on our behalf. Christ alone is our Mediator and we are all priests who can come directly to Him (1 Timothy 2:2–5). All believers are priests themselves who came seek God personally in prayer according to 1 Peter 2:9.

There are other relevant doctrines and practices too. The understanding that there should be the 2 sacraments (instead of 7), correct church polity, (Presbyterianism) marriage (not celibacy) and covenant family life, the proper manner of worship with congregational reading and singing, Sabbath worship and expository preaching of the Word, etc.) and they differed from the medieval church and taught sound theology that changed the lives of the people and their families.
IV. The Effects and Repercussions of the Reformation
A. The Scriptures were made available in the vernacular languages of the common people.
B. Justification by faith alone led to a de-emphasis of external rituals and focused on the inner spiritual life of believers in Christ.
C. Authority of Scripture replaced the authority of the Pope and men-centered and medieval traditions.
D. The Scripture alone is sufficient as the authoritative rule of faith and practice for all believers.
E. Expository Preaching of the Word of God became important and central in a worship service with congregational participation.
F. Monasticism as the ideal of holiness was replaced by the priesthood of all believers. Each person’s calling was considered an area of divine service.
G. The seven sacraments of the Roman church were re-evaluated, and the sacraments were reduced to two : baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
H. The liturgy for worship was re-designed to accord with the Scriptures with no ostentatious rituals and ceremonies.
I. The family began to be seen as a household of faith. Celibacy as a means of piety and good works were questioned. Martin and Katherine Luther got married, had children and became an example of the Protestant home. The other reformers followed suit.

We thank God for the 16th century Protestant Reformation which ushered in a new Era in the spiritual awakening and revival of the life of the church. It would later spread to the rest of Europe and beyond by the sovereign will of God and we need to continue in the same fervent spirit today propagating the pure gospel and defending the faith in these perilous and compromising times.  
Reverend Jack Sin

More Lively Hope



- Kitchen renovations: Please do not enter kitchen area in Church Hall. Please stay away from hard waste in Rectory garden. Due to renovations, Working Bee will be postponed to Sat, 9 Dec.
- No access to CLG tomorrow due to asbestos removal.
- An Afternoon of Carols & Items of Praise- Sun, 10 Dec at 2pm.
- Non-designated offerings on Sun, 3 Dec, will be given to IBPFM. Christmas Day offerings will go to Voice of Martyrs.
- Bro Charles Scott-Pearson will be speaker for Integrated Fellowship on Fri, 24 Nov, Worship Service and Adult Sunday School on Sun, 26 Nov. All worshippers encouraged to attend.
- Kitchen Duty helpers - This week: Team C. Next week: Team A.

Praise and Thanksgiving
-  Salvation
- Journey mercies: Ps Okman & Sis Myung Ki (Melb) & others who have travelled.

- Special prayer: post surgery
- Healing
- Journey mercies: Ps Okman & Sis Myung Ki (Adl); & others who are travelling.
- Safe labour & delivery
- Exams: University students.

A comprehensive prayer list is available at the Sanctuary foyer. Please take a copy for your personal or corporate prayer time.



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14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041