(If you would like to receive Pastor Harris’ weekly sermons via e-mail, Click Here)
(If you would like to download the PowerPoint presentation for this sermon, Click here)
(Greek words can be viewed with symbol font)
Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
November 6, 2011
Our Reformation Heritage
It was October 31, 1517. Martin Luther, the son of a peasant, had become a priest and then a professor at the University of Wittenberg, Germany. He had become increasingly concerned about the abuse of the practice of indulgences and its consequential appearance of offering salvation by the means of a payment of money. Luther decided to deal with the issue in the usual way of a learned academic. He wrote a disputation and invited a public discussion about the issue at the well attended All Saints Day feast the next day. He posted a notice written in Latin entitled, Disputation Of Dr. Martin Luther Concerning Penitence And Indulgences. It contained 95 Theses or points that were to be discussed. The document did not condemn indulgences, but only the manner in which it was being practiced. It even defended the Pope believing he would also condemn those practices. It did not contain any of the great doctrines that would arise later, though the seeds of those ideas were present. No one accepted the challenge and no discussion took place the next day. However, the document was copied, translated, printed and distributed throughout Germany and Europe in only a few weeks.
The reaction was quite strong. Opposing Luther’s Theses were the church hierarchy, the monastic orders, especially the Dominicans, and the champions of scholastic theology and traditional Roman Catholic orthodoxy. The chief writers were Tetzel of Leipzig, Conrad Wimpina
of Frankfurt-on-the-Oder, and John Eck of Ingolstadt who had formerly been Luther’s friend. Each represented a different university.
In favor of Luther’s Theses were liberal scholars, German patriots and all the ordinary Christians waiting for someone to express their own desires for a pure, scriptural, and spiritual religion and vent their indignation against existing abuses. Dr. Fleck exclaimed, “Ho, ho! the man has come who will do the thing.” Luther’s posting unintentionally lit the fires of the Reformation. October 31 became celebrated as Reformation Day and the Sunday prior as a day for it to be remembered in certain Reformed denominations.
Though this local church is independent and does not belong to one of those denominations, I was asked to speak on this subject because our theological heritage is solidly founded in the Reformation. Since history is so poorly taught in most schools, many Americans are not familiar with the Reformation and its importance. That should not be true of us since this church would not exist if it had not been for those men that God used throughout history to preserve His word and proclaim its truth. As Melanchthon expressed in hindsight about the importance of the Reformation, “Christ and the Apostles were brought out again as from the darkness and filth of prison.” The Reformation freed the truth of the Scriptures.
Preservation of a Remnant
The Early Church was the period of the greatest purity in the church and even then there were serious problems as attested by the many admonitions and warnings given in the various epistles. Paul told the Corinthians he had to speak to them as “to men of flesh, as to babes in Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:1) and he spends the rest of the book correcting their errors. He is even stronger in Galatians warning them they were in danger of believing a different gospel that would leave them accursed (Galatians 1:6-9). Peter warned about the false teachers that would come and seek to lead them astray (2 Peter 2) as also did Jude. James challenged his readers about the nature of true faith (James 2:14-26). The First epistle of John was written to distinguish those who had true fellowship with God from those who did not. In Matthew 13 Jesus warned in the parable of the Tares that the false would be mixed in with those who were true.
The persecution against Christians that existed until the edicts of Toleration in A.D. 311 & 313 had served to keep false believers away. There are very few that are willing to suffer for something they do not really believe. This is still true in those areas around the world where Christians are severely persecuted.
Constantine the Great (306-337) made great changes in the Roman Empire. He had converted to Christianity and then under the banner of the cross he conquered his rival, Maxentius, at the Milvian bridge near Rome on October 27, 312. Constantine allowed his subjects to choose their religion according to the dictates of their own conscience but he favored Christianity. This resulted in some people seeking to be a part of the church for political reasons instead of spiritual ones. The emperors that followed Constantine, such as Theodosius the Great (383-395), made Christianity the official religion to the exclusion of every other and punished those that did not follow its orthodox practice as a crime against the state. This filled the church with people who made false professions and went through the religious rituals to escape persecution. Eventually church leadership positions became sought after for their political value instead of as positions in the service of Christ and His people.
The church has never done well when it is compromised as a political power. By that I do not mean that the church should not exert influence in political questions and policy. The history of the United States shows the great benefit to society when it does. I am referring to when those in political power appoint those who are in positions of authority within the church or when those positions are sought for their political value. This is normal in nations in which there is a national church. With Christianity as the official religion of the empire and all other religions outlawed, that is what happened. Power struggles over influence and territory developed between various church leaders.
Roman Catholicism developed due to these power struggles. The Bible uses the word bishop (episkoph / episkope – 1 Timothy 3:1) to describe the responsibility of a man who has the position of an elder (presbuteroV / presbuteros – Titus 1:5) and who pastors (poimainw / poimaino) the flock of people God has entrusted to him (Acts 20:17, 28). Over time a Bishop became the title of someone who had authority over the churches in a geographical region and also controlling influence in political and civil affairs. Each major city would have a Bishop and as time went on certain of these Bishops gained greater influence over other Bishops and their territories. By the Fifth century, the most influential Bishops were those of Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria, and Jerusalem with the first two the most powerful. Innocent I. (402-417) claimed that nothing in the Christian world should be decided without his formal knowledge and that all Bishops should turn to him, especially in matters of faith. Other leading Bishops, also called patriarchs, resisted such claims. Rome continue
s to claim superiority to this day.
By the ninth Century, though the theological differences were very minor, the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church separated from each other with an incurable antagonism. The three main causes were the political / ecclesiastical rivalry between the two churches, the overbearing conduct of the Roman Catholic Church through the papacy, and third, the stationary character of the Eastern Orthodox Church which prevents any change. What began as a more personal rivalry between Pope Nicholas (858-867) and Photius, Patriarch of Constantinople (858- 867, 877-886) continued in their successors for 187 years with mutual anathemas declared against the rival. A final schism occurred in 1054 over minor, non-Biblical differences in practice with each side excommunicating the other. All efforts to bring about a reunion have proved to be fruitless due to papal absolutism and Greek obstinacy.
Over the centuries, the Roman Catholic Church developed many non-Biblical doctrines as authority shifted from the Scriptures to its councils, magistrates and eventually to the Pope. Doctrine and practice in the Roman Catholic Church have tended to develop slowly, become entrenched and then declared official doctrine. Here are a few examples.
The Mass began to be celebrated daily by 394. By the 11th century it had become a sacrifice and attendance was obligatory. The idea of transubstantiation had been around for a few hundred years before pope Innocent III declared it to be official church dogma in 1215.
Veneration of angels, dead saints and the use of images began around 375. The rise of Maryolatry began in 431 with the title of “Mother of God” being applied to her. By 600, prayers were being directed to her as well as to dead saints and angels. The Ave Maria was approved in the 16th century. Her immaculate conception was proclaimed by pope Pius IX in 1854, her assumption (bodily ascension into heaven following her death) by Pius XI in 1950, and Paul VI proclaimed her Mother of the Church in 1965.
Roman Catholic clergy – priests – began to distinguish themselves from laymen by dressing differently starting about 500. In 607 the title of pope – universal bishop – was given to Boniface III, and about 100 years later the practice of kissing the pope’s foot began. Required celibacy among the clergy varied with different popes until 1079 when it became official doctrine under pope Gregory VII. In 1215 the Lateran Council decreed confession of sins to a priest instead of to God. In 1864 under pope Pius IX, the Vatican Council condemned freedom of religion, conscience, speech, press and scientific discoveries disapproved by the Roman Church. It also asserted the pope’s temporal authority over all civil rulers. In 1870, the Vatican Council added the doctrine of the infallibility of the pope in maters of faith and morals when speaking ex cathedra.
The rise of authority of Roman Catholic clergy was accompanied by its diminished view of the Scriptures themselves. In 1229, the Council of Valencia placed the Bible itself on the list of books forbidden to laymen. That was changed with Vatican II which allowed lay people to have Bibles. I still remember as a child our Roman Catholic neighbors refusing Bibles that were offered to them because they were forbidden. Some of them became excited when they were allowed to finally have one.
Indulgences, the flash point of the reformation, were tied to the idea of penance in gaining remission of sins. The idea was developed by the scholastics in the middle ages and by 1184 it was approved to sell them. By Martin Luther’s time, it became tied to the pope’s authority to dispense the extra-merits and rewards accrued to the church by supererogation. It also became further twisted in applying these to those who had already died, and so a means of salvation for loved ones in purgatory by means of a monetary exchange. The Council of Trent affirmed this doctrine in 1563.
The Council of Trent also pronounced more than 100 anathemas against anyone that differs with its decisions about official church dogma and practice which includes all the hallmark doctrines of the reformers. In practical terms that means that everyone who believes that salvation is by God’s grace alone through the atonement of Jesus Christ alone and applied by faith alone is under multiple official curses by the Roman Catholic Church.
While this extremely brief history makes it seem that like there was no hope until the reformation, God has always had a remnant that adhered to the truth of the gospel even when obscured by extraneous non-Biblical doctrines and practices. There have always been those that reject the lies of works based systems for the glorious truth of salvation by God’s grace through faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ. It is even true today of those raised within Roman Catholicism or other cults. It was while Luther was a monk at the Augustinian convent at Erfurt that the light of the gospel shined upon the darkness of his heart.
Throughout history there have been groups that have discerned and rejected false doctrine because they held fast to the Scriptures. We only know a little about a few of them because the Roman Catholic Church generally persecuted such people and burned their writings if they found them. There were popular preachers such as Bernard of Thiron, Robert of Abrissel and Vitalis of Savigny that relied on Biblical authority and quoted its precepts. The Waldensian movement sought to make the Scriptures known in the common language. In 1300 there was thought to be eighty thousand Waldensians in Austria alone. The Humiliati and probably the Arnoldists also held to an evangelical gospel. Even when the vast majority of people held to false gods and false gospels, God always preserves a remnant of those with a true faith in Him.
The writings of Martin Luther became the flashpoint of the reformation, but there were other significant reformers before him in the 14th and 15th centuries. These were John Wyclif in England, John Huss in Bohemia, Savonarola in Florence, and Wessel, Goch and Wesel in Northern Germany.
John Wyclif (1324-1384) is called the Morning Star of the Reformation. It was said that he “lit a fire which shall never be put out.” He brought the Scriptures to bear on Catholic doctrine including transubstantiation, papal authority and excesses of the priests. His most important contributions were translating the scriptures into English, laying down the principle of Scriptural authority above human authority, and organizing a group of itinerant evangelists who went forth preaching the gospel. Those who followed his teachings became known as the Lollards. His writings were carried to the continent and became known to the next significant reformer.
Jon Hus (1369-1415) was a professor at the University of Prague in Bohemia and a popular preacher. Because of the ties Bohemia had to England through the marriage of king Wenzel’s sister, Anne of Luxemburg, to Richard II in 1382, Wyclif’s writings became well known to Hus and the professors at the University. Hus even translated some of them into Czech. Hus became another great proponent of the Scriptures and its authority resulting in also speaking against many non-Biblical Roman Catholic doctrines and practices. This eventually led to the church condemning him as a heretic just as it had done to Wyclif. Though promised safe conduct by Emperor Sigmusund, he was burned at the stake July 6, 1415.
Luther has some familiarity with Hus’ writings having read some of his sermons while in the monastery at Erfurt. He had greater familiarity with the character of Hus and his unjust martyrdom, a martyrdom that strengthened Charles V to keep his word in providing safe conduct unlike Sigmusund.
Other 16th Century Reformers
While Martin Luther ignited the fire of the reformation, he did not stand alone. The
re were many that stood with him in Germany such as Andreas Bodenstein, Nikolaus von Amsdorf, Martin Butzer, Philip Melanchthon, Johann Bugenhagen, Justus Jonas and the students and people of Wittenberg. Especially important was the protection of Elector Frederick the Wise and the civil authorities. Without that, he would have been martyred like Jon Hus.
The ideas of the reformation spread to other areas of Germany and beyond rather quickly. By 1527 the foundations of what would become the Lutheran state church were already laid in many areas. The Reichstag’s decision in 1529 to return all of Germany to Roman worship was met with strong minority opposition with a “Protestatio” from which the term Protestant has come. They formed a defensive union. In Germany, there were years of intrigue and war, but by 1555, the Peace of Augsburg recognized that the split between Lutheranism and Roman Catholicism was permanent.
Huldreich Zwingli was a priest in Zurich, Switzerland in 1519 when he began an orderly exposition of the Gospel of Matthew and became familiar with Luther’s writings. By 1522 he began a vigorous work of reformation in Switzerland under the conviction that only the Bible is binding on Christians. In 1523 he prepared 67 brief articles explaining Biblical authority, salvation by faith, Christ alone as head of the church and refuting many Roman Catholic practices. Things in Zurich changed rapidly. By 1525 Church jurisdiction was overthrown, Mass was abolished, services were in German, and the clergy could marry. This reformation swiftly spread to other Swiss cities. Zwingli died in battle in 1531 and was succeeded by Heinrich Bullinger.
Reformation ideas had spread into neighboring areas of France through the preaching of Guillaume Farel beginning in 1521. He was also instrumental in Geneva switching to the reformed religion by 1536. The work in Geneva was more than he thought he could handle and he asked a French acquaintance who was passing through Geneva to stay and help. That man was John Calvin who had been converted a few years prior. Calvin’s work in the years to come would define much of what would be known as Reformed Theology.
Also arising out of the Swiss Reformation were the Anabaptists who even in the early 1520’s thought Zwingli was not carrying the reformation far enough. They denied the validity of infant baptism and baptized only believers. Even though they were persecuted by Roman Catholic and Protestant groups alike with martyrdom, their movement grew and eventually gave rise to the Mennonites and Moravians with some of their ideas adopted by English separatists.
In 1520 King Christian II of Denmark brought in a Lutheran preacher. His uncle, Frederick I, became king in 1523 and continued in that direction bringing in Hans Tausen, a former Wittenburg student, in 1524 as his chaplain. Christian III succeeded Frederick in 1536 and reorganized the Danish church as fully Lutheran in 1537. Norway and Iceland, which were under Danish control at the time, also eventually became Lutheran.
King Gustaf Vasa of Sweden supported the preaching of two Lutheran brothers, Olaf and Laars Petersson, beginning in 1524. By 1529, Sweden and along with it, Finland, which was then a part of Sweden, had adopted Lutheran doctrine and practices for itself.
In England, the reformation came due to King Henry VIII quest to gain a male heir, and when the pope would not grant him an annulment from his first wife, he broke with Rome and made himself the head of the English church. William Tyndale published his English translation of the Bible in 1526 though he died a martyr for it in 1533. In 1538 Oliver Cromwell ordered the Great Bible, which was based on the translation work of Tyndale and Miles Coverdale, to be made accessible to the public. Further reforms under Edward VI further defined Anglicanism. The door had been opened and it could not be shut again even by bloody Mary.
Secular historians will usually stress the political intrigue and wars fought as the causes for various areas becoming Lutheran or Reformed. While many civil leaders were much more motivated by gaining or keeping their power than in religious questions, there were also many that were very motivated by their theological beliefs. In addition, God’s providence moves irregardless of the motivations of men. And more importantly, the underlying cause regardless of the motivations of particular individuals was theological. We must thank God for His mercy in bringing about the events of the 16th Century which restored the gospel to Western Civilization.
The Great Theological Divide
The Reformation did not begin as an effort to split up Christianity and create new churches. The goal was to correct the errors and reform the church back into conformity to the Scriptures. As the essential doctrines of the Reformation became clearly defined, it became painfully obvious that there could not be reconciliation between those who hold such diametrically opposed beliefs. As 2 Corinthians 6:14-16 describes, “for what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols?
The great doctrines from the reformation are usually described in five Latin phrases: Sola scriptura, Sola gratia, Sola fide, Solus Christus, Soli Deo gloria. Let’s briefly look at each one
Sola scriptura – by Scripture alone. This is the hallmark of the Reformation and the presumptive basis for all reformation doctrine. Only the Bible is God breathed and so is the only authoritative source for Christian doctrine and practice. It is to be accessible to all. The inspiration and sufficiency of the Bible is declared in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 2 Peter 1:19-21 is pivotal to proper interpretation, “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is [a matter] of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”
Sola Scriptura was in complete opposition to the authority of church tradition, the magisterium, and especially the pope. There could be no reconciliation between these two positions of authority.
Sola fide – by faith alone. This was the central doctrinal issue for Martin Luther and other reformers and so it is sometimes referred to as the material cause of the reformation. Sola fide can be summarized with the formula “Faith yields justification and good works” in opposition to the Roman Catholic formula “Faith and good works yield justification.” These two formulas cannot be reconciled.
Key scriptures include Romans 4:5, “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,” Galatians 3:11, “Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, The righteous man shall live by faith,'” and Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, [it is] the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.”
Sola gratia – by grace alone. Grace is “unmerited favor.” This doctrine places the emphasis on God as the sole source of grace. This is in contrast to Roman Catholicism in which grace is dispensed by the church through its sacraments. However, that would be merited favor and not grace. As Romans 4:4 states, “Now to the one who works, his wage is not reckoned as a favor, but as what is due,” and Romans 11:6 makes clear, “but if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.”
Key scriptures include Ephesians 2:8-9 a
s already cited, Romans 3:24, “being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus,” and 2 Timothy 1:9, “God, who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity.”
Solus Christus or Solo Christo – through Christ alone.
Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man and there is salvation through no other just as Peter proclaimed to the Sanhedrin in Acts 4:12. Jesus’ sinless life and substitutionary atonement alone are sufficient for the forgiveness of sin, our justification and reconciliation to the Father. This is directly against Roman Catholicism and other groups in which a human priest is the mediator that grants forgiveness of sin to the penitent.
Key scriptures include 1 Timothy 2:5-6, “For there is one God, [and] one mediator also between God and men, [the] man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all . . . “ Colossians 1:14, “in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins,” and Hebrews 4, 8, 9 and 12 which speak of Jesus role as our mediator. It is through Jesus, our High Priest, that we can draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16).
Soli Deo gloria – for the glory of God alone. This was the ultimate purpose of the reformation. Man had exalted himself over God’s word and God’s means of salvation by His grace through faith in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Man even exalted himself to be the recipients of prayers and veneration. This doctrine was against the exaltation of people such as the pope, Mary and the “saints.” All glory is to be due to God and God alone. Even when humans do commendable good works, the praise and glory should be directed to God who created them and enabled them to do those things.
Key scriptures for this doctrine are 1 Corinthians 10:31, “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God,” Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father,” and Romans 11:36, “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him [be] the glory forever. Amen.”
These doctrines are the core beliefs of reformed theology and each is incorporated into the doctrinal statement of this church.
The Continuing Reformation
The Reformation released the gospel from its prison and laid the foundation upon which others have built since the 16th Century. It is with no disrespect that we point out that the early reformers did not go far enough in their break from Roman Catholicism for they held onto some of its doctrines and practices. It is difficult to break away from the beliefs and practices of your forefathers and ingrained in you since a child, yet these men did so. However, it would be to those that followed them to continue the work in examining beliefs and practices by the Scriptures and changing them accordingly. That is all we are striving to do. We walk in the footsteps of Wyclif, Hus and Luther who humbly, but firmly stood on the Scriptures as the Word of God. They studied it so their conscience would be permeated by it and would proclaim its truth boldly, yet would humbly subject themselves to change their view if shown by the Scriptures they were wrong. To paraphrase Luther, we are to strive to be conquered by the Holy Scriptures and have our conscience bound in the word of God.
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Count how many times “reformation” is mentioned. Discuss with your parents the importance the reformation and what difference it makes today
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. What was Martin Luther’s 95 Theses? Why was it important? What was the reaction to it? What kept the early church relatively pure? What changes occurred following Constantine the Great’s embrace of Christianity? What factors led to the development of the Roman Catholic Church? What factors caused the schism between the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church? Trace the development of some of the non-Biblical doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church such as the mass, the veneration of Mary and other dogmas related to her, the papacy and its power, its view of Scripture and authority, indulgences, etc. What are some of the anathemas pronounced the Council of Trent? How do they apply to you? Who / what groups are part of the remnant that remained true to the gospel even though persecuted by the R.C. Church? Who was John Wyclif and what was his significance? Who was Jon Hus and what was his significance? Trace the reformation in Germany and other countries during the 16th Century – Switzerland, France, Denmark, Sweden, England, etc. Explain each of the following, their significance and why they assure a reconciliation with the Roman Catholic Church is impossible: Sola scriptura, Sola gratia, Sola fide, Solus Christus, and Soli Deo gloria. What significance are these doctrines to your own belief?
Sermon Notes – 11/6/2011 –
Our Reformation Heritage – Selected Scriptures
Introduction – The 95 Theses – Disputation Of Dr. Martin Luther Concerning Penitence And ___________
Opposing were the church ____________, the monastic orders, scholastic theologians and traditionalists
In favor were liberal scholars, German patriots and all the ordinary Christians waiting a _____________
Our theological heritage is solidly founded in the _______________
Preservation of a Remnant
The Early Church was the period of greatest ___________, and even it had severe problems.
1 Corinthians 3:1, Galatians 1:6-9, 2 Peter 2, James 2:14-26, Matthew 13
The edicts of ________________ in A.D. 311 & 313 stopped the official persecution
Constantine the Great (306-337) _________Christianity – resulting in some joining for political reasons
Theodosius (383-395), made Christianity the official religion – and the church filled with _____believers
The church does not do well when the _________ controls it, or it controls the state
Roman Catholicism developed due to power struggles between “__________”
By the 5th century, Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria, & Jerusalem were the powerful _______
The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches _____________from each other in the 9th Century
Non-Biblical _______________ developed in the Roman Catholic church include:
The ________- celebrated daily by 394. A sacrifice by 11th Century. Transubstantiation a dogma in
______, “Mother of God” in 431. Payers to her by 600. Immaculate Conception – 1854. Ascension – 1950
The ________- 607. Kissing pope’s foot – 700. Confess sins to priest, not God – 1215. Infallibility – 1870
In 1229, the Council of Valencia placed the Bible itself on the list of books ______________ to laymen
___________- idea in middle ages. Selling them – 1184. Applied to the dead – 15th Cent. Affirmed – 1563
Council of ________ pronounced 100 anathemas against those who disagreed with official church dogma
God has always had a ____________ even in the Roman Catholic Church
Bernard of Thiron, Robert of Abrissel, Vitalis of Savigny, Waldensians, Humiliati, Arnoldists, etc.
John Wyclif (1324-1384)
Jon Hus (1369-1415)
Other 16th Century Reformers
Those with Luther: Bodenstein, von Amsdorf, Butzer, Melanchthon, Bugenhagen, Jonas
Elector Frederick the Wise, the Reichstag
Huldreich Zwingli – Swiss Reformation
Guillaume Farel – border areas of France and ___________.
The Anabaptists – Mennonites and Moravians
Denmark / Iceland, Norway
King Gustaf Vasa of Sweden / Finland
England – King Henry VIII opened the door, it could not be closed again
God even used civil leaders with wrong or mixed motives to bring about needed changes
The Great Theological Divide – 2 Corinthians 6:14-16
Sola scriptura – by _____________ alone. The Bible, not man, is the final authority
2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:19-21
Sola fide – by __________ alone.
Faith yields justification and good works, not Faith and good works yield justification
Romans 4:5, Galatians 3:11, Ephesians 2:8-9, 8
Sola gratia – by ___________ alone. God as the sole source of grace – unmerited favor of salvation
Romans 4:4, Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 3:24, 2 Timothy 1:9
Solus Christus – through ___________ alone. Forgiveness of sins is only through Jesus Christ
Acts 4:12, 1 Timothy 2:5-6, Colossians 1:14, Hebrews 4, 8, 9 and 12
Soli Deo gloria – for the _______ of God alone
1 Corinthians 10:31, Colossians 3:17, Romans 11:36
The Continuing Reformation
The Reformers opened the door and laid the foundation upon which we _____________
We walk in their footsteps standing boldly on the _______________ and humbly changing to match them
THE CAMBRIDGE DECLARATION
(If you would like to receive Pastor Harris’ weekly sermons via e-mail, Click Here)
For comments, please e-mail Church office