Five Ideas For a Modern Reformation

Written by Bill Whitt
October 31, 2023

The Reformation was not a one-time event, but rather the beginning of a constant effort by churches to be "Reformed and Always Reforming."

Happy Reformation Day! On Oct. 31 more than 500 years ago, Martin Luther ignited a movement that persists to this day.

  • Luther found that the Church had strayed from its message of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, as revealed in Scripture alone, and to the glory of God alone.

The Reformation was not a one-time event, but rather the beginning of a constant effort by churches to be “Reformed and Always Reforming.”

Here are five ways these principles of the Reformation are still important to our work in church renewal today.

Church Renewal: Reformed and Always Reforming.
Idea 1: Grace Alone
  • “It is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:8a). God has saved us because he is gracious and merciful–not because of anything they have done to earn it. Christianity is utterly unique in that it proclaims good news rather than dispenses good advice.
  • A grace-filled pulpit and grace-filled relationships speak powerfully to a world characterized by earning your place. People want to be loved for who they are, not what they do. Will they find that at your church?
Idea 2: Faith Alone
  • “The righteous shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17b). We are linked to the saving work of Christ through faith. More than a one-time event, faith characterizes a Christian’s entire life of following God and relating to him.
  • Is your church a place where people display an uncanny ability to trust God, even when they don’t fully understand the path forward? Our faith highlights his faithfulness. Our trust highlights his trustworthiness.
Idea 3: Christ Alone
  • “Salvation is found in no one else” (Acts 4:12a). Because he is truly human and truly divine, Jesus Christ is uniquely qualified to be our substitute and to pay the sin debt we owed God.
  • In a time when many churches are getting sidetracked by politics and hot-button issues, does your congregation exalt Jesus as the only Savior?
Idea 4: Scripture Alone
  • “All Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16a). Without fault or error, the Scriptures are God’s perfect and complete message to us regarding salvation.
  • Are you equipping your people to be good stewards of the incredible gift of the Scriptures? Have you taught them how to read the Bible, understand it, and apply it correctly? There is no better catalyst to Christian growth!
Idea 5: God’s Glory Alone
  • “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31b). Because we contribute nothing to our own salvation, God is due all the glory. The purpose of our lives is to magnify him and to reflect his glory in all we do!
  • Many churches are personality driven. They rise (and fall) because of one charismatic person. As we work for church renewal, let’s take ourselves out of the spotlight and make sure God gets all the glory!

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