The True Reformation (part 1)
That which happened in Germany almost 500 years ago, with Luther, Malancthan, Zwingli, and then a short while later in Europe with Calvinand Knox and other great reformers, was nothing less than the movement of GOD almighty. No reasonable and informed person can deny this. I sit here free to write and critique that period, at least in part due to that tremendous event, along with subsequent and related struggles, to bring to light, the truth of GOD, that all might see.
We must give credit where credit is due. Too often we lightly esteem the hand of GOD that provides for us because we are too critical. This is nothing less than unthankfulness, and probably pride and ignorance. See Rom 13vs7.
Yet there is a cry in this land today for another reformation! Thatís the wrong cry! And yet denominations are aligning themselves, creating organizations, and committees. They have been for along time studying the reformation, and seeking a way to duplicate that period when the light began to shine out of darkness. They are calling churches and pastors back to the creeds and confessions of the church fathers. But thatís the wrong call! See 1Cor 14vs8.
They clearly recognize that something is drastically wrong in their churches. They see apathy and indifference to the word of GOD, to the worship of GOD, and to service in the kingdom of Christ. They see astounding blindness to the truth of the gospel, and an intolerance to sound doctrine. See 2Tim4vs3,4.
But they have yet to identify the real problem. The people are dead, D.E.A.D, dead!
You cannot reform a dead person. You cannot reform a dead church, or denomination. A dead person, church, or denomination, must be given LIFE. And life does not come through reformation, at least not the reformation of creeds , confessions, and human efforts for revival.
It comes only through an absolute abandonment of all the idols of religion; creeds, confessions, and romanticism for church history, clericalism, logic, sacraments. It comes only through the bold, definite and GOD inspired preaching of Jesus Christ and him crucified. See 1Cor 3vs1 Rom 1vs16 Col 1vs28.
Dead men need resurrection, not reformation; the resurrection power of the gospel of Christ. But in order for this occur, there must be men who believe the gospel, are committed to it, and have experienced itís renewing and transforming power themselves. See 2Tim 2vs6,7.
In order for a true reformation, Christ must be preached boldly, clearly and only! Men must be shut up to Christ, and him alone! Christ plus nothing, equals salvation! See Mark 16vs15,16 Rom 16vs25 Acts 11vs20 2cor4vs5 Acts 5vs42.
Moreover a living, Sovereign, Reigning Christ must be preached. Yea Christ himself MUST do the preaching. He must preach himself into the souls of dead sinners and save them from their religion and pride. This no man can do! God must do it!
True reformation is the work of GOD, honoring and working through His God ordained means of grace to effectually call, regenerate, instruct and settle men and women into the faith which is in Christ Jesus. See John16vs14 2Thess 2vs13,14 Eph 4vs21.
That which is being declared by your leading proponents of reformation in America is not the gospel. Itís neat and tidy systematic theology, which is designed to offend no one. To appeal to the intellect of everyone, and call for a nostalgic return to the doctrines of Calvin. Problem is, most of these men do not preach the doctrines of Grace, generally known as Calvinism. Most are four point so-called Calvinist, and they falter on the very point of doctrine that is Sovereignly designed to offend the goats and draw the sheep; not to mention that this doctrine of which they shy away from through unbelief, is the heart of the gospel, and the essence of GODíS Sovereignty demonstrated in the salvation of His people. Matthew 1vs21
The Atonement! The Sovereign, Limited, Effectual, Saving atonement of Christ the LORD. See John 10vs14,15,27,28 John 17vs9,10,11,17,19 Rom5vs11 Rev14vs4.
TOTALLY depraved sinners are without Spiritual life, and therefore cannot be reasoned into the kingdom of GOD. GOD must quicken, and quicken them by the truth of the gospel. It is the truth which saves. And the truth is in Jesus Christ the LORD! See Eph 2vs1 John 5vs24,25,26.
UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION is the cause of men and women experiencing the grace of GOD almighty in the redemption of their souls. Nothing in them, absolutely nothing in them, moved GOD to love them and therefore sacrificially, astoundingly sacrificially save them by His grace in Christ His son. See John 15vs16 2Thes 2vs13 1Peter 1vs2 Rom8vs28.
LIMITED ATONEMENT was the eternal purpose and design of a Sovereign God to actually redeem a particular number of chosen sinners, out of Adam's fallen race, through the death and shed blood of Christ their propitiation. See the above verses on the atonement.
IRRESISTIBLE GRACE is the conquering nature of GODíS power in the gospel, calling rebel sinners, dead sinners, obstinate sinners, to life and faith in Christ through the preached WORD of GOD. See Psalm 110vs3 John6vs37 Isa 14vs27 John 6vs68.
PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS is the mark of grace begun in the soul and spirit of the elect sinner to continue in the faith until he is at last glorified in the presence of GOD and His Christ. See John 10vs28,29 Phil2vs13 Phil 1vs6 Jude24.
SALVATION IS OF THE LORD!
Grace Bible Church
San Leandro, CA 94572
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