Posts Tagged ‘apostolic reformation’

Reformation Sunday 2022 and the Emerging Third Apostolic Reformation

October 30, 2022
Originally written in Latin by Martin Luther in 1517, the Ninety-Five Theses, which Luther posted on the door of the Cathedral at Wittenburg, are regarded as a primary catalyst for the Protestant Reformation.

Although most Americans readily recognized October 31st as Halloween, countless people around the world acknowledge the last day in October as Reformation Day. Protestant Churches celebrate “Reformation Sunday” as the last Sunday in October, in light of October 31, 1517, being the actual date when Martin Luther nailed his “95 Theses” to the door of the Wittenberg Church in Germany, igniting the Protestant Reformation.

Luther and other reformers who preceded him, such as John Wycliffe, John Hus, and William Tyndale, were not only concerned with what the Scriptures taught, but they also wanted the common people to have access to read the Bible in their own language. The conditions were perfect, as the truths declared by Luther set Europe ablaze with the biblical doctrines of grace.

From the Protestant Reformation emerged five phrases that summarized the movement. Using the word  Sola the Latin word for “alone,” these basic theological beliefs stood boldly in opposition to the prevailing teaching of the Roman Catholic Church at the time.

Sola scriptura (“by Scripture alone”) teaches that the Bible is the only inspired and authoritative Word of God, the only source for Christian doctrine, and is accessible to all and that the Bible requires no interpretation outside of itself.
 
Sola Fide (“by faith alone”) teaches that justification, the act of “being declared right by God”, and assumed to mean exactly “salvation”), is received by faith only, without any mixture of or need for good works, though in classical Protestant theology, saving faith is always evidenced by good works.
 
Sola gratia (“by grace alone”) teaches that salvation comes by God’s grace or “unmerited favor” only. This means that salvation is an unearned gift from God through faith in Jesus Christ.
 
Solus Christus or Solo Christo (“Christ alone” or “through Christ alone”) teaches that Christ is the only mediator between God and man and that there is salvation through no other.
 
Soli Deo Gloria (“glory to God alone”) teaches that all glory is to be due to God alone since salvation is accomplished solely through His will and action — not only the gift of the all-sufficient atonement of Jesus on the cross but also the gift of faith in that atonement, created in the heart of the believer by the Holy Spirit.

With Scripture alone as the sure foundation, the Reformers affirmed that justification is by grace alone, received through faith alone because of Christ alone — for the glory of God alone. Today, Christians around the world give thanks to God for Martin Luther’s bold proclamation which occurred 505 years ago. We are also grateful for the brilliant display of God’s design for the Church, which continues to unfold. That number is laden with significance in that “five” symbolizes God’s grace.  

Emerging Third Apostolic Reformation

In reviewing the history of the Christian Church, certain historians recognize that the Protestant Reformation was actually the Second Apostolic Reformation, with the very first movement occurring in the 1st Century with the launching of the New Testament Church in the Book of Acts. The Protestant Reformation transitioned the Church from the “Dark Ages” to the beginning of the period of the restoration of the Church, described in Acts 3:21 as the “restitution or restoration of all things.” The underlying purpose of the second reformation was to restore and build the Church to the full maturity and ministry of Christ Jesus. This is accomplished through Christ’s five-fold ministers, of which the last two, prophets and apostles, are being restored to recognition, in light of the foundation of the Church being built on the doctrine of the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:21).

Church historians and other observers of the times and seasons indicate that the Third and Final Apostolic Reformation is underway. During this period of time, the Church will emerge triumphant, as a glorious display of the multi-faceted wisdom and demonstration of the glorious power of God (Ephesians 3:10).  Christ will restore His Church to fulfill God’s original purpose and intent–as the Kingdoms of this world become the Kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ. The beauty, splendor, and power of the Church in all its fullness are yet to be seen, as the third and final Apostolic Reformation gains momentum to transform the world.

A new sound for a new movement:

Out of the Reformation, came forth a “new sound”, commonly called “the hymn.” We now recognize the distinctive nature of this musical form, as “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” became known as “The Battle Hymn of the Reformation.” Luther composed the song after reading Psalm 46 which became the text for this most popular and best-known hymn.

Likewise, we note a “new sound” representative of the times in which we live. Elevation Worship  and Maverick City Music offer  a “new song” of exhortation from the 21st Century: “Build Your Church”:

“Words of Wisdom”—a daily dose of “words to the wise”–Day 15

May 29, 2013

As we pursue Godly wisdom, we are also encouraged to "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem."

As we pursue Godly wisdom, we are also encouraged to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”

In looking over a collection of poetry in which there is a reference to wisdom, I came across “As We Pray,” a poetic exhortation to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” I also thought of a particular day that is set aside for various groups to come together to pray for Jerusalem. One such occasion is the first Sunday in October, when hundreds of thousands gather across the globe to offer prayers to God on behalf of the Holy City. The exhortation to pray for Jerusalem is not confined to one specific day of prayer, but the indication is that such prayer should be ongoing.

Last year, I presented a series of blog entries entitled “Twelve for Twelve in 2012,” based on the 12 verses of Isaiah 62 which was the personal theme passage that I had adopted at the beginning of the year.  In one of the entries we find a reminder to call unto God “And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” For a more detailed discussion of that verse check out “Seven for Twelve on 7-4-12.” I am simply suggesting that the reminder to pray for the peace of Jerusalem should be ongoing, particularly in light of the ever-escalating critical conditions in the Middle East.

Note the reference to pursuing wisdom which we have also discussed in previous “Words of Wisdom”:

As We Pray

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:

“May they prosper who love you.

Peace be within your walls,

Prosperity within your palaces.”

Psalm 122:6-7

 

This week as we pray, we focus on the Kingdom,

Established and grounded on a sure foundation.

As we diligently pursue Godly wisdom,

New paths of this Apostolic Reformation

Unfold as the sun rises on the horizon.

Even in turbulent times, we must stay the course.

Aware of consequences of each decision,

We look to God our Father, bountiful resource.

We are new wineskins, flexible, open to change.

With a “kingdom mindset” we now see with new eyes.

Beyond past narrow limits our view is long-range.

We number our days with each sunset and sunrise.

Observing the times and giving meaning to them,

We ever pray for “the peace of Jerusalem.”

 

Mariano Jose Jimenez offers a musical composition inspired by the exhortation to “Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem.”