Not So Random Thoughts 35

Matthew 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. 15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 “So then, you will know them by their fruits. 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

Matthew 18:1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, 3 and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Romans 9:15 For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.” 16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.
The doctrine of free justification by faith only, which became the storm-centre of so much controversy during the Reformation period, is often regarded as the heart of the Reformer’s theology, but this is hardly accurate. The truth is that their thinking was really centered upon the contention of Paul, echoed with varying degrees of adequacy by Augustine, and Gottschalk, and Bradwardine, and Wycliffe, that the sinner’s entire salvation is by free and sovereign grace only. The doctrine of justification by faith was important to them because it safeguarded the principle of sovereign grace; but it actually expressed for them only one aspect of this principle, and that not its deepest aspect. The sovereignty of grace found expression in their thinking at a profounder level still, in the doctrine of monergistic regeneration—the doctrine, that is, that the faith which receives Christ for justification is itself the free gift of a sovereign God, bestowed by spiritual regeneration in the act of effectual calling. (Johnson and Packer’s introduction to Luther’s Bondage of the Will).

It is what is known and celebrated as Reformation Day, though Reformation Sunday was two days ago. Okay, people have remembered and celebrated, but now what? Okay, many books were written and some pointed to that great time in the past, but now what? It may be something like December 25th, which is what some say is a celebration of the birth of Christ. The day comes and the day goes but nothing seems to change. Is that what has happened to Reformation Day? It is a day to remember as we remember other historical events and yet nothing really changes? It is a day we remember, nod our heads toward, and claim we are like that. But are we really?

Could it be that Reformation Day is something we celebrate in our own way and think of in a self-righteous way and yet are like the man that the Scriptures speak of who looks in the mirror and yet goes on his way without changing anything? Could it be that instead of looking at Reformation Day as a time to examine the works of God in the past and noting the things He used and seeking His face for those things again that we just think of it as a time to congratulate ourselves that we are Reformed?

Do we live in a day where the Gospel of grace alone is preached so that it is clear “that the sinner’s entire salvation is by free and sovereign grace only”? Do we live in a day where justification is preached in a way where it is clear that it is safeguarding the fact of sovereign grace? Do we live in a day where monergistic regeneration is taught and preached with boldness and clarity? Do we live in a day where people are taught and that it is preached to lost sinners that faith itself is a gift of God? If not, do we need to think again about what God did during the Reformation and seek those things from the hand of God? Do we not only need to remember the Reformation, but seek the God who was sovereign over the Reformation?

Year after year we hear of the Reformation. Year after year the presses are churning out books about the Reformation. Since this year was the 500th year celebration of the Reformation, a greater number of books flooded the shelves. It will do no good to read those books and it will do not good to remember the Reformation unless we are broken and humbled before God by His grace and seek His grace to do it again in our day. Luther was not just some folk hero; he was a man that God broke and then used according to His good pleasure. Luther was not just some academic who was popular, but he was a man burning with a love for God and His glory. It will do us little to no good to remember the Reformation unless we seek God to become people who burn for His glory.

This coming Sunday will the preaching of the preachers be any different? Will they give a nod at Luther or Calvin and then go on to preach a poor pottage of red stuff that is far from the Gospel in truth? Will the preachers in our day seek God for His presence and power that they may preach for His glory and preach His sovereign grace or will they continue on with their academic approach to the Scriptures? Will the preachers in our day continue on in their dry and stale expositions and forget Christ and His glory? Will the preachers in our day continue on in a neglect of the cross and grace of Christ? Will the preachers continue on their same ole dull preaching of morality and moralism? If so, we can know that they looked in the mirror of the Reformation but for a moment and are going on their same ole path. May God deliver us from the same ole path and come down and revive His people as He did during the Reformation with Himself.

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One Response to “Not So Random Thoughts 35”

  1. Cafazzo Franco Says:

    Instead of perfectness in the inner man, un fathomable depths of corruption are there.
    Instead of perfectness of character, the things that ought to be absent are present, and the things that ought to be present are absent.
    Instead of being unreservedly devoted to God, we are unreservedly devoted to ourselves.
    Suchisourcondition. Andallthismoralle prosy has come upon us as a consequence of the Fall. ItistheresultofAdam’sfirstsin,forwith
    him we had, by God’s appointment, a legal oneness. He sinned, and his transgression brought upon him, and upon us, “judgment unto condemnation” — one of the first and chief results of that judg ment being, the presence and dominance in us of Indwelling Sin, whereby all power of doing good is supplanted by the abiding presence of energetic evil.

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