Monday, November 16, 2009

Reformation Sunday

Yesterday, our church celebrated Reformation Day (just a few weeks late!). We started off the service with a short description of what the reformation was and then we had corporate affirmation of each of the Five Sola's. If you're curious to know what our church is about (and I know some of you are!), read each of these carefully and it will tell you a great deal about what we believe about Christ and the Scriptures. I've also included videos of the songs that we sang after each affirmation and some Scripture. I hope it's an encouragement to you as much as it was to me!

Sola Scriptura- Scripture Alone
Sola Christus- Christ Alone
Sola Gratia- Grace Alone
Sola Fide- Faith Alone
Sola Deo Gloria- The Glory of God Alone

These five affirmations are taken from The Cambridge Declaration. In each of these below, we are affirming what we as a church believe and what we as a church deny. These things matter, contrary to what some may say. I am thankful to attend a church that all things we do with the Scriptures. I challenge you to go deeper....

"Evangelical churches today are increasingly dominated by the spirit of this age rather than by the Spirit of Christ. As evangelicals, we call ourselves to repent of this sin and to recover the historic Christian faith."

Sola Scriptura: The Erosion of Authority

We reaffirm the inerrant Scripture to be the sole source of written divine revelation, which alone can bind the conscience. The Bible alone teaches all that is necessary for our salvation from sin and is the standard by which all Christian behavior must be measured.

We deny that any creed, council or individual may bind a Christian's conscience, that the Holy Spirit speaks independently of or contrary to what is set forth in the Bible, or that personal spiritual experience can ever be a vehicle of revelation.

"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." 2 Tim. 3:16-17

Sola Christus: The Erosion of Christ-Centered Faith

We reaffirm that our salvation is accomplished by the mediatorial work of the historical Christ alone. His sinless life and substitutionary atonement alone are sufficient for our justification and reconciliation to the Father.

We deny that the gospel is preached if Christ's substitutionary work is not declared and faith in Christ and his work is not solicited.

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross." Colossians 1:15-20

Sola Gratia: The Erosion Of The Gospel

We reaffirm that in salvation we are rescued from God's wrath by his grace alone. It is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit that brings us to Christ by releasing us from our bondage to sin and raising us from spiritual death to spiritual life.

We deny that salvation is in any sense a human work. Human methods, techniques or strategies by themselves cannot accomplish this transformation. Faith is not produced by our unregenerated human nature.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us" Ephesians 1:3-8

Sola Fide: The Erosion Of The Chief Article

We reaffirm that justification is by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone. In justification Christ's righteousness is imputed to us as the only possible satisfaction of God's perfect justice.

We deny that justification rests on any merit to be found in us, or upon the grounds of an infusion of Christ's righteousness in us, or that an institution claiming to be a church that denies or condemns sola fide can be recognized as a legitimate church.

"just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?
Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” Galations 3:6-11

Soli Deo Gloria: The Erosion Of God-Centered Worship

We reaffirm that because salvation is of God and has been accomplished by God, it is for God's glory and that we must glorify him always. We must live our entire lives before the face of God, under the authority of God and for his glory alone.

We deny that we can properly glorify God if our worship is confused with entertainment, if we neglect either Law or Gospel in our preaching, or if self-improvement, self-esteem or self- fulfillment are allowed to become alternatives to the gospel.

"For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen." Romans 11:36


Jessica said...

Great post Crystal!
We had such a wonderful service Sunday! So thankful for the Reformation!

Nick said...
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Xandra@Heart-of-Service said...

Okay...this is one of the best posts I've ever read! I love how your church combined the scripture with the songs to reinforce the truth of what we believe. Thanks for taking the time to write this all out...

How Firm a Foundation is one of my favorite hymns!