The Reformation and Reformed Theology.
What does "Reformation" mean?
Many Christians believe that they believe in the reformation but it is not being taught in churches and as a result people have no knowledge in the history of the reformation.
The term Reformation is a historical term that goes back almost four centuries. It refers to a period when the church underwent a "reformation" as men of God attempted to return Christianity to the authority of Scripture. The desire of the Reformation was not to change God's word but rather to bring the church back into accord with it. Led by men like Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin, the Reformation churches split off from the errors of the medieval Roman church and began what we know today as Protestantism. The Protestant churches were born out of the Reformation.
But today John Calvin and his theology is being attacked by many preachers. As one pastor said, "The greatest threat we have to Christianity is Calvinism." If you ask them, have you ever read, 'The Institutes of the Christian Religion' by John Calvin, they will say no. Calvin is being portrayed as a mean man sending people to hell, as God is presented as an unjust God. People who attack Calvin believe that all what Calvin taught was predestination and election. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Institutes are consisted of four books, and there are eighty chapters in the Institutes and out of the eighty chapters only in the 21st chapter, predestination and election is being discussed, which comes right after prayer, which is the longest chapter of the book. In reality Calvin did not teach on predestination and election all the time, but speaks more on glorification of God, prayer, faith and of Christ and the cross. Charles Spurgeon said, "It is no novelty, then, that I am-preaching; no new doctrine. I love to proclaim these strong old doctrines, which are called by nicknameCalvinism, but which are surely and verily the revealed truth of God as it is in Christ Jesus. By this truth I make a pilgrimage into the past, and as I go,I see father after father, confessor after confessor, martyr after martyr, standing up to shake hands with me. Were I a Pelagian, or a believer in the doctrine of free-will, I should have to walk for centuries all alone. Here and there a heretic of no very honorable character might rise up and call me brother. But taking these things to be the standard of my faith, I see the land of the ancients peopled with my brethren-I behold multitudes who confess the same as I do, and acknowledge that this is the religion of Godís own church."
†What is Reformation Theology?
In summary, Reformation Theology is consistent with historic biblical
Christianity and maintains that:
The Holy Bible is the inerrant and infallible rule of faith and practice for the Christian. All of Christianity is under the authority of this, God's word.
The Almighty triune God as absolute and unconditional, independent, and his counsel is eternal, unchangeable, wise and sovereign. We cannot bring God to our own level and ask him what have you done or say God is not just. We believe that sovereignty of God in his absolute, independent right and God is not under obligation to his creatures and His will is firmly established throughout time according to His counsel and good pleasure.
Man was created pure and perfect in the image of God, and that by his own guilt he fell from the grace, which he received, and is alienated from God, the fountain of justice and of all good, so that his nature is totally corrupt. And being blinded in mind, and depraved in heart, captive to sin and has become a slave to sin.
God, according to his eternal and immutable counsel, calls those whom he has chosen by his goodness and mercy alone in our Lord Jesus Christ, without consideration of their works, to display in them the riches of his mercy; God effectually called whom he has elected. This effectual call is of God's free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in man.
The Son of God, the second person in the Trinity, being very and eternal God, In accordance with His will, came to this world to seek and to save those were lost, and he died for the elect his people. He was bodily resurrected and receives all glory and honor, and will return to judge the living and the dead.
Reformation theology exalts the sovereignty of God and exposes the inability of man in salvation. Salvation is of the Lord.
Martin Luther and the early Reformers convinced the church of sola Scriptura. It means that the Scriptures and the Scriptures alone are sufficient to function as the rule of faith, for the Church. All that one must believe to be a Christian is found in Scripture and in no other source. That man was saved by God's grace alone (sola gratia) through faith alone (sola fide) in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Some people mistakenly believe that the cornerstone of Reformed theology is the doctrine of predestination. We do believe in predestination, and we are not ashamed to say so. But the cornerstone of our message is not predestination; it is the majesty of God. The majesty of God is revealed to us as grace, the unmerited favor of God through the propitiatory sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Reformation theology maintains that the "fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." The need for today is a return to Reformation theology and the sharing of the word of God in and out of season so that Christ's church may benefit from sound doctrine and a deeper appreciation of the God we serve.