Reformation Notes

 

By Nick Bibile

 

The meaning of 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 purpose of Reformation

ECCLESIASTICAL POWER OVER PEOPLE

A SYSTEM OF SACRAMENTS

PENANCE

INDULGENCE

The sale of indulgences. Veneration of saints. Holding to traditions of men rather than to the word of God.The power of the Roman Catholic Church.

The desire of the Reformation was not to change God's word but rather to bring the church back to the early Christian church.

Leaders of the Reformation.

There were men like John Wycliffe (1330-84) and John Huss (1330-84) attempted to bring back the word of God by exposing the heresy of the church.

Martin Luther (1483-1546) Reformation began in Germany. Background of Lutherís life. Johann Tetzel the salesman for Pope. October 31, 1517 The 95 Theses. printing press made the Scriptures available to a wider audience, Rome tried to silence Luther, his appearance before the counsel. Godís protection. Spread of the reformation.

Huldreich Zwingli (1484-1531)

John Calvin (1509-64) The masterful theologian. Luther came and completed solid new structure resting on the Word of God. The completion of the building, however, was left to John Calvin, a master theologian. Geneva became a haven of refuge to Protestants.

The heart of the of the Reformation

Justification by faith alone.

The heart of the controversy between Rome and historic Protestants is a dispute over the way of salvation. Rome has a different salvation than the Protestants. But there is only one way of salvation.  In  Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."   Man is a sinner but God is infinitely holy and righteous, man has to be righteous to go to heaven.  How can a man become righteous before God?  "If you, O LORD, kept a record of our sins, O LORD who could stand?" (Psalm 130:3)    In Short how can man go to heaven? This truth is at the foundation of historic Protestant theology; we are justified by faith alone. The sinner is declared righteous, based solely upon the righteousness of another that is of Christ's righteousness, which is imputed or credited to the sinners account. even Christ Jesus. The righteousness of Christ is the ground of salvation. "This is why it is credited to him as righteousness. The words it was credited to him were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead." (Romans 4:22-25) 

Rome absolutely denies the doctrine of justification by faith alone, pronouncing it is an anathema (Divine curse) upon those who hold to this principle. Rome said, in the 9th canon of the Council of Trent says: "If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified, in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to cooperate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will: let him be anathema."

Reformed Theology

Reformation brought reformed theology. Reformed theology shows the plan of salvation is entirely of God from the very beginning to the end, no human can assist God in the plan of salvation. It is the Lordís plan and executed in our time by the Lord. Calvinism exalts the sovereignty of God and the grace of God and expose the true condition of the sinful man. It is called Calvinism as John Calvin taught the rule of faith is not manís traditions, opinions or feelings but the word of God only.

The difference of Calvinism and Armnianism is another subject.

RECOMMENDED READING

The Bondage of the Will - Martin Luther