This week at Virtual Church we will be celebrating The Reformation by looking at different reformers and giving thanks for their commitment to God and the sharing of his Word.
For me, each of the men we will look at were influential in bringing about the advancement of relationship with our heavenly Father through Christ the Son in the power of the Holy Spirit.
- The works of Martin Luther in combating indulgences and highlighting that we are saved by grace, through faith, which is a gift from God;
- William Tyndale’s commitment to putting the Word of God in the hands of the boy who ploughed the fields;
- Thomas Cranmer’s dedication to having services in Church, and the liturgy used teach the faith in a common tongue.
For this blog I want to prepare us for worship on Sunday, where we will hear more about these individuals, by stating that in order to be saved by grace through faith we have to accept that we are sinners – we have to believe that we are sinners.
As a youngster my father once asked me: “what’s the difference between a Christian and a non-Christian?” My answers were along the lines of: goes to church, is a good person, cares for others, etc. These things may be characteristics that we associate with Christians but that is not what makes a believer; these things can be done by people who have yet to commit to Christ as their Savior and Lord.
The difference between a Christian and a non- Christian is that a Christian knows they are a sinner.
Because of this we should not judge those who choose not to belong to the Body of Christ. During our series on Joy I spoke about the need for us to remain in the Father’s love. There is an enormous amount of freedom here. However, if we decide we want more freedom and walk outside of that love, then we choose to go our own way.
“What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?” (Galatians 5:12)
Every one of us is dealing with our own battles and shortcomings. Our call as disciples is to be actively combating these and choosing to walk a new path – the path of Christ. As we walk this path we meet others who are doing likewise and it is our duty to help them on their walk – to hold them accountable to God’s Word – because they have chosen to take this journey.
Reformation Sunday is as good a time as any to recall why we are on the journey. It is by Grace Alone, through Faith Alone, in Christ Alone, according to Scripture Alone, and for God’s Glory Alone.
We are saved by grace, through faith, which is a gift from God. This opens the door to relationship with the Father, through the Son, and offers the power and counsel of the Holy Spirit. If you have accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior then that acceptance comes with accountability – the relationship comes with responsibility.
Accepting that you are a sinner is an important step. In fact without taking that step all steps lead to glorifying one’s self and not living into the truth that disciples are called to live in the purpose of giving God the glory – Always and in Everything.