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A Continuing Reformation

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
October 8, 2022 12:01 am

A Continuing Reformation

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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October 8, 2022 12:01 am

The Protestant Reformation is more than a relic of history. God's people in every generation are called to reform the church and their own lives according to His Word. Today, Michael Reeves addresses the enduring relevance of the Reformation for Christians.

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By the 16th century the Roman Catholic Church had become increasingly corrupt and many people saw the need for reform, and I think there's an interesting parallel to the day I think so many people in the church see a need for reformation today. Many people are also different theological stripes will say oh yes, we need reformation, but what they mean by it is less just have people behaving Besa having people behave better would be treating the symptom and not the source of the problem. Hello and welcome to Renewing Your Mind. We were the Protestant Reformation is more than a relic of Christian history, God's people in every generation are called to reform the church their own lives according to God's word. But what does that look like today we're pleased to feature a seminar from the 2022 regular ministries national conference host Nathan W.

Bingham and Dr. Michael Reeves addressed during the relevant talking about tonight is the Reformation and the title of the seminar is a continuing Reformation as we think about the Reformation was in a once and done thing. Or is the church always in need of reformation. We tend to think of the Reformation as a once and done thing that Mohsen Lisa he pins his 95 theses to the door. The consultation getting back and then at some point, presumably it's over.

That's not how the reformers have a source tool because they were seeing the Reformation is not primarily an negative movement about merely opposing arrows simpler form of financing we exist to say how Rome is wrong.

They would be pointing out errors, but that sets second-rate thing Reformation is primarily a positive movement about purifying the chair which by the wood of God and because of the nature of what Reformation is.

That means the Reformation cannot be over 30 people to save views. Thus, the language of rustic is the Reformation over the and the thing we could possibly talk about what they might mean by that, but the very nature of reformation means no it it it's it's not. It's a process that will stop because Reformation needs to be continuous.

The church needs to be continually ongoing leap purifying it formed refreshed by the word of God just to set some context for us when we think of the Reformation. We as reformed Christians often think about justification by faith alone, but how nonanswer set the stage for paint the picture of what the world look like at that time.

How did the Reformation influence and change not just the church with the world in the 16th century, well you I did it. People here if many of you have had struggles with justification personal assurance of salvation. If you had a strong believer assurance of salvation. You go to sentence all what it would be like to live in medieval Europe before the Reformation. So I think of, for example, one English lady cool Marjorie Kim.

He lived before the Reformation was brought with his this other thing theologians in her day, said God will give grace to those who do that best. So the understanding was that this go by and through his giving you grace to help us as a reward and doing well only be a tiny bit better. The idea was that the program is basically that way spiritually lazy. It's not the people he spiritually dead and need the problem is that there spiritually lazy, save messages like this. Basically we'll know we need to be highly but we just can't be bothered and say what happens is, God gives us grace and way too much grace in medieval Roman Catholicism is think of a kind of red bull. So you just can't be bothered to get up every day. I need to be highly but tired here have a kind of grace you get this by going to church and once you down. This grace it makes you just full of energy and buying that energy you go out and do good works, and so under that salvation. You are saved by grace. If you don't have the red bull. You don't have the energy to go and do the good works. Grace was the red bull that enabled you to do the works, but it's the works that you have right, she couldn't get out without grace it is you will accident it and wants people like him. Marjorie Kim struggled with this will probably done enough to be worthy of heaven so I received grace this this enabling to be backed up, but I done enough in symmetry camp was driven to distraction, imagining devils want to drag her down to hell because she wasn't sufficiently holy. Mohsen Lisa was another classic one that he was absolutely terrified of suddenly dying and not being able to confess his last sins because he wouldn't then he wouldn't be able to go to heaven and sit justification was the news that turned Luther around. Melissa says he soaring.

Romans 117, I saw that the righteousness of God is a gift. He said it was as if I entered heaven itself through open gates because he saw the when God gives grace.

It's not that he gives in enabling kind of red bull is that he gives us Christ and not merely as an enabler, but as a savior who achieves everything for us so loose that when he wants to explain the gospel eat.

He said Ron being where enabled by God. The gospel works like this.

Imagine you have a king and a pool go.

In fact, she's a prostitute. This poor girl could never get rid of her debts she so deeply in debt for life's a mass she could never become the queen. What happens is the king comes in loser and takes her to be as I don't the wedding day.

She says to him all that I have my gift to you under life have I share with you associations with him all have sin debt has shamed and he takes it in the king's sister all that I have my gift to you all that I have. I share with you and Zach said Lisa is the great marriage's wall of the gospel we give to Christ, our bridegroom, or log guilt, and he shares with us all his righteousness, meaning he said that the that the believe candy look at her sins in the face of death and hell and say if I've sinned Mike Christ, who is mine has not sinned.

I don't mind my sin is his title. His his righteousness is mine, but date for Lisa was change a scan, nervous, anxious, deeply depressed young man into a boldly happy man who need to he could be confident, because of Christ and not because of his own performance, he became so boldly confident he could stand in front of the Emperor and the whole church refused to back down on his teaching sleep you get to see through this teaching of justification by faith alone. Source along on snakes and through this teaching on justification by faith alone, nervous cowards and scared depressed, confused young Christians became joyful, bold reformers, liens in the course of the gospel and to many others. The same substance from even small seeds, the world was profoundly affected the outside of the church have had a we see the influence of the Reformation, working out, how did it change Western world.

It change the Western world in many different ways. One of the first things you would notice and Wittenberg is printing became the dominant industry same in Geneva and so they are pouring out books and from Geneva men would be sent out raised in Geneva towards trained in theology, given little books that will be small pocket-sized things they could take with them so they could preach the gospel so printing literacy is some other one is for example the reformers were some of the first to oppose animal blood sports cruelty to animals so cockfighting bull baiting those sorts of things so they wanted to see where one thing the gospel to transform lives.

But sometimes as we talk about what transformation into Christ likeness. Looks like we get to get into real practicalities of what society is going to look like differently said it was very profound right across from literacy to animal-rights rerun of the printing press and I do want to spend some time of weekend thinking about the church today and is there any similarities in the church today as it was back then. But even technological from a technological perspective, you mentioned publishing the printing press. We living in a similar time with social media. The ease in which we can spread information. Absolutely we are one of the things interesting about Lisa is he was very ahead of the technology of his day and it it's one reason, humanly speaking, why he was so successful, so his opponents when he started writing his Roman Catholic opponents would write these long-winded theological totems, and guess how they do it in Latin. Luther would write short pamphlets in the German of the every day we just met the fall. More people were reading Luther in his and he was going out on printing presses the Lisa had to very quickly be using three different publishers because they couldn't publish as fast as he could write and see get to see his small use of what was a very need to come technology Gutenberg's movable type printing press that was the new technology of the day. I think what we've been given with with the Internet and social media with technological advances of the last 30 years.

Also we we've been given another good moment. The chance to seize the new technology and it's interesting back then you could see people looking at the new technology saying this new technology is dangerous. Look at all the ways it can be abused and you can see Luther and others soon after.

You could see them saying yes it can be but we can use this for the glory of Christ. So focusing now on the church. Other similarities between the church today in the church, pre-Reformation, there are many similarities something this interesting is that before the Reformation for hundred and 50 years or so before it started.

There were many within the Roman Catholic Church to soar. The need for Reformation what they meant by that was hey look, we'll neither priests who get drunk before mass and there are popes who so, for example, Pope Alexander VI was known for poisoning his Cardinals and holding orgies in the Vatican. It was just known this happens and a room with its snicker a bit and think this is good popes behave like that. The local parish priest behaves like that will never happen's and so there will be a sense of what couldn't we do have to assume Reformation Adobe attempts at Reformation. But what Reformation meant was, let's be back to Roman Catholics, there isn't a problem with the theology is just we need to behave better. I won't wait Luther really different was to see the theological roots of the problem. I think there's an interesting parallel to the day I think so many people in the church see a need for Reformation today. They see falling leaders lack of integrity spiritual hollowness.

Many people are also two different theological stripes will say oh yes, we need Reformation. But what they mean by his quite superficial. Let's just have people behaving better and if you can just improve behavior that'll that'll sort it little moral ball is old.

The church needs. I think if we do see true Reformation of the church in our day it's going to be by recovering the central truths of the gospel which were the truths that were trumpeted at the Reformation suit justification by faith alone. The supremacy of Scripture, the need for sinners to be born again. Christ is completely sufficient Savior. We do need to add anything to what he's done those of the truths that will change lives but 100 years off the Reformation got going. Richard Simpson, Puritan wrote off these last hundred years of Reformation that has been more like to some numbness and comfort.

Why for Christ hath been better known. So he's seeing it is the preaching of Christ and his gospel. That is what does the work of transformation in Reformation with the Reformation in our day. That's what we need, not a superficial pragmatic onset. So the next question was going to be how do we foster a Reformation like that and so the answer is that it begins in the pulpit, absolutely one of the one of the key things you'd be sore at the time of the Reformation was the change in preaching so that they used to talk about stroll preposterous before the Reformation, a strawberry pastor was one who appeared in church once a year like strawberry appears once a year and and wouldn't really preach the central architectural focus of churches was the old because there is a place of sacrifice of fresh to God and that was one the most noticeable things hitting the architecture of the church pulpit would go central the positive church life is not the need to continually offer up sacrifices to God because Christ is being sacrificed. Hebrews 727 once for all. You need to repeat that the ease achieved salvation completely and himself. So what we need is preaching Harold's his redemption and so great practical change in churches the time the Reformation was now we start to see regular expository preaching of Scripture. So the people are hearing this gospel wrong other than a priest interning incoherent words in Latin and saying hocus-pocus which was CORPUS ma'am this is my body, misunderstood, set the game.

Hocus-pocus is just some magical words that holy men say he was preaching brought about the loss Reformation it's preaching the preaching of Christ from Scripture that will bring about Reformation the church in our day and a faithful preaching that shows not merely any Christ. Christ as an example, but Christ is absolutely unique, completely sufficient Savior so that we can have the confidence in him. Luther had what are some of the key doctrines from the Reformation of the church may have forgotten today, justification by faith alone is right to the center but actually is. As we talked about how Grace was understood in Roman Catholicism easy the issue isn't really that every word that was used.

Grace, faith, salvation. These we used in Roman Catholic circles in the Middle Ages and still be used today. The issue is, they meant different things by them.

So a Roman Catholic could before the Reformation and still could today say we are saved through grace by faith. The Pope will teach that. But what a Roman Catholic means by that is this. We are saved by this grace enables me to be changed to become holy to do the good works on the basis of which I'm saved the grace enables me.

Where is Lisa's marriage illustration says Christ salutes you with a righteousness that is not your own. He doesn't merely enable people to come righteous in themselves.

Christ concludes sinners with his unrighteousness and supplying find that this is on going Lee' problem in churches today is a lack of clarity on what salvation is, is grace, and enabling help. But God really is any helping people save themselves down to you to do a good job, in which case you will be nervous if you take that seriously. Will Kenny have the boldness of depending entirely entirely upon Christ and lack of clarity that is is widespread.

I think clarity on who Christ is, needs to be recovered again today. We need to be clear that when we talk about Christ not talking about someone who is a spiritual guru for Butler who could merely help us along a little bit as if really salvation is down to us. But Jesus very kindly just give us a helping hand, we see the Christ of Scripture is so potentially sufficient that without him there is no salvation but with him.

We can rejoice with him. We can have boldness because he's achieved the goal.

I think the Reformation impacted truths from who God is. Is God gracious and is being or is he waiting for us to sort ourselves out not actually very gracious right through to the work of the Spirit in our hearts is it that actually we can just behave backs and that's good enough for God or is it it doesn't matter how you behave is your heart so sick your issue is you need to be born again.

You need your the spirit your heart to give you a hot flash that instead of directing God and delighting in sin delights in God and read seven Reformation impact holy streets when you talk about the clarity of the gospel also brings assurance you donated doubt whether you're a Christian when when you recognize that God is the one essay sinners absolutely right actually right, and therefore you see that happy boldness CS Lewis talked about the Protestant faith brought a bully in humility. The he saw almost as a litmus test of faithfulness to being Protestant. If there isn't a sense of a rejoicing and who Christ is. You've no white cross how great and sufficient to save you. He is, and if you're not cute Humboldt. If the some pride in yourself again your thinking your contributing if you not depending entirely upon Christ sake brilliant humility is the tone of Reformation spirituality. I love that boy and humility are happy boldness is great. One final question for you what what lessons can the church today learn any any lessons you haven't mentioned already, but what lessons can we learn from the Reformation. The church today.

I think we can learn the lesson of Lisa Lisa personally struggled to the point where he said I did not love but I hated God and if you find yourself or someone you know in that position feeling either lukewarm disinterested couldn't care less about God or actually worse.

I really hate God. As Lisa said, you can know that there is great hope and transformation. As Lisa found by pressing into the gospel make known in Scripture that inscription, Luther found God's gracious heap not dreamed such a being could exist and attend them around at that as a lesson of hope for us today. For those of us who have family who seem bored or hostile to the face if we can open up to them, make available to them the Christ of Scripture, the gospel of justification by faith alone is sufficient Savior who dies in the place of sinners than the board in the hostile can be turned to boy and humility to a happy boldness is Dr. Michael Reeves, along with my colleague here at regular ministries Nathan W. Bingham talking about our need for continued Reformation. Thanks for listening to Renewing Your Mind idly web this past March. Regular ministries hosted its 2022 national conference by theme, upholding Christian ethics speakers considered health God's word takes the moral confusion that surrounds us and puts it in proper perspective.

But we have a Christian understanding of ethics were prepared to stand for the truth to love our neighbors well and to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness that seems daunting doesn't it. How do we achieve a full understanding of what the Bible says about ethics well.

A good place to start is RC Sproul's book, everyone's a theologian, it's an introduction. The systematic theology and adductor scroll surveys the basic truths of the Christian faith. And if you never contacted us before we be happy to send you a free copy you can make your request online today when you go to Renewing Your Mind.or if you are new to the ministry. Let me also recommend that you explore the many podcasts reproduce here the legionnaire, for example, you can learn about the people and events that have shaped the church with Dr. Stephen Nichols's podcast is five minutes in church history were Barry Cooper explained some of the big words that reread in theology textbooks and as a result, we realize they're not as difficult as we think this podcast is called simply put, you can explore all of the podcasts Renewing Your Mind is the listener supported outreach of leader ministries idly web. Thank you for being with us today and I hope you make plans to be with us again next Saturday

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