New Hope Reformed Fellowhsip
Pastor- Rev. D. J. Vander Klok  |  Dorr, Michigan@ Byron Road & 142 nd ST
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Echo's From the Reformation
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Echo’s From The Reformation

Earnestly contend for the faith, Jude 1:3b


he changing of the seasons each year evokes diverse memories and emotions for most people. The world hears the distant echo of past Football games with the craving of more to come, especially if the game goes into overtime. The passion exhibited in the idolization of their sports heroes who lust for fame among their peers is never ending. Others, in a profitable and Biblical calling for society and covenant family, till the soil and anticipate a fruitful harvest from the Lord upon their labors and give heartfelt thanks to the Lord of harvest, which is truly sweet music to the Lord.

But there are others of all callings of life, in whom the Spirit of Jehovah has placed the spirit of wisdom and discernment in their hearts, also hear an echo but not the din of the world but the thundering echo of the far distant past of ancient church history, which we call the Protestant Reformation. We too hear a distant echo as we remember Jehovah’s faithfulness as we consider His covenant with Abraham, the father of the faithful to be a God to him and his seed after him. But what was Abraham’s faith rooted in? Was father Abraham righteous by his diligent works of by faith in the promise of righteousness displayed in the gospel from a covenant keeping Jehovah?

Therefore in the autumn of each year, we call to remembrance the covenantal faithfulness of Jehovah in our Redemption in Jesus Christ alone. We call to remembrance what Jehovah has done with simple, yet gifted men who were committed to the inerrant Scriptures to restore His church to the faith once delivered to the fathers. Jehovah is a jealous God, who will by no means allow His Name and honor to be defiled, even by the visible church. Thus in our celebration of REFORMATION DAY, we abhor the world’s holiday of death and hear the ancient call to earnestly contend for the faith.

The Reformers focused their contending for the faith in what we call the Watch Cry of the Reformation also known as the five Sola’s of the Reformation. The Five sola’s are five Latin phrases that emerged during the Protestant Reformation and summarize the Reformers' basic theological beliefs in contradistinction to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church of the day. The Latin word sola means "alone" or "only" in English. The five sola’s articulated five fundamental beliefs of the Protestant Reformation, pillars which the Reformers believed to be essentials of the Christian life and practice. All five of the "sola’s" implicitly reject or counter the then prevailing status quo, of the Catholic Church, which had, in the various reformers' minds, usurped divine attributes or qualities for the church, its hierarchy, and especially, its head, the Pope.

The Five Sola’s are listed below with a brief description for each:

  • This doctrine was thought to be in contradistinction to several teachings of the Roman Catholic Church: the Pope as Christ's representative head of the Church on earth, the concept of meritorious works, and the idea of a treasury of the merits of saints. It is in some ways comparable to the church doctrine of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus; outside of the Roman Church, there is no salvation.
  • V- Soli Deo Gloria ("glory to God alone")
    • The doctrine states essentially that everything that is done is for God's glory to the exclusion of humankind's self-glorification and pride. Christians are to be motivated and inspired by God's glory and not their own recognition among men.

To this Biblical Truth (Faith), Jude calls us to earnestly contend for in our modern day Universal Church world. We are not to be warm and fuzzy Church members but those who have the fire of God within our souls. We are to know and contend for the Truth over against the Lie in all areas of our lives. We are to have no fellowship with the God hating world, whether in general or the apostate Church. But most would say that this is too divisive in our greatly shattered world. We need to be ready to accommodate others in their “faith” as well and work for a unified church world. If this is our thinking, then we forget what God gave us in the Protestant Reformation. If there were no Reformation, we would still be Catholic, we would swear total allegiance to the Pope, call a manmade priest Father, confess our sins to such a man, deny the finished work of Christ as we bow our knees before the host of the Mass, beg Mary to intercede for us poor sinners, pray for the dead in Purgatory, stand in utter terror of death, for we would have no hope of being with the Lord after death, etc!

Let us praise God for His great work of revival in the Protestant Reformation.

I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth, 3 John 1:3

Rev. D. J. VanderKlok, 2010

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