Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Reformation Day! (Reformation & Solas History)

Yes, yes, I know you may have been expecting a Happy Halloween, but I wanted to talk about a different holiday that happens today that not many that I have talked to this past month are aware of,...Reformation Day!

If you are in a church where:
  • The Bible is read (in a language you understand)
  • The Bible is preached (in a language you understand)
  • You sing songs based off Biblical truths (in a language you understand)
  • Pray prayers (in a language you understand) and are Biblical in content
  • You are taught that you are justified by grace alone through faith alone by Christ alone
Then you are in debt to these men involved in the Reformation. All those things listed above, before the Reformation, were neither being practiced or taught.

Even more than that, on a non-religious level, we probably wouldn’t have the form of Republican government that we have today. A Democracy, capitalism, the sciences (as we have them today), educational system, and family life as we do today.

Sociologist Peter Burger said the reformation is the most amazing organizational achievement in the history of man, based on the network of friendships, and these men pressing forward toward the same goal to change churches and nations.

Martin Luther, who sparked the start of the Reformation, is said to be amongst the top 3 most influential men of last millennium.

Even if you just have the Bible in your own language, then you can thank God for the Reformers.

So what is the Reformation?

Since many don't know what this holiday is let me give this brief overview:

On October 31, 1517 a obscure German monk by the name of Martin Luther nailed a list of 95 theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg. He was protesting the abuse of indulgences in the church. In particular he was offended by Johann Tetzel, one of the Monks who had been sent out by the Pope to raise money for the building of St. Peter’s basilica in Rome.

In Roman Catholicism indulgences were a remission of a certain amount of time in Purgatory granted to the repentant sinner for a number of different reasons. One way to gain an indulgence was to go on a pilgrimage to a distant land. Today an
opportunity to go to the Holy Land would be considered a special privilege. But travel in medieval Europe was a major hardship, filled with many dangers - and a trip to Israel would only be undertaken because of the granting of an indulgence. To be fair we need to say that Roman Catholic theology required that the penitent sinner have a godly sorrow for his sins for the indulgence to be of any value. Tetzel, though, was going around selling indulgences as a “get out of jail free card.” He had a little slogan he used to promote his activities that went “As soon as a coin in the coffer rings, a soul from purgatory springs.”

Luther’s initial protest was not against the granting of indulgences but against abuses of granting indulgences practiced by Tetzel (and against the Pope's authority). It needs to be remembered that what Luther did in nailing his theses to the church door was not an act of rebellion. This was the normal method used by scholars to call for debate on an issue. Support for this statement lies with the fact that the theses were written Latin (the scholarly language) and not in German (the common language).

However, some enterprising students copied the theses, published them - and within a few weeks they were all over Germany. This was the precipitating event of the
Reformation of the church. The flame of reformation was soon kindled across
Europe. Ulrich Zwingli in Switzerland, Thomas Cramer and Hugh Latimer in
England and John Knox in Scotland were just a few of the reformers that God used
to awaken His church.

The changes that God brought about through the Reformation were not merely
cosmetic. Though there were massive changes in the liturgy, the fundamental change was the recovery of the Biblical Gospel as seen in the slogan of the reformers -
After darkness light!

Another change that came about was a radical departure from the medieval way of interpreting Scripture. The church had gotten off track very early through the influence of Origen who promoted allegorical interpretation. Today we use the literary historical method which examines the text according to the literary form (such as historical narrative, didactic or teaching texts, poetry, etc.) and asks the question, “What did the author mean in this text? (This question requires us to consider the historical setting.) This change in our understanding of how to interpret Scripture was not just a reformation, but a revolution!

Often the Reformation is understood in light of the five “solas,” (sola being the Latin word for alone.)

Sola Scriptura - Scripture alone
Sola Gratia - Grace alone
Sola Fide - Faith alone
Sola Christus - Christ alone
Soli Deo Gloria - All to the glory of God alone

The scriptures were seen as the formal cause of the Reformation. It was the issue of
authority - the Bible or the church - that was behind the other issues in question. Was the Bible the only authority for all faith and practice or was it the church, as Rome said. The principle of Sola Scriptura did not mean that there was no teaching office in the church. It meant that the church must interpret the text according to what it actually teaches and not according to the traditions of the church.

The absolute necessity for and the sufficiency of the Grace of God in the salvation of
every individual was seen by the reformers as a critical issue. This truth did not come first from the pen of John Calvin. Martin Luther was proclaiming Sola Gratia years before John Calvin was even a Christian. Luther’s book, The Bondage of the Will, was written as a response to The Freedom of the Will written by the Roman Catholic humanist scholar, Desiderius Erasmus. Erasmus’ position (on this subject) was essentially the same as the Arminian position that is so prevalent in the church today.

Sola Fide was called the material cause of the Reformation. The material cause was the doctrine over which the battle raged. It was in the foreground while Sola Scriptura was in the background. The reformers said that faith alone was the means of our justification. It must be remembered that the Roman Catholic Church did not deny the necessity of faith. What Rome opposed was “faith alone.” The reformers acknowledged that true faith would produce good works, but said that those works
followed faith and did not contribute to our acceptance by God. We are saved, they
said, by faith alone, but not by a faith that is alone.

Sola Christus says that Christ alone is the meritorious cause of our salvation. Roman Catholicism said that while our works were not as meritorious as those of Christ, they did have sufficient merit that it was fitting to reward them. It has been well said that Jesus Christ supplemented is Jesus Christ supplanted. That is, if you add anything to the requirement of Christ alone for salvation, then you have replaced him.

Soli Deo Gloria taught that since the other solas were true, all honor and glory
belonged to God for our salvation. While no one would be so bold as to say that the
glory for our salvation should be shared and deny that all glory belonged to God, that was the net affect of the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. What the
reformer’s clearly saw was that the Bible taught that our justification was by Grace
Alone through Faith Alone in Christ Alone - all to the Glory of God Alone.

There was also an essential difference in the understanding of the doctrine of
justification between Protestants and Roman Catholics. Luther and the other
reformers said that justification was the legal decree of God that we were righteous
based on the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to our account. (Abraham believed God and He reckoned it to him as righteousness). This righteousness, they said, was an alien righteousness, one that came from outside of ourselves. Our righteousness
was as “filthy rags.”

In contrast, the Roman Church said that in order for God to declare us righteous we must actually be righteous. This is sometimes called analytical righteousness - that is God analyzes us, and when He see’s that we are righteous, He declares us to be righteous. It was this teaching that so vexed Martin Luther. He used to spend hours in the confessional meticulously reciting his sins of the previous day but without finding peace.

Most of us have defense mechanisms that allow us to continue to function despite our sins. Luther saw more clearly than anyone else of his day that his efforts to placate a Holy God were useless. But, God broke through his despair and awakened in Luther the truth of the Scripture - “The just shall live by Faith” Romans 1:17.

In Luther's own words:

For further knowledge on the Reformation I suggest watching the following two videos that will give you a little more in depth overview: The Protestant Reformation 1 of 2 (9:29) & The Protestant Reformation 2 of 2 (10:43)

In conclusion I thank God for these men, for they revived the true saving gospel. A gospel that relies on God for our salvation not any works of man:

yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
- Galatians 2:16

Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for "The righteous shall live by faith."
- Galatians 3:11

You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.
- Galatians 5:4

Oh sinner, let me plead with you, trust Christ, there is NO hope in the flesh, no hope in your good works, no hope in keeping the law. There is only hope in believe what Christ says to do, to repent, and to trust alone in Him for your salvation.

Christian, let us not go back to any system that teaches a false gospel:

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel
-- not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.
As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man?
If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man's gospel.
For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it,
but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

- Galatians 1:6-12

Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, noone get's to the Father except through Him! (John 14:6)

Soli Deo Gloria!

jason d.

Friday, October 23, 2009

25 Weeks Pregnant

Here I am 25 weeks pregnant
149 pounds
42 inches around!

Chick here to see how big I was with the twins at this point.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sneak Peek

I have not had much time to blog but I wanted to give you a sneak peek of what we have been doing. A detailed post will follow sometime next week :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

I just wanted to tell you all that today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. If you have ever lost a baby due to miscarriage, still birth or if your baby died after birth today is a day for you to remember you baby/ babies and a day for us to pray for all the families who have lost little one.

Getting a positive result on a pregnancy test is such an exciting day. It's a day you know your family will be changed forever. You start wondering is it a boy or girl, when will I start showing, I can't wait for my first sonogram. It is a time filled with so much joy until you receive the news that will also change your life forever. You are told your baby no longer has a heartbeat or you are told that you baby most likely wont live long after birth or you deliver you baby who has already gone to be with Jesus.

All of these moments will change our lives forever.

I want you to know that God is good through it all. We may not ever fully know why these things happen other than they were for God's glory and our good. But you can all rest knowing that God is sovereign even over suffering.

I wanted to share with you guys some verses that really encouraged me after Melody and Madison died.

Ecclesiastes 7:1-4
A good name is better than precious ointment,
and the day of death than the day of birth.

It is better to go to the house of mourning
than to go to the house of feasting,
for this is the end of all mankind,
and the living will lay it to heart.
Sorrow is better than laughter,
for by sadness of face the heart is made glad.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.

Ecclesiastes 7:8-14

Better is the end of a thing than its beginning,
and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

Be not quick in your spirit to become angry,
for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.

Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?”
For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.

Wisdom is good with an inheritance,
an advantage to those who see the sun. 

 For the protection of wisdom is like the protection of money,
and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it.

Consider the work of God:
who can make straight what he has made crooked?

In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.

I will continue to praise God knowing He is sovereign over all things. If you have lost a baby please know that I am so sorry for your loss and I will be praying that God will comfort you as only He can.

Melody and Madison I will always remember and love you. I'm so thankful that God choose me to be y'alls Mother. I will always cherish the time God gave us with you guys!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Flash Back Friday

My sister Brandi and I were pregnant at the same time with our first babies. She was due a few months after me so Kenya was going to be the first grandbaby on both sides. I was so excited about that!

Well it wasn't too long after that my sister developed preeclampsia which turned into eclampsia and they had to deliver my nephew at 27 weeks. When she first told me she was going to be delivering that day I told her, "You better not have the first grand-baby." Can you tell I'm a little competitive? Of course I was joking and was worried about her and my nephew. She ended up delivering him September 2, 2006 at 27 weeks weighing 2 pounds 5 ounces and 16 inches long.

He was so tiny and so cute!

That is my sister's husband Jeramie's wedding ring around his arm.

Here is Dilan now. He just turned 3 and you would never know he was a preemie.
Kenya and Dilan love getting to spend time together (which they don't get to do very much since my sister lives out of state.)
We love you Dilan even if you did beat Kenya getting here! :)

I hope you enjoyed Flash Back Friday I plan on doing one every Friday since I figured out how to use our external hard drive which has most of our old pictures.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Where has Destinee gone???

Hello everyone,

I have been meaning to write this post for quite some time but obviously I just haven't done it yet. Since we've been asked several times I thought it was about time.

Destinee has been living with us since March of 2006. We loved, loved, loved her being a part of our family. Destinee decided that she wanted to live with our Mom and Step Dad a while back but we wanted to pray and make sure it was the right choice first. So after talking to everyone involved we all decided it was the best choice for Destinee and she moved back in with our Mom and Step Dad some time during this summer (I can't remember exactly when?) It has been going great.

She is about to turn 16 and get her drivers license, I can't believe she is old enough to drive!!! We go to my Mom's house once a week for dinner, so we still see her at least once a week.

Kenya has done really well with the transition, at first she asked all the time where Destinee was now it has finally set in that she lives with "Momo" (that's what Kenya calls my Mom). I hope that clears things up a little.
We love Destinee dearly and are so excited to see her relationship restored with my Mom.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

22 weeks 3 days

I am now 22 weeks and 3 days pregnant, can you believe that!?! I had a check up today and the baby is measuring right on track. I must have been on the V.I.P. list today because I walked in and they called me straight back to get my sonogram. I was in and out of there in about thirty minutes (normally it is several hours just in the waiting room). It was great!

The baby is now 1 pound and 2 ounces I couldn't believe our baby was over a pound. I was so excited after this visit, it just really started to sink in that we were going to have a baby. This pregnancy has flown by I know we will be holding our baby before we know it.

Thursday, October 1, 2009