Reformation

Truths of the Reformation (11) The Sacraments

Jesus says that we are to do this in remembrance of him. We remember so that we do not forget. But remembering in the Bible is much more profound than that. By remembering we are actually taking part in the giving and receiving of the gospel. The past becomes a reality in the present. Jesus himself is with us offering himself and we are with him in receiving him by faith. It is symbolism, but it is pointing to something that is very real and very present.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Truths of the Reformation (10) Union With Christ

Separation between God and man is the reason for all that is wrong in the world and all that is wrong in our lives and the reason for that separation is sin. The biblical teaching about union with Christ is how that separation is overcome; it is about how we can have a close and intimate relationship with God. Union has to do with being united. It has to do with being one. And being one with God is at the heart of having a good life. It is at the heart of all blessing. This is what it means to be saved.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Truths of the Reformation (9) The Holy Spirit

What this means is that while accepting the Bible as God’s Word is something that we do with our minds, it is more fundamentally something that the Holy Spirit works in us. And the result of the Holy Spirit’s work is not simply an intellectual persuasion, but an inner spiritual perception of the glory of God as revealed in the Scriptures and an inner spiritual perception of the authority of God speaking in the Scriptures.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Truths of the Reformation (8) Luther’s Theology of the Cross

The terrible reality of suffering in the world makes it hard for some people to believe that God exists. If God exists and is good and all powerful, how could he allow all of the terrible suffering that we see in the world. The cross sheds light on this question as well. The cross was the greatest evil; the creature murdering the creator! And yet it was God’s way of bringing about the greatest possible victory. This is what God does. He does not operate according to human expectations. He pursues his purposes through ways and means that seem foolishness to men. And we must see suffering in that light...
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Truths of the Reformation (7) The Significance of Life in this World

Read: Genesis 1

It is common to associate pleasing God with not enjoying the pleasures of the creation. And we will see in a moment that because of sin, self-denial is an important and necessary part of pleasing God. But this does not take away from the fact that the way of serving God that is the design of the creation is everyday life in the world lived to the glory of God. The Bible affirms the goodness of life in this world and it is a huge part of the way that we are to live for the glory of God.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Truths of the Reformation (5) Christ Alone

Jesus is uniquely qualified to be our Saviour. The Bible makes it clear that he had to be holy, that he had to be a perfect human being and that he had to be God. The Bible goes to great lengths to show how Jesus was unique and that that uniqueness was necessary for Jesus to do the saving work that his Father had sent him to do. No one else comes close to that. No mere human being is able to even come close to adding to what Jesus has done.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Truths of the Reformation (4) By Grace Alone

On the one hand we confess that salvation is by
grace alone. It must be by grace alone because before we are saved, we
are dead in sin and trespasses. When God saves someone, he brings a
spiritual dead person to spiritual life. We are completely passive at that
point. And yet in our experience we are active. We become aware of
our need of the forgiveness and renewal and what Jesus has earned for
us. We hear the gospel and we respond to it in faith and repentance.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Truths of the Reformation (3) Glory to God Alone

Read: Psalm 96

Our greatest good and joy and satisfaction is experienced in glorifying God while the greatest harm for us is not to glorify God. We were made to find our greatest good in seeing and appreciating and worshipping and adoring God. The greatest blessing that we can know is to be filled with love and adoration for God. And the greatest curse that we can know is to be without love and adoration for God.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Truths of the Reformation (2) Scripture Alone

The Reformers taught that Scripture was the highest authority on whatever it addressed. That meant that everything that the church taught must be shown to be taught in the Scriptures. It meant that church teaching always had to pass the test of faithfulness to the Word of God. It meant that if anyone could show where church teaching was not in harmony with the Bible that teaching must be rejected. And it meant that church leaders could not bind the consciences of church members in areas where the Bible was silent.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra