Reformation Day 2013

30. October 2013 16:09 by Edward L. Smith in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Ecclesia Reformanda Semper Reformanda Sola Scriptura

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. Romans 1:17

 

 

 

Ecclesia Reformanda Semper Reformanda Sola Scriptura is exactly what was in the mind and heart of Martin Luther on October 31 1517. Although these terms were not yet coined they do describe the passion of the monk turned priest by the name of Martin Luther. Luther took a trip to Rome and seen several abuses by the Roman Catholic Church to which he was a monk, professor, and teacher to. Two of the main issues that drove Luther over the edge were; 1) The selling of indulgences or the selling of God’s grace. 2) Justification by Grace Alone through Faith Alone according to the Scriptures Alone.

 

In the wisdom of Luther he knew that on November 1 there would be Roman Catholics who would be going through the doors of the Wittenberg Church in Germany being duped in the selling of indulgences so he posted his now famous 95 Thesis. Luther never intended to start a controversy or to start a Reformation, if you will, he simply had at heart to stop the abuses that the authorities in the Church at Rome were committing on the people. Initially Luther did not even set out to break away from the Catholic Church. His hope was, believe it or not, that the authorities and even the Pope would read the 95 objections, repent and change the practices.

 

Every Christian ought to be thankful because this would be the spark that begin the blaze of what we now know as the Reformation. The Church needs to constantly look back on these events and then take inventory were they are in their present time. This is why the phrase “Ecclesia Reformanda Semper Reformanda Sola Scriptura” is so fundamental. The phrase is Latin but translated to English it says The Church Reformed always Reforming to the Scriptures Alone. During the days Luther the Word of God was hidden from the people and the traditions of Roman Catholic Church were levied upon the people. The church was in its dark stages without the Light of the Gospel and this is why the church needed to be Reformed. If you aren’t familiar there were five keys or Five Solas to the herald in reforming the Church and the Church today is in need of these five pillars.

 

Ø  Sola Scriptura/Scripture Alone ~ This is still an objection in 2013. Scripture Alone is sufficient for the Christian’s life, faith, and worship practices. People should not completely denounce tradition BUT tradition should NEVER trump the teachings of the Scriptures. The problem with our modern day Church is that we prompt our traditions and beliefs above Scripture when we, our life, our worship should be under and humbly submissive to the Word of God Alone.

 

Ø  Sola Christus/Christ Alone ~ The Scriptures clearly teach that there is one mediator between God and men and His name is Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself clearly taught in the Gospels that He came to give His life as a ransom for the sins of man. The first man Adam propelled sin into our world and the second man Jesus Christ dispelled sin. Jesus sacrifice on the cross ALONE is merit enough for mans salvific justification.

 

Ø  Sola Gratia/Grace Alone ~ Not by man’s works lest all men would boast but salvation is by Grace Alone. Salvation is the gift of regeneration that God gives to sinful man that the scale of sin may be removed from their eyes and their souls cleansed and faith realized. Without this gift of grace from God no man would seek God and no man would come to place faith in God.

 

Ø  Sola Fide/Faith Alone ~ “I dare not trust in the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus name” is one of the lyrics from the hymn Christ the Solid Rock and it, in my opinion, embodies the rallying cry of the Reformation Sola Fide. The Christians’ hope is rooted in putting their faith in Jesus Alone and not trusting in the whimsical faulty speculations of this world. Faith in Christ is our solid Rock.

 

Ø  Soli Deo Gloria/Glory to God Alone ~ When salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, taught from the Scriptures alone only one person can get the glory and that is God alone. Modern day Christianity will give a mental accent to this but in practice and belief in salvation they are severely man centered with a twinge of emotional hype. In all that we do we do it to and for God’s glory alone!

 

October 31, 2013 Time 4 Reformation

In today’s Church it is time for a renewal of Reformation. It’s time that today’s church turn back from its man centered beliefs and practices and traditions to a robust Reformed Theological platform. Today’s Church in many ways is not much different from the indulgent selling Roman Catholic church. We have recently witnessed an uproar around the world that exposed false teachers & “prophets”, a man centered emotionally driven movement, and doctrines that are being taught that are another Gospel within themselves. Do a careful study for yourself and you will soon see that the Roman Catholic Church of the 16th century in much alive in the 21st century. It is alive not just in its Catholic circles but alive in spirit and practice of several evangelical Churches. Church it’s Time 4 a modern day Reformation!

 

We have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Hebrews 10:21-25

 

Bibical Manhood

3. October 2013 00:41 by Edward L. Smith in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Psalms 111:9 

He has sent redemption to His people; He has ordained His covenant forever; Holy and AWSOME is His name. 

 

I want to share some reflections from my past weekend of worship. I had the privilege of returning where it all began for me with my walk with Jesus Christ. It all began for me in a small Church on the upper north end of Flint, MI named Faith Baptist Temple pastored by Rev. Freelon Threlkeld.  Most often I attended there still under the influence and extremely sleepy.   But that never stop the pastor or the people from showing me love. That was some 14 years ago, wow how has time flew by.  This past Sunday, September 29, 2013, I actually returned to preach their first annual Men's Day Program and it was honestly a different experience for me. 

 

Normally on a Sunday morning there are nerves, gitters and goose bumps but the feeling was much different this time around. I was expecting to see lots of men present but what I didn't expect to see was so many of them that was my elder. I tell you a truth, there was a towering presence of mature, masculine, well dressed, good looking men in that place. I was also surrounded by several family members that really encouraged me with their presence. The theme was "Men Becoming Disciples".

I did my best to encourage them that if they genuinely wanted to become disciples they first had to A) be saved. The call to discipleship is a call to salvation. B) There was going to be a dramatic change that was going to be needed but they couldn't do it in there own strength they had to rely on the power of God to change there lives. C) I challenged them to the truth that their submission and change was needed to be immediate and in some cases dramatic. You can have no relationship greater than the one you have with Jesus if you're going to be His disciple. 

 

Understanding that great responsibility of standing before men with that message I also understood that I personally needed to be living that out. That's why today I want to talk about an aspect of Manhood I was not able to address. There should be a picture of Biblical Manhood in every father. Probably the biggest issue facing men today is fatherhood. Way too many boys are growing up without their father in their lives. I can say in that regard I have been tremendously blessed. Biologically speaking I didn't grow up with my father in my home. I grew up with a man that exemplified how men ought to be. My dad's name was John Vorrice Sr. I saw him live out every aspect of manhood a boy needed to see. I saw the good, the bad, and the down right ugly but the best part about it was I saw the ugly get redeemed. When my dad got saved and begin attending worship services at Faith Baptist Temple I grew the greatest respect for him and the man he was. Aside from the spiritual facet I also saw him care for, provide for, and protect our family just as a father should.

 

While I learned fatherhood from my dad God did send him some help. As mentioned above my first pastor was Rev. Freelon Threlkeld and while being indirectly influence I also was ignorant to the grace of God that was being shown to me through this man. My other massive spiritual influence was my second pastor Rev. Marcellus Wade. Pastor Wade was my first Bible teacher that I paid attention too. My dad and Pastor Threlkeld were great influences but I needed a hard smack on the head and God choose Pastor Wade to do it. Attending worship services under the leadership of Pastor Wade is where God, in His Sovereignty choose to bring me to faith in Christ, get married, and have me all of my children baptized. Currently I sit under the leadership of Rev. Jeffery Hawkins who has taken over the pastorate since the death of Pastor Wade. Pastor Hawkins is a great servant of God and another dominate influence in the area of fatherhood. Throughout Pastor Hawkins' trials and tragedy as a father he has proven to be an earthly towering example of manhood and fatherhood in my life.

 

If that wasn't enough grace being showered on me, the one person that I haven't mentioned is now my daily mentor. My biological father Vance Montgomery is today my biggest inspiration. He wasn't saved when I was a child but now every morning Monday - Friday he teaches me spiritual lessons via text message from his daily devotion. I wish I could put in words the joy I receive with every message I receive from my father. As a man among men I am blessed. 

 

I have given this brief synopsis to illustrate the point I sought out to make on Sunday. Boys need good strong men in order to enter into manhood and dare I say Biblical Manhood. From John Vorrice Sr., Pastor Threlkeld, Pastor Wade, to Pastor Hawkins and my daily mentoring from my father Vance Montgomery I can boldly say I am a man. I am not a man because of my age but as I have been trained and walked in the footsteps of the men above I have learned exactly what manhood looks like.

 

A lot like the  last point of the sermon I continually make changes in my life in order that I can be the man God desires for me to be. 

 

I could not be the man I am today without those men influences. I am eternally grateful to these men and I wish all boys had the influences that I have had. As a man I have footsteps to walk in, shoulders to stand upon, and a legacy to pave my way. My call to men is this,  Men it's Time 4 Reformation in the idea of Biblical Manhood &  Biblical Fatherhood.  men it  time for od us to be Towering models of Biblical Manhood through your fatherhood. The best way is through discipleship. If I didn't have these men in my life I would just be a boy in a man's world. I'll start the discipleship process with my children, you start with yours and as God brings others into our lives; men lets be examples of God the Father as we model fatherhood to boys as they grow into manhood. 

 

SDG 

About Edward L. Smith

My ministry philosophy would consist of these essentials—a High View of God, the absolute authority of Scripture, Expository Preaching, Sound Doctrine, Personal Holiness, and a Biblical view of spiritual authority. All ministries must be God-Honoring, Christ-Centered, & Gospel Saturated. (1 Corinthians 10:31)

 

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