As you might have heard, this year marks the 500th anniversary of The Reformation.
This really is an important event in the Christian calendar, but its importance lies not in the nice round number of 500, nor in the fond feelings it might arouse.
The significance of this anniversary is not so much about looking back, but it’s about a call to continue what was begun.
It is in the nature of man to take the loftiest of things and turn them around for the worst.
This is perhaps most true of religion.
There is no higher or loftier subject than that of God, and yet given enough time all religions seem to displace God from the centre and replace Him with man.
We shape God in our own image… we speak of what man can discover about God… we create the works that man must do to reach the God we have invented.
When the Incarnate Son became man He exposed the corrupt nature of man-centred religion.
This was God become flesh, revealing God to us.
Man, a finite sinful creature, has no hope to reach up to God and take hold of Him.
But in Jesus, God reaches down to us: in his Word he reveals himself to us.
What’s more, we have no ability to work our way up, as if somehow we could erase the debt of our sin.
And yet it is grace, all of grace, that Jesus pays our debt for us. We simply accept this gift by faith.
The Reformation exposed what the church had become: man-centred religion… and it sought to take us back to God.
The five “Solas”, (which just mean ‘alone’ in Latin), are the the catch-cry of the Reformation.
And these five statement capture this so well: ‘Scripture Alone,’ ‘Faith Alone,’ ‘Grace Alone’, ‘In Christ Alone’, ‘To the Glory of God Alone.’
And the call of the Reformation continues today, to turn from man-centred religion to Christ alone.
This weekend we’re kicking off a new five-week series looking at the five Solas of the Reformation called ‘Five Foundations’. Jodie will be speaking on the topic ‘Scripture alone’.
Two hundred years ago, people knew that reading the Bible before and after the day’s labours would change the feel of the day. It was widely accepted, unlike today, that the Bible contributed to the private and public good. This is why, as the Bible Society Australia marks its bicentenary (200 years) of sharing the Bible, that we will join in the celebrations this weekend during our services.
Our 8am Sunday service will be a Holy Communion Second Order AAPB service.
During our service, we’ll have our weekly question and answer time, and Jodie will be answering these questions:
If you’re wanting to check out our church we’d really love you to visit us on Saturday at 5pm for a contemporary service with kids’ program and dinner afterwards, or come along on Sunday at 8am for a Prayer Book service.
If you can’t make it in person, you’re welcome to jump online to watch the service (with the same sermon and many other items) at www.oakflats.tv.