Reformation in the Past
If we look at church history it would seem that there were two other times when there was reformation.
From the 1st century to about 300 AD the church spread throughout the Roman world. There were many things against the early church: the Roman Empire, pagan gods, superstitions, etc. Yet within 60 years the Gospel of the church had been planted throughout the Roman Empire.
The second reformation took place in 1500 AD. Martin Luther discovered an old truth (new to him): justification by faith alone – that stepped out and into the pages of history. Most of what we have in our Western civilization can be traced back to this reformation.
In the first reformation the Gospel got into the hands of the people and transformed the Roman Empire. In the second reformation the Word of God got into the hands of God’s people again. It is electrifying to see what happened. Two college professors did a study on whom and what made the biggest impact upon the United States. They went through thousands of documents, essays and speeches that had made the biggest impact upon our nation to see who was quoted the most. They discovered three men: John Locke, Mononisque and Blackburn. They discovered also that when these three men were quoted it was when they were quoting the Bible.
Studying our history, as well as what we have in Western Europe, the Word of God has made an impact in our culture. It is interesting to see that the new EU Constitution was recently rejected in France. In that constitution they had left out the Word of God and anything to do with Christianity.
Today we need a reformation that will bring the work of God back into the hands of God’s people. For too long it has been in the hands of the professionals: clergy, priests, paid pastors etc. Now it is time for the work of the Lord to be brought back into the hands of God’s people. We read in 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
Just as Martin Luther discovered the truth of justification by faith and brought in the second reformation – so we also need to bring in another reformation of the truth; one where every believer is a priest and able to proclaim the “praises of him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9
We need a new reformation that frees God’s people from church – or perhaps what I should say – out from the four walls of what we call “church.” The real work of God is not done within the four walls of a building, but in the market place. The four walls are to train us for the work ‘out there.’
This reformation will shift us from strategic planning to spiritual guidance, prayer, etc. So much of what we do today is done through worldly marketing ideas, planning, etc. instead of realizing that God’s work must be done God’s way and through prayer.
One last thing that I would like to share about reformation is how we need to see a shift to ‘apostolic’ leadership. This doesn’t mean that pastoral leadership is not necessary, because it is, but we will begin to see that a part of the Body of Christ has been in a locked down situation of not being recognized.
However, this is beginning to change and new wine skins are being developed that will engage the world in bringing hope to the millions who now have no hope. God is on the move.