Happy Reformation Day
Today is Reformation Day. Here at Metro we identify as a Reformed-Charismatic church, and as we celebrate the significance of an event that took place 500 years ago, we want to take a time to meditate on what it means to be reformed. In a follow-up post, we will explore what it means to be Charismatic.
The study of theology and doctrine is considered by many to be boring, dry, complicated, even divisive. “We love Jesus. Isn’t that enough?” Loving Jesus is the goal! However, to truly know and love God and his Son, theology is indispensable. Everyone has a theology, whether they realize it or not! Why study theology? Here’s why; as in any personal relationship, meaningful, intimate friendship and relationship with God is dependent on correct knowledge of him. Loving God means loving truth; his truth. When Jesus gave us the Greatest Commandment he said, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength(Mark 12:30, quoting from Deuteronomy 30:6).” So, does it matter what we believe? It absolutely does!
On the other hand, there can be zeal to be as exacting and precise as possible on theological points that have had variance throughout church history. At Metro Life Church, we want to be faithful to Scripture, while recognizing that there can be a harmony among people at different points of understanding in doctrine that leaves room for people to grow.
Theological trends will come and go, but study to love God and one another is the need of the church in every generation. “Mastering the theory of gospel-centeredness is not the point. Loving the God of the gospel is.” As we seek to build a healthy church of maturing believers who are taking root in sound doctrine, we do so remembering that there are biblical absolutes, there are differing convictions, there are a myriad of opinions, personal preferences and there will always be questions. It’s imperative we know the difference, and do all that we do in love.
We summarize our doctrinal distinctives under two primary headings.
The Protestant Reformation of the 16thcentury changed Christianityforever.
The Reformers were guided by the conviction that the church of their day had drifted away from the essential, original teachings of Christianity. This was especially so in relationship to what the Bible teaches aboutsalvation, church government and the Sacraments (Lord’s Supper and Baptism).
There are various ways different churches have sought to communicate what they mean by reformed theology. Not all reformed churches share the exact same convictions on all things. That was true during the Reformation as well. At Metro Life Church we find The Five Solas, or five Latin phrases (or slogans) that summarize many of the Reformers’ theological convictions about the essentials of Christianity a helpful way for us to communicate what we mean when we say we are reformed.
The Five Solas are:
- Sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”): The Bible alone is our highest authority.
- Sola Fide (“faith alone”): We are saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
- Sola Gratia (“grace alone”): We are saved by the grace of God alone.
- Solus Christus (“Christ alone”): Jesus Christ alone is our Lord, Savior, and King.
- Soli Deo Gloria (“to the glory of God alone”): We live for the glory of God alone.
J.D. Greear, Gospel, pg. 255
Sola Scriptura: 2 Peter 2:20, Romans 15:4, 2 Timothy 2:16; Sola Fide and Sola Gratia: Ephesians 2:8; Solus Christus: Colossians 1:15, 1 Timothy 1:5, 1 John 1:1, Hebrews 7:25, Romans 8:34, Acts 4:12, Hebrews 7:23; Soli Deo Gloria: 1 Corinthians 10:31