The Reformation delivered England from:-
1. Gross religious ignorance, superstitious practices and spiritual darkness that covered the land.
a) We had a Church without a Bible apart from some copies of Wycliffe’s translation of the Vulgate.
b) Priests and People knew little of God’s truth and the way to be biblically saved. We had a religion without faith, without the knowledge of justification, regeneration (being born again as Jesus said we must be) and sanctification (holiness of life).
c) The order of the day was repetitive Latin prayers, chanting Latin hymns and masses, taking confessions, praying to Mary, granting absolution, with very little true biblical preaching. Money was taken to see the dead released from Purgatory, being pure heresy. People were taught to trust in the benefits of the relics of dead saints, rites and rituals and rules. It was a dead religion without a true relationship with Jesus as Lord, Saviour, Redeemer and Deliverer. Legalism, Gnosticism and schisms prevailed until the Lord sent revival, renewal, and restoration through the reformers.
2. The degrading and swindling tyranny of the Roman Catholic priesthood over the people.
3. The black plague of ungodliness and the immorality of the clergy or priests. (Nothing new under the sun – Eccles 1:9 as seen in our day!)
4. A Mother Church that taught she was infallible and did not need to change from error and changing the truth once and for all delivered.
5. The power of Popery through their translation and printing of the Holy Scriptures.
We owe then, a deep debt of gratitude to the reformers for giving us:-
1. An accurate Bible that was a word for word translation faithful to the Greek manuscripts.
2. A true idea of biblical prayer, holiness, worship, the study of doctrine and evangelism.
3. A true notion of the office and duties of ministers, elders, deacons and evangelists as servants who were not to lord it over the saints but to guard, guide and grow them.
4. A guide for the Lord’s Supper, spiritual gifts and care within the churches.
5. A policy of missions through the Great Commission to make disciples and to baptise them.
Finally, we know that not all the reformers were always correct or righteous in all their ways but the greater part looked to the Scriptures and the instructions therein. They taught the Lordship of Jesus as the Messiah and of the age to come and the priesthood of all believers. For several centuries the age of Grace was truly seen as in the early Church centuries before the dark ages of false religion took over. The cry of the reformers was Sola Scriptura and ours is to this very day. Amen.
Date : 30/11/-0001