500 years on – does the reformation still matter?
by Peter Jensen, GAFCON:
When all is said and done, the fundamental question for every human being is, ‘How can a sinner like me stand before God on the Day of Judgement?’
Does this still matter? There is only one answer.
This year we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The Christian faith and the Church appeared early in Britain. But over the years, the teaching of the Church obscured the good news of the Gospel of Jesus. By embracing the doctrine of the Protestant Reformers, the Church of England returned to its biblical foundations. It was not a new Church, but the Church reformed.
Our English Bible, our Prayer Book and the Articles of Religion were the product of those who were prepared to lay down their very lives for the truths which had gripped them. As far as they were concerned, the gospel itself was at stake. And that was more important than institutional unity.
We should regret the way in which lives on both sides were taken for the sake of the truth. But this in no way lessens our appreciation of and thankfulness for, those who were martyred for the biblical gospel. Their faithfulness made the gospel available to us.
What did martyrs like Archbishop Thomas Cranmer emphasise? Well, first of all, the sinfulness of sin and the mortal danger of the human soul. How can a sinner stand before the Judgement Seat of God?
They gave a clear and biblical answer.