Semper Reformanda: Always being reformed by God, NOT man always reforming the church

church ruins 1

Grant Swart

A confounding and misleading message is being bandied about at will by many authors and theologians who regard themselves as being of the reformed faith. It is based on a misappropriation of the phrase ecclesia reformata et semper reformanda. What is often understood from the context in which they commonly apply the abridged version, being simply semper reformanda, is that the church itself should constantly be seeking ways to reform, or actively pursuing new or better avenues in an effort to retain or advance its reformed position.

There is not a single reference in Scripture to support this approach; in fact, there are explicit warnings against our trying to perform this type of enhancement to Christ’s work and His church. Nowhere in the Word of God are Christians commissioned, mandated or yoked with doing that which God alone can do. Christians do not have a calling to conform to the teachings, creeds, confessions, hypotheses or traditions of the reformation per se, however, that is not implying that most of what the reformers stood for was wrong, unnecessary or not based on Scripture. Indeed, the fives solas and emphasis on the sovereign grace of God, are summarizations of that which the reformers stood for, are truths and tools of significant value.

Christians do not have the ability to reform Christ’s possession and are under no obligation to do so. Followers of Christ have no duty to reform the church, which they might perform according to their individual abilities, or choose to neglect to perform by reason of their disobedience. True Christians are by nature of their standing before God, reformed by God’s Holy Spirit, not by any value or effort toward that reformation on their part. Christ’s church is reformed by nature of God’s work, not by the enthusiastic efforts or contributions of man. The truth concerning semper reformanda, is that God does the reforming, as He has done and will continue to do in eternity and not only for the last five centuries. Semper reformanda is not an instruction to men to always be reforming the church, it is an inevitability of Gods will that His church is always being reformed.

[ I am told that, subsequent to my posting of this article, there has been an amusing accusatory response of little significance, towards For the Love of His Truth by certain religionists in the social media. As insignificant though, as these accusers are, nevertheless, I will respond. These accusations have apparently been made by religious zealots posing as guardians of the reformed faith, who hold the authority of the Reformation and the Reformers in far higher regard than they do Scripture, the sovereignty of God or the church of Jesus Christ. In a misguided and futile attempt to discredit the the authors who write for this blog, and others whose work has been posted here, they have issued ridiculous and immature “warnings” to others that For the Love of His Truth is not of the “reformed” faith. As if wearing a label which says, “Reformed”, equates to being a child of God saved by His grace!

The terms “Reformed” and “Christian” may often be used conjunctively, however, in and of themselves they describe two entirely different salvific contexts. In essence. “reformed” describes a man made theory derived from Scripture, it is a structured set of gridlines through which Scripture can be read and understood, and subsequently be applied as refutation against the heresies of Roman Catholicism and other will-worshipping and professing Christians. “Christian” describes a sinner who has been washed clean by his being adopted as a child of God by Jesus and through being spiritually regenerated by the Holy Spirit in accordance with the will of God, into perfect righteousness, which was purchased on his behalf, by the Blood of Christ on the Cross.

Our position regarding this issue has repeatedly been stipulated on this blog: we are followers of Jesus Christ, we are children of God by way of His grace, we are Christians, we bow down before the Almighty Triune God of the Christian and Holy Bible, and we regard the Word of God (Jesus Christ the Saviour) as the final and singular authority and finisher of our faith. We bow down before no man made creed, confession, or denomination. Christianity did not have its origin with the Reformation, it starts and ends with Christ alone.

Furthermore, the antagonistic religionists failed to read what I stated unequivocally in this article, which is in support of the reformers:“Christians do not have a calling to conform to the teachings, creeds, confessions, hypotheses or traditions of the reformation per se, however, that is not implying that most of what the reformers stood for was wrong, unnecessary or not based on Scripture. Indeed, the fives solas and emphasis on the sovereign grace of God, are summarizations of that which the reformers stood for, and are truths and tools of significant value.”]

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SCRIPTURES ON THE DOCTRINES OF GRACE

Tulip Don Fortner

I found this wonderful Scripture list on the Doctrines of Grace by Don Fortner  and felt compelled and lead to share . Enjoy the read !!!

Foreordination & Predestination

(Psalms 139:16)  “Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”

(Acts 2:23)  “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:”

(Acts 4:27-28)  “For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, {28} For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.”

(Acts 13:48)  “And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.”

(Romans 8:29-30)  “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. {30} Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”

(Romans 9:23)  “And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,”

(1 Corinthians 2:7)  “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:”

(Ephesians 1:5)  “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,”

(Ephesians 1:11)  “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:”

(Ephesians 2:10)  “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

The Eternality Of God’s Purpose Continue reading

Here I stand. Immovable.

standing firm

Many today are willing to forsake the very foundation truths of Holy Scripture for the sake of “unity”. This we cannot do.

There are some things, plainly revealed in the Word of God, vital to the faith of the gospel, and burned into our souls. Upon these things we must stand with unbending, absolute firmness, even if we have to stand totally alone. These things are not debatable!

1. The God of Heaven is Continue reading

Doctrines Of Grace – Categorized Scripture List

By Monergism

God has recently given us the opportunity to discuss some theological issues with other Christians who believe differently than we do on a number of points, most notably the doctrines of grace. In such a circumstance, given the overwhelming supply of scriptural evidence that comes to bear on the topic, it seemed to me that the best approach would be a simple categorized scripture list: the fact that the entire paper would be scriptures, with the exception of a few brief explanatory notes, would underscore the truth that this is God’s own word and teaching; and the fact that it would be categorized would facilitate the ready comparison of scripture with scripture so as to lead one to a full-orbed understanding of the biblical teaching. Although I found a few good scripture lists of that nature available online, none of them was laid out in quite the progression that I was looking for, and so I developed my own. I’m posting it here with just the scripture references. Below, for your convenience I have provided a condensed version and a full version of the study. Continue reading

Are you a Calvinist? The problem with man-made labels

by Grant Swart

It is with predictable regularity that Bible believing Christians are confronted with the question: “Are you a Calvinist?” More often than not, the question is posed rather as an accusatory punch than as a genuine inquiry.  Those who pose the question have generally made up their minds beforehand, what the qualifications for a Calvinist ought to be and accordingly to label the Bible believer as a Calvinist.

After just a few short years, those who have upheld Sola Scriptura, become accustomed to (and frankly quite bored by) being labelled Calvinists, based on the fact that they have steadfastly opposed the authority of man-centered teaching by holding to the sole authority of Scripture and the Sovereignty of God. Continue reading

Against the World – Calvinism is Satanic

Join host Jerry Johnson for this week’s edition of Against the World, as he discusses a website which declared without any equivocation that Calvinism is Satanism.

HL : http://againsttheworld.tv/?p=734

Bible Punchers, you arrogant, fundamentalist Bible believing Christians!

 

Grant Swart

It seems to be far safer to proclaim chance or cosmic fate than to proffer the truth held in Scripture to devotees of the post-modern, word of faith, pseudo-charismatic gospel. Apparently, Bible believing Christians who dare to quote truth from Scripture are misguided, self-centered, overly enthusiastic and arrogant Bibliolaters. Even worse, they are regarded as fantastical red fairies who place way too much emphasis on the Word of God. According to any number of variations of post-modern thinkers, the same God who provided us with His written Word, also made sure that the church had charismatic opponents who could operate from within and who have been armed with personal revelation to refute those who advocate adherence to sola Scriptura.

Additionally, what is being most recklessly proclaimed by these morally enthused opponents, is the belief that Scripture can be interpreted in many ways, and that understanding of Scripture is reliant on the private message which the individual receives from Bible text. Many pastors and elders in the post-modern church deceptively proclaim that the Bible is simply a collection of rough guidelines and historic illustrations, which may or may not be relevant to the individual Christian’s life. Continue reading