Over 500 years ago, on 31 October 1517, Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. This protest against the sale of indulgences was a spark that would come to ignite the flame of Reformation in Europe.
The Reformation didn’t stop there – it continued to grow as understanding of God’s Word increased. It was something that had to pervade the whole life of the Church and the individual believer – and then the whole of society.
Repentance was one of the key themes of Luther’s 95 Theses. Reformation and repentance both involve change. Repentance is not only about sorrow for sin. It means turning from it and being transformed in our lives by the renewing of our minds. We need this constantly both as individuals and churches.
Today the Church in general has moved away from the firm foundations laid in the past. We have drawn a selection of principles for reformation from the documents produced by the Westminster Assembly. These represent the high watermark which Reformation reached. The selective nature does not in any way indicate that any statements have been passed over as inconvenient or rejected. On the contrary, we encourage you to read the whole of these documents, teach them and put them into practice.
The reason for the selection is to draw attention to those parts of these biblical truths that are most commonly denied or neglected. They relate to vital personal matters such as obedience to God’s Word as well as to the life of the Church. The full version of the Standards will provide Scripture references for the statements made.
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Here is a call for personal and church reformation in our own generation.
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