499 Years Later How is YOUR Re-formation Going?
499 Years Later
How is YOUR Re-formation Going?
† Jesus, Son, Savior †
May the mercy of God our Father, poured out on us as we were untied to Jesus in Baptism, be as real, as reforming our lives and God’s church.
Does History Guarantee our Reformation?
There was once a group of people who thought themselves good, who counted their spiritual heritage back across the generations, for they knew God had worked across those generations, and had often preserved His people. They did what they were told would make them holy, they regularly met and celebrated the promises of God. They ignored their sin, often while condemning the sins of others.
It sounds like the descendants of Abraham, doesn’t it?
Could it be said of Lutherans, even Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Lutherans, Even the people that gather here at Concordia Lutheran Church, even those here right now?
I think Jesus’ answer to us would be the same to those Jews who needed to be freed from sin, as He calls us all to be disciples, to remain in the truth He instills in us, to celebrate the truth that indeed sets us free!
To put it in another way, to be able to answer the question,
“499 years later, how is your re-formation going?”
Or do we know that the Holy Spirit is at work, reforming us!
Are we still enslaved to sin?
Jesus told them and told us, that if we are sin, we are enslaved to it, in bondage to it, that it set a trap and caught us in it, a trap we cannot easily escape. That’s why you can’t escape it at times, or the guilt and shame it can cause.
Ever lay awake at night, wondering why you said or did something, or have it come back to haunt you? Ever feel the suffocation of shame, as you think, if they only knew how bad I was, they would never forgive?
One article I read said that Luther had an over-active sense of guilt, a by-product of depression, and a burdened soul that created the Reformation to find comfort for his broken soul.
Would we all have souls so hungry to be found righteous, and haunted by our own unrighteousness! Would we all seek out the comfort God offers to those who are broken, and would we all point others, in need of us, to the comfort the cross offers!
For we need relief of being ensnared by sin, we need to hear that we’ve been freed from it, we need to know, in the midst of broken lives and a broken world, that there is peace!
That’s why Jesus points out that in their slavery, they may seem to be part of Abraham’s family, but they are slaves, people without rights, who aren’t part of the family. They lived in the illusion of it, while still in bondage. But if they would follow Jesus, if they would walk with Him, learn of Him, and find their place in Him, they would be free. They would be transformed.
We need to be transformed, which was the hope both the Reformation and the Restoration movements offered.
We need to see our reformation and restoration both personal, and permanent. To declared us free from the power of sin, freed to become the children of God!
We are part of that family
That was the freedom, the comfort, the relief Luther, and so many before and after found. In being a disciple, not just someone who learns by sitting in a classroom, but one who walks with Jesus in every aspect of life. Where we let God form us, even disciplining us as the Holy Spirit works to reform and transform us.
This is what happens at the Cross when we are united to Christ’s death and His resurrection, that is where our personal reformation begins, ever as Paul wrote to Titus.
3 Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. 4 But—
That is us, back when before this happened>0
“When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 5 he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. 6 He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7 Because of his grace, he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.” 8 This is a trustworthy saying, and I want you to insist on these teachings so that all who trust in God will devote themselves to doing good. These teachings are good and beneficial for everyone. Titus 3:3-8 (NLT)
This is the teaching a disciple of Jesus remains in, the fact that He saved us, baptizing us in water and the Spirit, cleansing us from all sin.
That is where our confidence in being part of God’s family comes from! Not from anywhere else! That is where our reformation happened, even as it is revealed throughout the rest of our lives, and completed on the day of Christ.
And knowing that leaves us in a place of peace, A peace that is found as we remain in Christ Jesus. In that peace, we find the stillness needed to know He is God, and we have not only been freed, but we’ve become part of the family. AMEN!