Out of all of the writers here at the Reformed Alliance, I am the newest to Reformed theology and Calvinism. When James asked me to write about the importance of the Reformation from the view of someone who is fairly new to this movement, I was excited. In truth, I never really understood what it meant to be a reformed Calvinist until this past summer. I learned about it briefly in school, but obviously, that wasn’t enough to fully understand it. I started to truly learn about this movement around May of 2017, and I was hesitant at first. After all, it was contrary to what I believed in at the time, what I was taught throughout my life, and what the majority of my friends and family believed in.
I remember specifically when I truly accepted Calvinism as the truth. It was on vacation, on a long car ride. I had decided to do some research on my phone as to what a Calvinist believes in. As I read through the points of TULIP, the five Solas, and other beliefs, I realized how much I believed in and accepted. For the things that I questioned, I looked to the ultimate truth: Scripture. I realized that the Word of God aligned with the beliefs of Reformed theology, and all these realizations came from me, an Arminian who was taught differently his whole life. That car ride was when I truly accepted Reformed Doctrine and Theology. Did I have everything figured out? No, but I was able to turn toward those who are knowledgeable in this subject and to the internet for help. Still to this day, I am learning new things and I will continue to do so until I collect my inheritance.
So, what drove me to accept something so different to what I originally believed in? I mentioned it earlier: Sola Scriptura. What the Bible says is 100% true and perfect, as it reads in 2 Timothy 3:16 (ESV), “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” It is literally the Word of God as it reads in John 1:1 (ESV), “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Before accepting these things, I wasn’t a regular at reading my Bible. After Basic Training, I grew in my relationship with God. I trusted Him more and was more obedient with my daily readings of the Bible. This prepared me for my acceptance of the Reformation. I saw the things that were truths and the things that were misinterpretations.
That is why the Reformation is so important. It was a time when Christians stood up to the heresies that the Catholic Church performed and believed in. It was the time when we resorted back to the truth in the Scriptures. Just like what James wrote about yesterday, out of darkness, light came because of this movement (Click here to read if you haven’t!). I can’t stress this enough. Reformed Christianity is so rooted in what the Scriptures truly mean, and that is the truth.
Recently, the final post of the Misread Texts series was posted. This series looked at very popular verses and passages from Scripture that have been taken out of context. Many Christians take the verses they see without taking the time to truly study them. When they do this, they take the Bible out of context to fit something that is contrary to the truth. When we take the time to study the Bible, analyze the passages we read, and fully dive into it, we see the truth.
Once I accepted Calvinism, my life was greatly changed. The Reformation has influenced my life, 500 years after the start of it, along with countless others. That to me is incredible. I now understand the wonderful mercy and grace of God. While I did not deserve it, Christ died for me and my fellow brothers and sisters. He chose me before the creation of the Earth. How can anyone resist a calling like that from the creator of everything? And finally, I can rest assured that I will never lose my salvation. Because of all these things, my life goal is to ultimately glorify God in all that I say, do, and think, as it reads in 1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV), “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
When James wrote to me in basic training, he reminded me that everything should be done to glorify God. It wasn’t until later that I learned about Soli Deo Gloria and what it truly means. Because of such a great debt that we owe, I will try as hard as my human body will let me, to glorify God. I want all of you to experience what I get to experience. That is why we write these posts for the Reformed Alliance.
I hope you all see how important it is that the Reformation occurred and how important it is that we stick to Scriptural truths. How great it is that a series of events that occurred 500 years ago still have such an impact on the lives of so many. In case you haven’t heard… In honor of those events, we at the Reformed Alliance have decided to dedicate this month to posting all things Reformed. I look forward to the remainder of this month and as always…
Sola Scriptura! Soli Deo Gloria!