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Dayspring Presbyterian Church

November 2017

Dear Dayspring Family,

This past month we have celebrated the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.  We have looked at the lives of the reformers in Sunday School.  We have studied the Five Solas, those biblical doctrines that had been for the most part buried for years, before being rediscovered by the men God raised up during this critical period of the history of the church and the world.  And we have sung reformation truths in our worship. 

This has not only been done in our church, but in other churches around the globe.

But many today have no idea what the Reformation was all about, or why it was so important.  Some of these people are even in the church.  Part of this comes from a lack of appreciation of history.  Some of it comes from a thinking which assumes that only what is contemporary is of any value.   To the modern world (and sometimes the modern church), it is difficult to understand how any event which happened 500 years ago could have any relevance for today.

But it has all the relevance in the world.  In fact, the central truths coming out of the Reformation are needed just as much today as they were in the 16th century.  We desperately need to understand that there is salvation in no other person besides Jesus Christ (Sola Christos).  We need to understand that forgiveness of sins cannot be earned by anything that we do, but is given as a gift (Sola Gratia) that is received by faith in Jesus Christ (Sola Fide).  We must affirm that everything done by God or by ourselves, is ultimately for the honor and glory of God (Sola Deo Gloria).

Now where did the Reformers recover these truths?  What led them to understand their importance?  The answer is simple: The Bible.  The Reformers knew that the Bible was given by God through men.  They knew that it was without error.  They understood it to be the very Word of God.  And they understood that the Scriptures are the only absolute authority in the church (Sola Scriptura).

This is a truth that has fallen on hard times from the time of the Reformation until now. Agnostics have mocked it and charged it with contradicting itself.  Atheists have tried to completely remove it from the world.  Marxists have accused it of being a drug which gives false hope and blinds people to reality.  One United States president said that it contained “outworn” ideas which inhibit social progress and sexual liberty.

Even “Christians” have begun to doubt what the Apostles and our early church fathers understood.  Some have claimed that it is not the Word of God but is rather a medium through which God may choose to speak.  Others have chosen to accept only parts of it as God’s Word, maintaining that it has some errors in it.  And still other so-called Christians have gone so far as to say that it is not relevant to today’s church, the most startling statement being made by former pastor, Rob Bell, who declared that “we cannot get our views of marriage from a set of 2000 year old letters.”

But the Reformers understood that this was NOT the case.  They knew that all Scripture was and is “given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in how to be righteous.” (2 Timothy 3:16).  They understood, as Jesus taught, that it all is true - to the smallest mark - and that it all will be fulfilled - and must be obeyed (Matthew 5:17-20).

And this is a truth that the church today desperately needs to recover and reaffirm.

In The Legacy of Luther, Aaron Clay Denlinger summarizes Luther’s focus:

“‘For some years now I have read through the Bible twice every year.’ So remarked Luther to friends and students gathered around his dinner table in 1532.  ‘If you picture’, he continued, ‘the Bible to be a mighty tree and every word a little branch, I have shaken every one of these branches because I wanted to know what it was and what it meant.’  The picture Luther thus painted of his own efforts to understand Scripture is appropriate, because it positions him under God’s Word.  Luther exercised the greatest care throughout his entire life not to impose his own understanding of God and God’s ways onto Scripture - not, that is, to stand above Scripture - but to submit to God’s Word, and to let his understanding of God and God’s ways be determined by the same.” (p.211-212)

May the church - may we as God’s people in Christ - reaffirm the truth that Scripture Alone is our authority - and may we resolve to submit to and obey it, understanding it to be the very Word of God.

Sola Deo Gloria,

Pastor Dave

 

 

 

 

Announcements

  • Upcoming Events

    WIC meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 10th at 7 p.m. at the home of Moven Futch.

    Young men’s campout on October 13-14.  Please RSVP to Pastor Dave at 478-284-2487 as soon as possible if you are interested in attending.

    Pastor Installation will be on Sunday, October 15th following the evening worship service with a snack supper. Each family is asked to bring 1 savory or 1 sweet dish to share with others.

    English Contra Dance - October 27th - 7:00-9:30 pm - Join us for an evening of delightful diversion. Instructions will be given with each dance.  $5 per person.  Proceeds will pay for shipping of OCC shoeboxes.

    Reformation Meal - October 29th - Join us as we celebrate the 500th Anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany in 1517.

    OCC National Collection Week:  November 13-20th   Place your Dayspring boxes at the front of the sanctuary by Sunday, November 19th.  Check the schedule in the hallway for ways and times you can help during collection week.  Coming soon:  Dates for Atlanta processing!

    HBSF/Prayer meeting will meet at the Church on Sunday nights at 6:00 PM unless otherwise stated.

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