True Reformation is a Daily Process and Always Leads Us Back to the Bible
This morning, as I was getting ready, praying for and meditating on the day, I kept considering reformation. The word kept popping up in my mind, and I wondered why. As I asked God why this could be, it occurred to me that the Church, and even individual believers, are constantly in need of reformation, as we get stuck in our traditions, caught up on popular preachers and teachers, seeking methods and programs that we think will make us more effective, and distracted with looking for a way to appeal to the world (however unintentionally this may be). We find this is true in the Church at Corinth and the Church at Galatia, Laodicea, and others mentioned throughout the New Testament. The Apostles and Christ Himself are calling them to return to what they once new…and this was when the Church was still new!
This is why Jesus said that to follow Him we must deny ourselves and pick up our crosses daily, and come after Him (Matthew 16:24). It’s why Paul said to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, and not to fall in to the pattern of the world, and be transformed by the renewing of our minds, that by testing, we may know what is the will of God, what is good, pleasing, and perfect (Romans 12:1-2). The fact remains that reformation isn’t to be done every decade, century or millennia, but is a daily process that Christ, through the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures reforms us in to the image that the Father made us to be, as individuals and the Church.
This is not done on our own, as I hope you see, but must be done, reflecting on the Scriptures. We cannot look to the world or what it is doing; the world is passing away. We must seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, THEN we will know we are on the right path, and this is done through the Word of God as we are led by the Holy Spirit. We must, loved one, look to God’s word to know what we, as followers of Jesus must look like. It’s not going to be found from a pulpit, or from a program, but as we follow God’s word, being led by the Holy Spirit, being discipled by Godly mentors, and then discipling others to follow us as we follow Jesus Christ. True reformation is a daily process, and always leads us back to the Bible.
Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said,
“As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest,’”
although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” And again in this passage he said,
“They shall not enter my rest.”
Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted,
”Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”
For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.
Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.