Reformation Day Lesson 2011: Standing Firm in the Faith to the End

Things have been pretty busy for myself, my church, and my family lately, so I doubt I’ll put up the whole text from our Reformation Day festivities at church, but what follows is the outline for Reformation Day conference that encouraged us to stand firm in the faith. May we all stand firm in the power He provides. “Our hope is in no other save in Thee / Our faith is built upon Thy promise free / Oh grant to us such stronger help and sure / That we can boldly conquer and endure.”

Standing Firm in the Faith
I. Introduction
A. How Scripture Exhorts Us to Stand Firm
1. And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. (Exodus 14:13)
2. For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)
3. Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved. (Philippians 4:1)
4. But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits1 to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word. (2 Thessalonians 2:13-17)
5. I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it. (1 Peter 5:12)

B. How the Reformation Exhorts Us to Stand Firm

II. The Uniqueness of the Protestant Reformation
A. The General Consensus on the Need for Reforming the Church
B. Previous Reformation Attempts
C. What Was Unique About the Protestant Reformation

  1. Creeds vs Deeds
  2. Reformation vs Revolution
  3. New Technology – the Gutenberg Press

III. Luther and sola Scriptura
A. A Brief Biography of Martin Luther
B. Tetzel, The Indulgence Controversy, and the 95 Theses
C. Clip from Luther (2003) “Papal Politics”
D. Luther and Scripture’s Authority
E. “Here I stand; I can do no other. God help me.”
F. Clip from Luther (2003) “A Simple Reply”
(not the actual clip we used, but similar)

IV. Scripture, Tradition and Authority
A. Scripture Under Tradition (Council of Trent)
B. solo Scriptura
“I have endeavored to read the Scriptures as though no one had read them before me.”
Alexander Campbell, founder of Disciples of Christ

C. Wesleyan Quadrilateral
D. sola Scriptura
“All synods or councils, since the Apostles’ times, whether general or particular, may err; and many have erred. Therefore they are not to he made the rule of faith, or practice; but to be used as a help in both.” WCF XXXI.4

E. How Luther encourages us to stand firm

V. Zwingli, Scripture and Faith
A. A Brief Biography of Hyuldrich Zwingli
B. Zwingli, the Lectionary, and lectio continua
C. Zwingli’s Scriptural Doctrine of sola fide
D. How Zwingli encourages us to stand firm

VI. Calvin, Scripture and Worship
A. A Brief Biography of John Calvin
B. Calvin on Psalm singing for the congregation
C. The Lord’s Supper & the Libertines
D. “I Greet Thee Who My Sure Redeemer Art”
E. How Calvin encourages us to stand firm

VII. Conclusion: Standing Firm in the Faith to the End

“I Greet Thee Who My Sure Redeemer Art”
1. I greet Thee, who my sure Redeemer art,
My only trust and Savior of my heart,
Who pain didst undergo for my poor sake;
I pray Thee from our hearts all cares to take.

2. Thou art the King of mercy and of grace,
Reigning omnipotent in every place;
So come, O King, and our whole being sway;
Shine on us with the light of Thy pure day.

3. Thou art the life, by which alone we live,
And all our substance and our strength receive;
Oh comfort us in death’s approaching hour,
Strong-hearted then to face it by Thy power.

4. Thou hast the true and perfect gentleness,
No harshness hast Thou and no bitterness;
Make us to taste the sweet grace found in Thee
And ever stay in Thy sweet unity.

5. Our hope is in no other save in Thee;
Our faith is built upon Thy promise free;
Oh grant to us such stronger help and sure,
That we can boldly conquer and endure.

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