Wednesday 21 May 2014

My Journey to the Reformed Faith (joining the dots)

For many, including myself, one reaches a point that to be committed only to the basic Calvinistic beliefs of salvation in the light of the sovereignty of God, is not sufficient to consider oneself to be genuinely reformed. To be truly reformed means that we hold to a reformed doctrine of the church, to a regulated principle for worship and also a biblical view of church government. This led me to presbyterian convictions regarding baptism, being confessional (the Westminster Standards), to a belief that churches should be led by elders in regional presbyteries, and for a love of reformed worship.

John Calvin led a work in Geneva that was simply that. It was a recovery of a biblical understanding of the church. I do not know who reads this blog or where you may be on your journey in the reformed faith. This journey is not a static pilgrimage and once you may arrive at settled reformed convictions concerning the doctrine of the church, this should then lead you ever onwards and forwards to grow in love to God the Father and faith in Jesus Christ.

Listen to Paul's testimony of the church at Colossae: "We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth ..." (1:3-6).

The goal of being reformed is not to become part of a "reformed club", but to spread the everlasting gospel to the ends of the earth. There can be the danger of reformed doctrinal pride and we must watch for this and humble ourselves before the Lord. However, may we press onwards in our knowledge of Christ, to live our lives for the glory of God and to see God's church shaped according to Scripture and not the ideas of man and man's pragmatic preferences.

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