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Reformation: Recovery of the Gospel

Back in 2011 Todd Miles emphasised a vital point about the Protestant Reformation when he stated that, "The gospel was rediscovered some 500 years ago in Europe. The reason is simple: At its heart, the Reformation was about the recovery of the gospel. And it is worth remembering."

He proceeds to list some reasons why this truth should not be forgotten:

1. The Reformation reminds us that the church is built upon the gospel, not vice-versa.

"The Reformation teaches us from experience what Revelation 2-3 makes explicitly clear: The Lord does not promise perpetuity or “success” to any particular local church or denomination – particularly if it is not faithful."

2. The Reformation reminds us that the gospel can be lost.

"The Reformation warns us against ... smugness and teaches us that the church, with all of its New Covenant advantages, must be vigilant because the very gospel of grace can be effectively lost to the church through distortion and neglect."

3. The Reformation reminds us that confusion over the gospel will ultimately manifest itself in abusive practices.

"In the case of the Reformation, the practices of church discipline, baptism, and Lord’s Supper had lost their gospel moorings, resulting in their actually becoming instruments of abuse, rather than instruments of grace. ... The Reformation reminds us that maintaining the purity of the gospel matters. Compromising on these essential matters will not only lead to destruction, but will lead us down a path that will hurt every step of the way."

4. The Reformation reminds us that the gospel is worth defending, even at great cost.

"The Reformers were convinced that if the properly-translated Word of God could be placed in the hands of the people, the power of the gospel would be unleashed in the land and reformation and revival would be the result. But as we all know their work did not come easy. ... For most of the sixteenth century, simply possessing an English Translation of the Bible was punishable by death."

5. The Reformation reminds us of Christ’s faithfulness to preserve His church.

"The Reformers were raised up during one of the most spiritually bleak periods in the history of the church. ... But God is able to make light shine in the darkest places. The Reformation reminds me of this, and encourages me to be faithful."

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