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Affirmation at Reformation 500 Rally

October 27, 2017

 

This affirmation was made at the conclusion of the Presbytery Reformation Rally held in Martyrs on Friday, 27 October 2017: 

 

It is most appropriate, at the conclusion of this Thanksgiving Service during which we have commemorated and celebrated the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, …

 

• that in this age of Ecumenical concession, Charismatic confusion and Evangelical compromise, the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster should pledge that it will continue to stand firmly and unapologetically for the Reformed Protestant Faith;

 

• that, 500 years on, we should solemnly consecrate ourselves to the Lord, opening our hearts to Him in earnest entreaty for a fresh national and personal Reformation.

 

I hereby call upon this congregation, assembled on this most historic occasion, to echo those memorable words spoken by Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms – “Here I stand” – so that, after each of the five central truths (otherwise known as ‘the Five Solas’) which underlay and gave impetus to the Protestant Reformation is announced and briefly defined, we would collectively respond and pledge in these hearty and determined words of resolution“Here We Still Stand!”

 

1. “Sola Scriptura” – Scripture Alone:  

 

Our final authority is Scripture alone – God’s inspired and inerrant Word – not amended or added to by tradition, opinion, or church councils.

 

“HERE WE STILL STAND!”

 

2. “Solus Christus” – Christ Alone:

 

The basis of our forgiveness before God is Christ alone, not saints, Mary, angels, or any other being.  In His substitutionary sacrifice on the cross Jesus completely bore God’s righteous wrath against us.  His payment was full, final, and effective.

 

“HERE WE STILL STAND!”

 

3. “Sola Fide” – Faith Alone:

 

Our justification before God is by faith alone.  God declares us righteous in His eyes not because He sees righteousness in us but because we fully rest and trust in the work of Christ on the cross to pay for our sins and because we receive His perfect righteousness as a gift.

 

“HERE WE STILL STAND!”

 

4. “Sola Gratia” – Grace Alone: 

 

We are justified by grace alone, through God’s kind, gracious, and free initiative.  He gives us contrary to what we deserve and could never earn:  forgiveness, transformation into Christ’s image, and adoption into His family.

 

“HERE WE STILL STAND!”

 

5. “Soli Deo Gloria” – To God Alone Be Glory:

 

All of this is accomplished for God’s glory alone.  For eternity, praises will redound to the God whose wisdom, power, and love ordained that He would have a people from every tribe, language, and nation to share in His Triune joy forever.

 

“HERE WE STILL STAND!”

 

 

 

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