Today is Reformation Sunday. It is especially significant this year as it is the 500th year since Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses on the door of Wittenberg on 31st October 1517. He was a fearless monk who earnestly contended against the false doctrines and practices of the Roman Catholic Church.

God also raised others to stand for the truth during the 16th Century Reformation. Some notable examples include John Calvin (an eminent theologian), John Knox (a fiery preacher), and William Tyndale (a Bible translator par excellence). Moreover, countless unknown men were also martyred for the Word of God and the testimony of Christ (Rev. 1:9).

The “Five Solas” of the Christian faith that defined the teachings of the 16th Century Reformation were:

1. Sola Scriptura. “Scripture Alone”. God’s Word is our sole and supreme authority of faith and practice. See 2 Timothy 3:16 and Romans 3:4.

2. Sola Gratia. “Grace Alone”. Salvation is by grace alone.

3. Sola Fide. “Faith Alone”. Salvation is through faith alone. For points 2 and 3, read Ephesians 2:8-9. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9 KJV)

4. Solo Christo. “Christ Alone”. Salvation is in Christ alone. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6 KJV)

5. Soli Deo Gloria. “For God’s Glory Alone”. All things work out that God may be glorified. “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Rev. 4:11 KJV)

The 16th Century Reformers fought well for the faith. If not for the courageous stand of these soldiers of Christ, we would not have such access to the truth. Truly, “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church” (Tertullian).

However, all these events occurred in the 16th Century. How about to-day? Do we still need a Reformation Movement?

The Bible tells us that as we approach the end of the last days, there will be a great falling away (apostasia, 2 Thess. 2:3). There will be a proliferation of false teachers, false prophets and false doctrines. Iniquity will abound and the love of many will also grow cold (Matt. 24:12). Do we not see this happening in the Christian scene today?

Consider the following false movements today:

1. The Bible Versions Movement. The market is flooded with many corrupt translations of God’s Word, and thus undermines the very foundation of the faith.

2. Modernism. A denial of the fundamentals of the Christian faith.

3. Neo-fundamentalism. A denial that every jot and tittle of God’s inspired words is preserved.

4. Neo-evangelism. A spirit of compromise and denial of Biblical separation.

5. Charismatism. Promoting experience as the arbiter of truth over the Word of God.

6. Ecumenism. The coming together to form a one-world religion under the Anti-Christ.

Is there not rampant falsehood today? The present apostasy in the church is just as bad, if not worse than the 16th Century. We desperately need a 21st Century Reformation Movement!

Dearly beloved, Reformation is an ever-going battle. The Reformers were firm in Biblical doctrine and practice. They fought the good fight of faith. On the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, will the sons of the faith have the same Reformation spirit?

Lovingly in Christ,
Preacher Clement Chew