The word “reformed” is a buzzword in Christian circles. But the term is seldom defined and it therefore has a wide range of meanings among those who use it.
In general, when we speak of reformation in a biblical sense, we mean to turn away from faulty beliefs & practices… and back to the standards set forth in Scripture.
Such a return was the heart-cry of the early reformers, “ad fontes!,” meaning, “back to the sources!” It meant that the key to true Christian reformation is nothing less than a return to the Bible. The meaning of Scripture is the heart of the reformation.
The idea of theological reform is such a hopeful concept for Christians today. Reform is necessary for our churches, for our families, and for us as individuals. Why even have a church if the Bible and its precepts aren’t shaping its mission?
The idea of going back to Scripture for how we function in the church and how we relate to the world around us brings renewal of purpose and clarity of mission.
Because 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, many Christians are reexamining what it means to be continually engaged in the process of daily reformation.
When enough individuals get serious about obeying Scripture, it will inevitably shape the churches they attend, their leadership, and their outreach to the world.
Spiritual erosion and theological drift are still rampant in our day. Such demise is the natural pattern for all churches, families, and individuals when daily reformation is not preventing it. When a belief or practice is contrary to Scripture, it isn’t reformed. And if a belief or practice is superfluous to Scripture, it also isn’t reformed.
So being “reformed” is not simply a theological label with a narrow set of beliefs… it’s intrinsically connected to the meaning of Scripture itself. It’s a heart transformed by the Word of God with an awakened mind that’s being renewed daily by Scripture.
When our hearts are being conformed and shaped by Scripture, we are being reformed. When the truth of Scripture grips our heart, it shows in the way we love and serve in our local churches. We move from being Christian consumers to being joyful ministers who serve others as our general calling in Christ.
When our doctrine is defined by the teaching of Scripture, it reforms our priorities. When our churches are governed by biblical standards with biblical practices, they are being reformed. And when a family is being daily taught the meaning of God’s Word and seeing it lived out in the common hours of the day, that family is being reformed.
What about you? Are you living a life marked by biblical reformation? It begins by going back to the Bible… letting Scripture shape your beliefs, practices, and priorities.
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” [Colossians 3:15-17]