October 31 is the anniversary of the day Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the church door – that we now know as “Reformation Day”. I thought it appropriate to do a Biblical Word Study on the word Reformation!
However, let’s go beyond the historical event that took place in 1517 and dive into how the Reformation applies to every Christian even now. I hope that this Biblical Word Study will give you encouragement and lead you to study God’s Word even deeper.
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Reformation Biblical Word Study
1. The act of reforming; correction or amendment of life, manners, or of any thing vicious or corrupt; as the reformation of manners; reformation of the age; reformation of abuses.
2. By way of eminence, the change of religion from the corruptions of popery to its primitive purity, begun by Luther, adjective D. 1517. [American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828]
Scripture To Study & Thoughts To Ponder
And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me; Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins. Leviticus 26:23-24
The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. Hebrews 9:8-10
But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. Hebrews 9:11-12
When Lightning Struck!: The Story of Martin LutherCourage and Conviction: Chronicles of the Reformation Church (History Lives series)My Creative Bible KJV: Aqua Hardcover Bible for Creative JournalingPrismacolor Premier Double-Ended Art Markers, Fine and Chisel Tip, 12-CountMedieval Renaissance Handmade Leather Diary Journal Thought Book by Armory ReplicasMartin Luther’s 95 Theses
As imperfect humans and as Christians, I think we are in a constant state of reforming.
Not unto salvation, but unto sanctification.
- Sola Fide, by faith alone.
- Sola Scriptura, by Scripture alone.
- Solus Christus, through Christ alone.
- Sola Gratia, by grace alone.
- Soli Deo Gloria, glory to God alone.
However, a personal reformation begins to take place when the Holy Spirit works in our heart. And this reforming continues for the rest of our life.
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates. 2 Corinthians 13:5-6
Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates. For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. 2 Corinthians 13:7-8
As Christians who believe the “Five Solas” as truth, we can not help but be humbled and in service to our Lord. We are given the desire to seek and strive to become more like Christ every day.
Studying the Holy Scriptures, examining ourselves, praying earnestly, and keeping our eyes on Jesus as the source of our strength will result in a slow & steady reformation as we mature in the Holy Spirit.
Often our reformation and sanctification will come about through affliction and sorrow. In the moments of trials, we cry out to God in despair and wonder why we must suffer so!
Though there are many reasons that make up the main reasons for our afflictions, His answer is always the same. The end result of a Christian’s life can be summed up by this: to be sanctified unto righteousness for our sake – and the sake of others – to the glory of God.
Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another. Isaiah 48:10-11
Refined (bonus word study)
REFI’NED, participle passive Purified; separated from extraneous matter; assayed, as metals; clarified, as liquors; polished; separated from what is coarse, rude or improper.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
The process of reforming is the process of refining – of separating the impurities (our flesh) from the pure (Christ in us). And we will be fully reformed, sanctified, and pure eternally when Jesus returns! May God be our strength until that Day!
If you like this Biblical Word Study then check out the entire series HERE. You can read & work through them in any order and at your own pace!