Acts 17:11- Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were true.
The church spoken about above, at Berea, are in Acts, given as an example of the importance of seeing whether what is being taught, at any time or place, is according to the Word of God. This is exactly what happened at the Reformation. They looked to the practice and teachings of the established church and said, “Is this true?”. In fact they took the four major questions that the established church was asking and sought out what the Scripture taught on these topics. These questions are just as relevant today as they were then.
1. How can a person obtain salvation? They answered that an individual stands forgiven by God through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Good works are the result of this new right standing with God and not part of why God forgives anyone. Ephesians 2:8-10
2. Where does religious authority come from? How do we learn how we are to live the Christian life? To this the Reformers said that the Bible alone was the standard and source of all authority in the Church. Any doctrine, practice, or creed that goes against the Word of God is to be discarded. 2 Timothy 3:16, 17
3. What is a church? They said that the church is not a physical building, but rather is made up of the household of God both here on earth, as the church militant, and those who are now in heaven, as the church triumphant. Ephesians 1:15-23
4. How is a Christian to live? The Christian is to serve God in the task that the Lord has called him or her to do. In respect to the church, each member of the church is to use the gifts that God has given them to serve the church of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13, 1 Corinthians 12:4-21.
Upon these four questions stand much of the Christian life. Both how this Christian life begins and how it progresses until glory.
“God brings about reformation when his people return to the Word of God as their sole source of doctrine and practice.” John H. Armstrong
Soli Deo Gloria,