Semper Reformanda means “Always Reforming”. More accurately, it speaks of the need of always being reformed according to the Word of God”. “Always Reforming" should not and must not be used to justify unbiblical contextualisation or promote reductionist mentality or the compromise of our gospel message to “keep to the times” but rather it should remind us to let the word of God rule and renew us continually.
The Reformers adopted a high view of Scripture and allowed God to challenge their "status quo" (i.e. practice of a religion which has no power to save, subject to the authority of the pope etc). They could not remain indifferent. Their consciences were so bound to the authority of the Bible that it was never an option to stay silent. John Calvin once said, “I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent”.
It was such sensitivity to God’s word that moved the reformers to give their lives for the pure gospel which ultimately resulted in the divorce from the man-centred and work-based religion in Roman Catholicism in the 16th century.
Does God’s word still move you? When was the last time you "mortify" a habitual sin through a conviction from the scripture? Would others around you say that you are continually changed by the word of God?
For the Reformers, "Christ Alone" wasn't part of song title, it was their motto, the engine of the Reformation movement. Christ is all that is needed for one's salvation. There was no need for anything else; no amount of "indulgences" can secure God’s forgiveness and no sacraments can rescue us from eternal damnation. Only Christ and Christ alone can satisfy God's wrath by His once-for-all death and resurrection. Christ is our only surety and hope.
Is Christ enough for you? Is Christ THE security for you or is He one of your “insurances”? Are there other things which you are doing now to make yourself more “saved”? Is your security in Christ visible in the way you serve and interact with fellow believers in the church ministries? Is there anything else which is replacing Christ as the anchor?
As we celebrate this momentous event, the 500th Anniversary of the 16th century Protestant Reformation, would you ask God to renew your mind with the word of God and anchor your heart in the Word of God?
Dn. Gideon Loh