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Reformation, Part 2

I love the comments about what needs to be reformed about worship and church life today. Several commented that reformation must start with the individual. This was true with Martin Luther, and it is true today. God is in the business of reforming, and we should ourselves be working to be reformed. Merriam-Webster defines “reformation” as “the act of reforming” and “reforming” as “to put or change into an improved form or condition”. To make the definition even more simple, we could say reform is “to make better”.

To reform is to change, and we should all be willing to be changed for the better. Throughout scripture, God calls us to change our behavior and to follow and imitate him. Jeremiah 26:13 says “Now reform your ways and your actions and obey the LORD your God. Then the LORD will relent and not bring the disaster he has pronounced against you” NIV. We are not to follow our sin nature, but be reformed by following God in obedience. In Phil. 2:12, Paul reminds the believers at Phillipi to obey and “continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”

While God wants us to be reformed, his work is primarily to transform. According to Merriam-Webster, transformation is “an act, process, or instance of transforming or being transformed”. There are several definitions for “transform” but the one that seems to fit most is “to change in character or condition: convert”. This will be the subject of my next blog post.

So we as believers need to be “reform” or “made better” by our obedience to Christ, but what the church today needs reformation? Several responses mentioned the need for individuals to do their part in the body, revival, interpersonal relationships, new music, simplification of the church, and intentionality.

If I could choose, I would probably pick the following three things to reform about today’s church:

1. Genuine passion for God that overflows in worship, discipleship and personal holiness. Loving God with all of our heart, soul, and mind would radically change our churches.

2. Focus on things after God’s own heart, not catering to our American consumeristic culture. Spending time and money on focusing things that don’t forward the kingdom of God is poor stewardship of our resources.

3. God-centered churches, in which glory is brought to the Father, Jesus is worshiped, and which the church is filled with and empowered by the Spirit should be the norm and not the exception.


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