The Cry of the Reformation: Jesus is our Sufficient Savior!

Do you worship Jesus Christ?

That’s the question Luther, Calvin, and the reformers would want to ask you today.

Jesus deserves every single utterance of praise. The Bible tells us that one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Jesus Christ as Lord (Philippians 2:10-11). The Reformation simply put Jesus back into the place that He deserved.

As they looked around at the religious system they were born into, they couldn’t help but see a system that consistently stole the worship that only Jesus deserved, and placed it on others.

For centuries, men and women around the world were told lies, but perhaps the most important one came down to what people taught about Jesus. At the heart of the lies was a man-centered refusal to believe that Jesus could—in an instant—remove all the guilt from a sinner. Luther, Calvin and the rest of the reformers simply re-discovered the Jesus of the Bible and realized the simple truth that Jesus deserved all of the worship and that He, alone, could save us from our sin.

Here are three lies the reformers exposed when they re-discovered the true Savior.

Jesus is lacking in ability to save instantly

If there is one thing that Roman Catholicism shouts, it is that our sweet, omnipotent Savior Jesus Christ is, in fact, impotent and unable to justify. Sure, the cross was helpful, but He is unable to justify a sinner completely. He is no more effective than an innocent lamb who must continue dying over and over again.

The mass, that is the perpetual re-crucifixion of Jesus, screams out to Jesus, “inadequate!”

That is why most of the men and women killed by the Roman Catholic Church were killed over the refusal to partake in the Roman Catholic mass. Brilliantly, Lady Jane Grey exposed the folly of the mass when she simply asked, “How can it be that the bread is our Maker when the baker made it? Who then made the baker?” She eloquently reaches the heart of man’s great dilemma, that we would rather worship the creature than the Creator (Rom. 1:25), we set up systems to diminish God, and we love to elevate humanity and our systems.

Jesus, whom John the Baptist declared to be “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” (John 1:29) does not need to continue dying each and every day, but, as the writer of Hebrews clearly states, “Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins;  but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God…For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.”  (Hebrews 10:11-12, 14)

Jesus, in one instant, was able to save every single person whose name was written in the Book of Life.  He died once and for all, never having to suffer again.

Jesus is lacking in grace to save

The Reformation also rediscovered the fact that Jesus has all the grace we need. We don’t need to go to Mary or the “saints” in order to take some of their grace. They were as bankrupt as we were. Innate in Roman Catholic theology is the fact that we must work hard in order to receive grace.

As we work, the grace we receive grows, and our time in purgatory shortens. When Mary and many of the saints died, they all had extra grace; they had worked extra hard and had extra money left in their bank account, so, as Roman Catholics pray to the saints and to Mary, perhaps they may be able to convince them to transfer some of that grace to their account.

The Reformation declared that salvation happens in an instant when God declares a sinner righteous. Jesus is an Omnipotent Savior and His grace is not lacking in any way, shape, or form.

Jesus is lacking in desire to save

Ultimately, the Reformation rediscovered, not only Jesus’ ability to save sinners from their sin but also His willingness to rescue His sheep. We don’t need mediators between ourselves and our Mediator; Jesus is the only mediator we need (1 Tim. 2:5), and the rest are dead human beings–bankrupt as can be and utterly unable to stand between us and our Maker. Saints or Mary cannot be our mouthpiece before a holy God. And on top of that, we don’t need them. Jesus is merciful, forgiving, gentle, and willing to represent His sheep before the Father and to be our lone and all-sufficient Advocate (Heb. 7:25). The idea of praying to Mary is simple:  if you can get Mary on your side to vouch for you, she can get Jesus to do things He isn’t otherwise willing to do.  She can convince Him to give you what you ask for because no one can deny their mother. But nothing could be further from the truth.

The Reformation was a rediscovery of some simple words, “Come to me all ye who are weary and I will give you rest!”  (Matt. 11:28)

Jesus loves to save sinners, and in particular, sinners lost in false religion.  He gave His body to be sacrificed, He willingly bore the wrath of His Father, whom He existed with and enjoyed a perfect relationship with for eternity past, in order to rescue souls. Jesus is the epitome of humility and the only and ultimate example of compassion.

Today as we remember some great men and women who came before us, let us thank the Lord for how He used them, but let us remember that the goal of the Reformation was never to elevate man, but it was to put Jesus back into His proper place, as head of the Church and on the throne of our hearts. Jesus is the only one who deserves our praise. Luther, Calvin, and the rest, though bold and courageous, are simply imperfect men who discovered and worshipped a perfect Savior. At the heart of every reformer, including me and you, is the cry, “Christ is our all-sufficient Savior  who deserves all the glory for our justification.”

Let us worship Jesus today.

from The Cripplegate


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