Fear of God Devotional: Are We To Continue Reforming Today?

How do we continue reforming even today?

Kevin Swanson explains in this video that one of the themes or mottos of the Reformation was, Semper Reformanda or, “always reforming” in accordance with Scripture. Today, we stand on the shoulders of the Reformers. We are called to hold onto these great truths of the Word of God.

Reformation for the Christian does not stop at conversion. Rather, the Christian is continually being sanctified, growing, and maturing spiritually. Christians should not pursue change merely to be “different” – rather, everything must always be based upon Scripture.

James 1:22-25 (NKJV) – “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”

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Repentance Conference

Our national conference in 2017 is taking place just a few days before the 500 year anniversary of the reformationand Luther’s 95 Theses nailed to the Wittenberg Door October 31, 1517. This is why we are directing our attention to the doctrine and the fruit of the Protestant Reformation.

The heart of the Reformation was repentance. This is the source of all times of refreshing. At this conference, we will be hearkening back to some of the great doctrines of the Protestant Reformation but it will be even more focused on the reformations of church and family that are in motion today as God continues to reform His church.

We will be bringing preachers to Ridgecrest from all over the world to speak of the times of refreshing that they are experiencing in their areas. They will be explaining the great doctrines that lead to refreshing and the fruit of repentance they are observing.

The apostle Peter spoke of this in his sermon, when he declared, “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord…” (Acts 3:19).

The first of Luther’s 95 Theses reads this way, “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ‘Repent’ (Mt. 4:17), He willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.”

It is in this spirit that we will be conducting our national conference in 2017. 

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He Is Good, for His Mercy Endures Forever Toward Israel

Is the journey harder than you thought it would be? Is the trial lasting longer than you thought it would? In Ezra 3:8-13, it is very clear that the returned captives walked out of one difficult situation into another – 70 years of captivity, and into another situation, that had it’s own challenges. Has that ever happened to you? the Lord led you out of one difficulty, and it was clear that He was delivering you, but then when you arrived at your new destination, everything was not perfect. This story is for anyone who wants to trust the Lord through the trials and tribulations of life. The reality is, when you get to certain times of your life, you realize it did not turn out like you thought it would. It is often harder and lasts longer than you anticipated. However, in this passage, we see how the people gathered together and declared “The Lord is Good and His mercy endures forever” (8:11).

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Fear of God Devotional: Repentance: A One-Time Event in the Life of a Christian?

Is repentance a one-time event in the life of a Christian?

Curt Daniels explains in this video that repentance is not a one-time event in the life of a Christian – rather, it is something that continues throughout the life of a Christian. The first of Martin Luther’s 95 theses reads: “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said ‘Repent,’ he intended that the entire life of believers should be repentance.”

The Christian life starts with repentance at conversion and it is something that continues throughout the life of a Christian. In essence, it is at the heart of the Christian life. 

Mark 1:14-15 (NKJV) – “Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

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Fear of God Devotional: What is Biblical Repentance?

What is true, biblical repentance? Is the mere shedding of tears sufficient?

Jason Dohm explains in this video that we might think that a person is repentant if they appear sorry. But, there are other aspects to repentance that go beyond the mere shedding of tears. Repentance involves both the confession of sin and the forsaking of it as laid out in Proverbs 28:13 (NKJV): “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” 

Accordingly, it is not enough to just hear the confession, witness the tears, and thereby think that there is repentance. How can we determine whether the sin is forsaken? While there might not be a bright-line test to determine whether there is true repentance, we can ask whether there is victory, in time, over that sin or whether that individual continually returns to that same sin. We can also look to Scripture to see examples of true and false repentance.

Luke 18:13-14 (NKJV) – “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Sola Scriptura: One of the Most Helpful Reforms of the Reformation

What was one of the most helpful reforms that took place during the Reformation?

Joel Beeke explains in this video that one of the most helpful reforms was Sola Scriptura – the understanding that Scripture alone is sufficient. Acknowledging that Scripture alone was sufficient elevated Scripture to its most proper place. The Reformers understood that Scripture is our authority, that it is sufficient, and that it is not necessary to be an individual in the Roman Catholic Church to understand or read it.

Scripture is clear and authoritative in itself – not because the church says it is. God’s Word teaches us and it guides us. Ultimately, Scripture is the foundation of every part of our lives.

2 Peter 1:20-21 (NKJV) – “[N]o prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” 

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Fear of God Devotional: The Relationship Between Faith and Repentance

What is the relationship between faith and repentance?

Dennis Gunderson explains in this video that the relationship between faith and repentance is straightforward. Faith is our complete forsaking the trusting in our own works and turning entirely to Christ for our righteousness. Repentance is the turning from sin and the understanding that the mere turning away from sin does not save or justify us. 

We turn from sin because God is worthy to be served. Repentance does not enhance our standing with God. Rather, Christ alone is the one who makes us righteous in the sight of God. Thus, repentance is a fruit of our faith. 

Luke 5:31-32 (NKJV) – “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.’

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21st Century Battlefields – A Father Son Retreat

The devil is always waging war against the truth of God – “Has God indeed said…?” (Genesis 3:1) – and this year we are fixing our sights on some of the fierce battlefields that surround the church and the family. 

Foundational to our approach at the Father Son Retreat is that a father needs to bring his son into a wholesome world and engage him in spiritual training. For our purposes, a father should enter into a boy's world… the world of camping, canoeing, tug-o-war, fishing – the great outdoors! The retreat is being held in a wonderful “Ponderosa”-like outdoor setting with lakes, canoeing, pasture land, and hiking areas. We will fish, gather around a campfire, and look heavenward to the stars to drink in the majesty of God. Fathers and sons will be instructed in critical matters of manhood and leadership.

This year our instruction focuses on “21st Century Battlefields.” We will be speaking about the various battleground issues presenting themselves in this century.

Understanding and responding to the LGBTQ movement
Understanding and responding to the gay marriage movement
Understanding and responding to the challenges of technology
Understanding and responding to the growth of Islam 
Understanding and responding to Roman Catholicism
Understanding and responding to growing secularism
Understanding and responding to the religions of Hollywood
Understanding and responding to the religion of Socialism

This Father Son Retreat is a designed to encourage fathers and sons to learn how to work together to further the glory of God in their lifetimes. 

The Father Son Retreat is sponsored by Hope Baptist ChurchSovereign Redeemer Community Church and the NCFIC.

Learn More and Register

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Fear of God Devotional: The Reformation of the Biblical Church

How was the Church reformed during the time of the Reformation?

Anthony Mathenia explains in this video that the so-called “church” during the time of the Reformation was far off from what the Bible prescribed. What Martin Luther and the other men accomplished was a reform of the biblical Church. As the Reformers did nearly 500 years ago, we also need to be looking to Scripture to apply truth to our lives. 

The Church continues to need to be reformed, even today. God’s Word is applicable to reveal areas of sin and ways we have strayed from Scripture. 

Titus 3:4-5 (NKJV) – “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.” 

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Fear of God Devotional: The Effect of Ignoring Lessons from the Reformation

What are the effects of ignoring lessons from the Reformation?

Michael Beasley explains in this video that one of the great lessons that we can learn from the Reformation is witnessing human frailty and sin and the danger of complacency. When you look at what led to the Reformation and understand how Scripture was abandoned at that time, it was essentially a repeat of what we saw in the first century when Jesus was on earth.

Pharisees exalted man-made tradition, similar to how the Roman Catholic Church did during the time of the Reformation. The Reformation teaches us the simple lesson that there is no “cruise control” for the Christian or the Church. At the moment we start trusting ourselves and think we’re not prone to error, it is a very dangerous moment and could lead to all sorts of corruption.

Romans 15:4 (NKJV) – “ For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” 

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Fear of God Devotional: The Effect of Ignoring Even a Chapter of Scripture

What is the effect of ignoring or choosing not to believe a section of Scripture?

Ken Ham explains in this video that the effect of ignoring and refusing to believe even a few chapters of Scripture can have catastrophic consequences. Saying that even one portion of Scripture is inapplicable to us or untrue undermines the validity of every other chapter in the Bible.

Today, many churches have largely ignored or chosen not to believe the first eleven chapters of Genesis. Yet, they claim that the rest of Scripture is somehow valid and true, just not these chapters. It is not possible to claim on one hand that all of Scripture is true and sufficient when you are willing to ignore a section of it. Either it is all true or it isn’t. 

Psalms 119:160 (NKJV) – “The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.”

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Fear of God Devotional: What Did the Reformers Believe?

What did the Reformers believe?

Rob Ventura explains in this video that there were specific doctrines, such as justification, sanctification, and election, that were analyzed, discussed, and fleshed out by the Reformers. We can know what they believed on these issues because they composed Confessions of Faith. 

Even though we live hundreds of years later, we can know what they believed and the Scripture verses that they used as their foundation. The wisdom and writings of the Reformers, though they are centuries old, can be of tremendous value to us today as we seek to obey and serve God. 

2 Timothy 2:2 (NKJV) – “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” 

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Upcoming Church Leaders Meetings Near You

As churches and pastors who embrace the sufficiency of Scripture for church and family life we have arranged some regional leaders meetings to facilitate our working together to advance the kingdom of heaven in our communities.

To that end, the NCFIC would like to invite you to a luncheon for prayer, mutual encouragement, fellowship, and exhortation. Over the next three months, we will be holding three leaders meetings around the country. Use the links below to register for the meeting nearest you:

Denver, CO – August 30th
Kerrville, TX – September 8th
Seattle, WA – October 19th

Please consider joining us.

May the Lord bless you in His labors, and I hope to see you there.

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Fear of God Devotional: Don’t Focus on the Outward Forms of the Reformation

What is one way we can wrongly apply the lessons of the Reformation?

David Eddy explains in this video that people can wrongly apply the lessons of the Reformation when they attempt to mirror the lives and teachings of the Reformers and use that as their primary source for instruction instead of grounding themselves in Scripture. If we only desire to go back to the times of the Puritans, we will miss the opportunities that are open to us today.

While we certainly can learn many, valuable lessons from the Puritans and the Reformers, we shouldn’t rely on them for our sole source of all knowledge. We need to make sure that we’re grounded on Scripture, which was the heart of the Reformation, rather than on outward forms of the Reformation.

Mark 7:8 (NKJV) – “For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men —the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.”

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A Great Awakening

They were a remnant cut down… but not destroyed. After seventy years in Babylon, the Lord enlivens them to return to the land. It is a work of grace. It is an exodus. There are three exoduses in the Bible: From Egypt to the promised land in 1445bc; From Babylon to Judah, 538bc; From the world to the kingdom of God – because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This second exodus recorded in Ezra chapter 2 displays various marks of revival the happened during this second exodus… There are three marks here: God awakens, God Provides and God employs many kinds of people. This exodus was dramatic: 50,000 people are moving across the desert for four months. Why? God is looking for worshippers who will return to His ways of worship. God desires to be worshiped and adored and praise. In this passage is a record of specific people – 50,000 of them who have it in their hearts to sacrifice the opulence of Babylon to trade it, and travel a broken down city in order to establish the worship God.

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