Protestant Reformation brought us 5 important ideas:
1) Sola Scriptura – Scripture alone.
The Bible is our guide for faith and life, not Tradition.
There is a place for tradition, but the Bible is the final word, not tradition
2) Sola Fide – faith alone.
Faith is the only thing that justifies our salvation, not any works that we do.
Don’t make the mistake in thinking that your works can save you.
3) Sola Gratia – grace alone.
It is only the grace of God that saves us. Grace doesn’t help us get saved. Grace from God saves us.
Ephesians 2:8-9 – a gift from God so that we can’t take credit for our salvation.
4) Solus Christus – Christ alone.
Christ is the one who atoned for our sins. He gave us his righteousness and the right to enter Heaven. It is Christ alone who saved us.
5) SoliDeo Gloria – to God Alone be the Glory
During the time of the reformation lots of focus was placed on different Saints, Mary the mother of Jesus, and others. This was a call to bring all the glory and honor back to God, not humankind.
The glory goes directly to God, not to any human!
Why wasn’t all of this enough?
Palmer Becker – from What is an Anabaptist Christian:
The mainline reformers brought us to the clear understanding that salvation comes through faith by grace alone, but in many ways they limited themselves to the structures and thinking set in motion by Constantine and Augustine in the fourth and fifth centuries.
Constantine was an Emperor who brought Christianity out of obscurity and into political authority. Christianity became the “official” religion of the Roman Empire. Sounds great, except for one thing: Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight…” (John 18:36)
After the Church was popular and mingled with the government the focus was less about obeying Jesus, and more about “believing correct doctrine.” Evangelism was less about “helping others follow Jesus” and more about “expanding Christian territory.”
In other words, studying Scripture, and being a Christian is really all about Jesus. And doing what Jesus would have you do. Following his lead, from Scripture.
The Reformation was good, but it wasn’t good enough.
“Anabaptism was born. With this first baptism, the earliest church of the Swiss Brethren was constituted. This was clearly the most revolutionary act of the Reformation. No other event so completely symbolized the break with Rome. Here, for the first time in the course of the Reformation, a group of Christians dared to form a church after what was conceived to be the New Testament pattern. The Brethren emphasized the absolute necessity of a personal commitment to Christ as essential to salvation and a prerequisite to baptism.”
– From William R. Estep. The Anabaptist Story (Kindle Locations 191-194).
It wasn’t without cost, however. Michael Sattler, in May 1527: sentenced to death.
The Sentence: Michael Sattler shall be committed to the executioner. The latter shall take him to the square and there first cut out his tongue, and then forge him fast to a wagon and there with glowing iron tongs twice tear pieces from his body, then on the way to the site of execution five times more as above and then burn his body to powder as an arch-heretic.
His sin: He was an Anabaptist who taught adult baptism and justification by faith.
The Anabaptist movement brought about some great changes:
Adult Baptism, voluntary church membership, separation of church and state and pacifism.
Who owns the earth?
Deuteronomy 10:14-15 vs Matthew 4:8-9 vs Psalms 115:16
How are we suppose to spread the word and help people get to know Jesus if we are suppose to separate ourselves from them?