Sola Scripura (Scripture Alone)- Sola Gratia (Grace Alone)- Sola Fide (Faith Alone) Solus Christus
(Christ Alone), Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone).
Beloved Brothers & Sisters,
Greetings . . .
31st October, 1517 is believed to be the day when Rev. Dr. Martin Luther nailed his 95 points thesis on the church door in Wittenberg, igniting the reformation flame. This can be said as the most influential incident of that millennium.
The reformation has not only influenced the church, but also, through the church, the whole world. It is no exaggeration to state, that the reformation could set a new direction to the whole world. We do not really know how the world would have been without this reformation. May it be theology, politics, culture or any other field, the reformation touched every field with a transformative power.
The pre-reformation era is marked as the dark ages of church history. We should appreciate the courage, commitment and devotion Martin Luther has shown in his faith journey.
The pre- reformation era, was an era when, the practices of the church became corrupt –that promoted a salvation that can be bought with the purchase of indulgences, idolatry etc. The infamous statement, “as soon as the coin in the coffers rings, the soul from purgatory springs” showed the pathetic condition of their times – scripture not available for common man and the spread of wrong teachings that promoted a salvation that can be bought!!!-
God in His mercies, protected His Church by raising people like Martin Luther to stand for TRUTH. Many such people of God like John Huss and others in the preceding generations had to pay with their lives for the TRUTH that they stood for. The reformation, in that way, was the result of sacrifices that several people in the preceding generations paid for.
Reformation was indeed the result of Luther’s commitment to God’s Word. He was convinced and stood for the supremacy, infallibility and reliability of the Scripture.
While studying Galatians, he reached the conviction, “FAITH ALONE and went on to write in His PBS notes “Sola Fide”. Oh what amazing moments in church history that went on to ignite further revivals in the world.
Reformation also changed the church patterns to the priesthood of all believers and thereby laid the foundation for the Church as a community that will work without any secular- sacred divide. Yes, priesthood of believers and thereby divinity in all their works.
Let us praise God for people like Martin Luther (and his nun turned wife Katherine) who together journeyed the risky ways ahead – in faith.
Whenever I sing Luther’s hymn, “A mighty Fortress is our Lord, A bulwark never failing”, I am touched and challenged. Luther composed and sang it while the structures of the world (and the church) stood as a formidable fortress. Yet He could see the power of God and personify in His life, what Jesus said to his disciple Peter. The Lord promised Peter that he would build His Church and even the formidable gates of Hell would not prevail against it (Mathew 16:18). Praise the Lord.
What does reformation mean to you today?It is important that we remember the yesteryears of church history and thank God for these men and women of God.
I encourage all EUs and EGFs to consider
- Study missionary biographies (of Martin Luther Katherine Luther, William Tyndale, John Huss, John Wycliffe and so on…) so that we will know the Church History, especially the pre- reformation days, flee from potential wrong teachings and firm ourselves up in God’s word with similar convictions as of these men and women of God.
- Re commit ourselves to the word of God –Sola Scriptura-Let us remember our pledge during the Diamond Jubilee year “That we will vouch for the utter reliability of the 66 books of the Bible for the entire period of our future existence, and will sincerely make efforts to study the entire Scripture in order to capture God’s big picture for humankind, honestly engaging the scripture for all walks of life, so that our lives will be transformed and be made part of His Story (DJ Pledge Point 4)
- Promote inductive study of the Scripture. It is reformation that paved way for the reaching of God’s word in our hands in our language. And as torch bearers of such a zeal in our generation, as UESI, let us promote inductive bible studies- PBS and GBS- to see everyone reading and studying God’s word,
Incidentally, part of this month – October 2017 is also the Tishri month in Jewish calendar. 4-11 October is the festival of Tabernacles that ends with Simchat Torah, celebrating the joy of receiving Torah, the law/Scripture. They recommit for the reading of the Torah and start new cycles of reading during this time.
On Finances, September was a very difficult month. As per the board decision, we have pursued a half yearly closing without deficits. It didn’t happen and we lag behind by over 35L.
|Pray for UESI Finances
|Regular Monthly Needs (excluding departmental expenses)||37.0L|
|Staff Travel & Reimbursements (pending for Aug- Sep)||3.5L|
|Staff Training Bills (Term 1)||4.0L|
|Staff Future Benefits (NPS, EPF & PPF)- Q2 Dues||9.5L|
|Reserve for Staff Future Benefits (Gratuity) Q1 &2||8.0L|
|PTCM UESI Scholarship- Instalment 1||6.0L|
|Pioneering States Support (including Q2 Pending)||4.0L|
|Total Funds Required||72.0L|
However, let us praise God for His amazing provisions. Our receipts during April- Sept 2017 is 2.2 Cr (2.06 Cr through Indian Accounts and 14L through FCRA). This is over 15% more than the corresponding period last year. Praise God !!!
We should have been at 2.9 Cr (against the budget of 5.8 Cr) at national for the year 2017-18. Of the gap of 70L, a minimum 35L is for the dues we should have cleared or provisioned as on 30th Sep. Remaining 35L are departmental/project expenses which will be incorporated as much as the actuals in income and expenses.
Kindly be in prayer for the 72L in October to move on to November without shortfalls.
Please pray and participate . . .
With you in Christ
Reji. K. Daniel