10/29/2017 – Times of Refreshing

Times of refreshing

1571 – Wittenburg, Germany – the shot heard round the world

Acts 3:19-21

Times of refreshing – plural – times of revival (To catch one’s breath”)

Restoration of all things – the church came into tremendous disorder   the institutional church of Rome

The condition of the institutional church in 1517:

  • Only gospel being preached was to join the church and do intensely good works
  • Fear based — No certainty of salvation – purgatory hellfire & brimstone could be thousands of years long
  • INDULGENCES (Purchase, or by visiting a shrine — relics, lighting votive candles)
  • Pope ruled with the power of the state behind him. Armies to compel church membership and compliance with Papal decrees

But there were already word-wide churches established by apostles  (slideshow)

  1. John à full life – ended in Asia Minor – passed baton to Polycarp
  2. Polycarp à bishop of Smyrna – carried on John’s teachings, copied the scriptures

3.Irenaus  — fleeing persecution, went to become bishop of Lyons (Southern France)

  1. Cathari (“Pure ones”) (7th century onward – all around Europe)
  • Held some heretical doctrine (gnostic), but were simple Christians
  • Believed in the baptism of the Spirit through the laying on of hands.
  • Empowered each believer toward a personal relationship with God.
  1. Books and writings burned – along with members who would not recant (inquisitions)
  2. First witch trials – Cathari who spoke in tongues
  3. Albigensians (12th century) — entire region of France came under their influence)
  • Ancestors of Cathari
  • So firm under trial the pope banned translation of bible into any language save Latin
  1. Albigensian crusade (1209-1229 twenty years!– attempts to wipe them out)
  2. Peter Waldo (Waldensians) (1140-1205)
  • Influenced by Albigensians.
  • Appealed to Pope for release to preach, denied. “I should obey God rather than men.”
  • Formed groups of preachers who taught simple Christianity.
  1. Waldensian Preachers
  • Believed in authority of the scriptures
  • Men and women all to preach, baptize, administer the Lord’s supper.
  • Practiced healing/ gifts of the Spirit:
  1. Waldensian Confession – written doctrinal statement
  • “Therefore, concerning the anointing of the sick, we hold it as an article of faith, and profess sincerely from the heart that sick persons, when they ask it, may lawfully be anointed…by one who joins them in praying that it may be efficacious to the healing……of the body according to the design and end and effect mentioned by the apostles…
  1. John Wycliffe (1320-1384)
  • Morningstar of the Reformation
  • Eminent teacher at Oxford Denied many church doctrines — transubstantiation
  • All authority is from God and all men are directly accountable to Him (not) through an intermediary.
  • Followers were called Lollards
  • English law changed to make the reading of an English bible, or any of writings of Lollards, to be treason against the throne of England.
  • Not martyred, but body exhumed and burned after being found guilty of heresy 30 years after his death.
  1. John Hus 1369-1415
  • Taught Lollard doctrine
  • Excommunicated by Rome, with all literature burned
  • King and country of Bohemia stood with Huss, but were overruled in council.
  • Inspired revival among Czechs – tremendous influence on a young monk names martin Luther
  1. At His burning (1415)

“They will roast a goose now, but after a hundred years they will hear a swan sing, and him they will endure.”

  1. Hussite wars — 1419-1434
  • United Brethren — Part of Bohemian reformation – sparked by Hus’ martyrdom
  • Joined Waldensians, Hussites, other splinter groups in Prague: bold, public testimony of their separation from Rome.
  • Forerunners of Moravians…

martin luther  1483 – 1546

as a monk

  • Tormented by depths of his own sin – finding no relief through Catholic doctrine
  • “How can a man ever be justified before God?”
  • Chair of theology at Wittenburg University

His answer to justification (3 slides) – by grace through faith

The first and chief article is this: Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, died for our sins and was raised again for our justification (Romans 3:24–25). He alone is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29), and God has laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6). All have sinned and are justified freely, without their own works and merits, by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, in His blood (Romans 3:23–25). This is necessary to believe. This cannot be otherwise acquired or grasped by any work, law or merit. Therefore, it is clear and certain that this faith alone justifies us … Nothing of this article can be yielded or surrendered, even though heaven and earth and everything else falls (Mark 13:31).[46]

95 theses in 1517

  • meant as a starter for academic debate on subject of indulgences
  • If it weren’t for Gutenburg’s printing press, may never have seen light outside of Wittenburg!
  • spread when printers got hold of it – first media sensation!

Diet of worms in 1521

  • Stood firm against Rome – and lived to tell the tale!!!
  • Emperor Charles issued the Edict of Worms, declaring Luther a heretic and ordering his death.

Kidnapped, housed by Frederick of Saxony (an elector of the Holy Roman Emperor)

  • Frederick the Wise of Saxony favored Luther and arranged for him to be “kidnapped” and taken to Wartburg Castle near the town of Eisenach.
  • There he translated the bible into German, continued to write and preach grace
  • Inspired Tyndale!

Quote on grace

Hebrews 12:1-3