October 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. This theological revolution is largely ignored and forgotten, not just in our secular culture, but more tragically in an increasingly confused and compromised Church. At the Reformation’s heart was the question, “How are sinful men and women made right with God?” It was this that preoccupied Martin Luther and caused him great agony of soul.
When he came to discover that justification is not a process involving good deeds, but an act of God accounting the work of Christ to the sinner that receives Him, he declared: “I felt myself straightway born afresh and to have entered through the open gates into paradise itself.” Around the same time in England, Thomas Bilney (the forgotten Reformer) read in Latin the New Testament translated by Erasmus.
When he came to 1 Timothy 1:1 5, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,” he realized he was put right with God not on account of something done by him, but for him. Justification is a once-for-all event of which good works are not a part, but a consequence. The Reformation declared that authority was found in Scripture alone. In looking to Scripture, we find our acceptance with God.
In Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone—soli Deo gloria. Let me encourage you to follow up on this by studying for yourself. We are offering a really helpful resource titled These Truths Alone: Why the Reformation Solas Are Essential for Our Faith Today. It’s an in-depth study that will help you or your Bible Study group learn more about the Gospel truth proclaimed by the 16th-century Reformers.
Along these same lines, our other offer, The Character of the Church, explains how to consider these truths when assessing local church membership. The task of Gospel proclamation is not over. At Parkside, we often sing the hymn “Facing a Task Unfinished,” the third verse of which reads: We bear the torch that flamingfell from the hands of thosewho gave their lives proclaimingthat Jesus died and rose.
Ours is the same commission,the same glad message ours;fired by the same ambition,to Thee we yield our powers.
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Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling was convicted in February 2014 at a court martial after not following orders to take down verse from her work station The passage from the Old Testament was taped to the computer on her desk and read: 'No weapons formed against me shall prosper'Sterling was given a reduction in rank from lance corporal to private, and she was also given a bad conduct dischargeReligious liberty law firm, Liberty Institute, and former US Solicitor General Paul Clement have taken up her case and filed an appeal They plan to argue that a law protecting free exercise of religion should have been applied to her caseSterling is now unemployed and searching for a job By Dailymail.
com Reporter Published: 19:42 EST, 26 May 2015 | Updated: 02:59 EST, 27 May 2015 A religious liberty law firm has taken up a US Marine's appeal case after she was prosecuted for refusing to remove a Bible verse taped to her computer.Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling was convicted last year at a court martial when she did not follow orders to take down the small trips of paper with the Old Testament scripture displayed on her desk.
At the time of the incident in May 2013, she was stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina when she taped the slightly altered Bible verse in three different places that read: 'No weapons formed against me shall prosper,' according to Fox News.Sterling, who is now unemployed and searching for a job, was given a reduction in rank from lance corporal to private, as well as a bad conduct discharge.
Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling (pictured above) was convicted last year at a court martial after not following orders to take down the passage from the Old Testament (pictured right) displayed on her desk while stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina'If the government can order a Marine not to display a Bible verse, they could try and order her not to get a religious tattoo, or go to church on Sunday,' said Liberty Institute attorney Michael Berry.
'Restricting a Marine's free exercise of religion is blatantly unconstitutional.'The Liberty Institute and former US Solicitor General Paul Clement have filed an appeal regarding Sterling's case to the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.They plan to argue that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act should have been applied to her case, which protects free exercise of religion.However, both the trial and appellate court said the law did not apply to her case because displaying a Bible verse does not constitute religious exercise, according to Liberty Institute.
The court found the verbiage of the displayed verse 'could easily be seen as contrary to good order and discipline,' according to a court document. 'The military judge found that the signs verbiage was biblical in nature, that the desk was shared with another Marine, and the signs were visible to other Marines who came to the appellant’s desk for assistance,' the court said.'The implication is clear—the junior Marine sharing the desk and the other Marines coming to the desk for assistance would be exposed to biblical quotations in the military workplace.
'It is not hard to imagine the divisive impact to good order and discipline that may result when a service member is compelled to work at a government desk festooned with religious quotations, especially if that servicemember does not share that religion.' The Liberty Institute and former US Solicitor General Paul Clement have filed an appeal regarding Sterling's case to the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.
They plan to argue that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act should have been applied to her case, which protects free exercise of religionSterling was found guilty on February 1, 2014 of failing to go to her appointed place of duty, disrespect towards a superior commissioned officer and four specifications of disobeying the lawful order of a non-commissioned officer, the court document said.This was after the Christian Marine displayed the Bible verse and was ordered by Staff Sergeant Alexander to remove it because the servicemember did not like the tone.
Sterling defended her actions saying it was her First Amendment right to display it and refused to take them down.The following day, she found that the supervisor had removed the displayed passages, the court document said.Berry pointed out that other Marines were given the freedom to decorate their desks but the lower courts did not allow that evidence to be admitted, according to Fox News.He also said Sterling was not sharing a desk at the time of the incident.
'This is a very scary time when you are not allowed to have a very small printed Bible verse in your own personal workspace because it might offend other Marines,' Liberty Institute attorney Hiram Sasser told Fox News.'Our Marines are trained to deal with some of the most hostile people on the planet. I don't think they are afraid of tiny words on a tiny piece of paper.' Read more: