In J.I. Packer’s “God’s Plans for You” – he makes an impassioned plea for reformation in Evangelicalism. Reformation which must happen both on the personal level, as well as corporately. A reformation I might add – we are in true, desperate need of in our day. Given that this was written sometime between 1987 and a revision in 1999, we see the need all the more.
At one point Packer queries: What would a work of divine reformation in our churches today look like?” That is a vital question, and the 4 things he notes in response are truly a crying need. They are good not only for saying “we need this”, but especially – “is this me?”
May God be pleased to bless us accordingly in the days to come.
Here are the four things Packer lists:
- “First, there would be a sense of biblical authority—that is, an awareness that biblical teaching is divine truth and that the invitations and admonitions, threats and warnings, promises and assurances of Scripture still express the mind of God toward mankind. The Bible would be honored again as the Word of God, and the perverse pluralism of liberal theology, which still addles the brains and blinds the hearts of many, would wither and die.”
Let me ask you Beloved – does the Bible actually retain its divine authority for you? Or is it just good advice to help you achieve your goals? Does it call you to follow after Christ and to consider its teaching absolutely necessary truth in ordering your life? Is it God speaking?
- “Second, there would be a spirit of seriousness about eternal issues. Heaven and hell would be preached about, thought about, and talked about once again. Life in this world would once again be lived in the light of the world to come, and the Philippian jailer’s question, “What must I do to be saved?” would be seen as life’s basic question once more.”
Searching, isn’t it? How seriously do you take eternal issues? Does that actually inform your day to day thought process? Or are those things just part of your “religious” life?
- “Third, there would be a passion for God transcending any interest in religion or cultivation of religiosity. One’s relationship to God would be seen as the most important thing in the world, and a Bible-based awareness of the greatness and awesomeness of God the eternal Savior-Judge, in whose hands we ever are, would displace all cheap thoughts of God as just a useful pal.”
- “Fourth, there would be a love of holiness, growing out of deep conviction of sin, deep repentance, deep gratitude for forgiveness and cleansing through the blood of Jesus Christ, and with that a deep desire to please God. Casualness about righteousness, cutting moral corners, areas of blatant self-indulgence, love of luxury, and broken commitments of all kinds have disfigured modern Christianity at all levels.”
Weighty and serious things to consider.
Oh how we need THIS kind of revival/reformation today.
Lord Jesus, be pleased to make it so in my own heart and mind and soul.