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What Would REFORMER ULRICH ZWINGLI Say to Us TODAY 2019 1

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"For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain."

Philippians 1:21

 

Back to the Bible

2019 marks the 500th anniversary of systematic Biblical Exposition. It was 1 January 1519 when Swiss Reformer, Ulrich Zwingli, launched the Reformation in Switzerland by beginning Expository Preaching. Starting with Matthew 1:1, he worked, week by week, chapter by chapter, verse by verse, line by line, through every Book and every Word of the New Testament. This bold action of replacing the Latin mass with the preaching of the Word of God, in the local language, marked the beginning of Expository Preaching.

 

The Reformer of Switzerland

Ulrich Zwingli was the father of the Reformation in Switzerland. Born and raised in the Alps, Zwingli was one of the most colourful and audacious characters in Swiss history. A devout student of Scripture, Zwingli was transformed and shaped by the Word of God. He has been described as "an amazing combination of intellect, passion and wit."

 

What Would REFORMER ULRICH ZWINGLI Say to Us TODAY 2019 2Man of the Mountains

Born at an altitude of 3,600 feet (1,100 metres), the son of the Mayor of Wildhaus, Zwingli studied in Bern, Basel and Vienna. In 1506, he received his MA degree. As a pastor in Glarus, Zwingli served as a chaplain with Swiss soldiers in the Battle of Marignon.

 

Won by the Word

When Erasmus's New Testament in Greek appeared in 1516, Zwingli immediately purchased a copy. Zwingli taught himself Hebrew and Greek, wrote out and memorized Paul's Epistles in the Greek New Testament. He carried around his little pocket edition with him, memorizing much of the New Testament. Zwingli was shocked to find that there was a world of difference between the teachings of the Bible and the teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic church.

 

What Would REFORMER ULRICH ZWINGLI Say to Us TODAY 2019 3Launching a Reformation

When Zwingli was appointed pastor at Grossmünster, (the Great Cathedral) in Zürich, he began his duties, on 1 January 1519, by systematically preaching through the New Testament.

 

Facing Death

Shortly after he became pastor in Zürich, the city was hit by the plague. Zwingli showed his courage by giving no thought to his own safety, but stayed in Zürich and ministered selflessly to the highly contagious victims. He himself was struck down with the plague and nearly died.

 

The Song of the Plague

Ulrich Zwingli testified that when the plague hit Zürich, he re-examined his whole life and the state of his soul. After he recovered from this debilitating illness, Zwingli wrote The Song of the Plague, in which he shows a vibrant faith in the all-sufficiency of God's grace through our Lord Jesus:

“Help me, O Lord, my strength and rock;

Lo, at the door I hear death’s knock.

 

“Uplift Thine arm, once pierced for me,

That conquered death and set me free.

 

“Yet, if Thy voice, in life’s midday.

Recalls my soul, then I obey.

 

“In Faith and hope, earth I resign.

Secure of Heaven, for I am Thine.

 

“My pains increase; haste to console;

For fear and woe seize body and soul.

 

“Death is at hand. My senses fail.

My tongue is dumb; now, Christ, prevail.

 

“Lo! satan strains to snatch his prey;

I feel his grasp; must I give way?

 

“He harms me not, I fear no loss,

For here I lie beneath Thy Cross.

 

“My God! My Lord! Healed by Thy Hand

Upon the earth once more I stand.

 

“Let sin no more rule over me;

My mouth shall sing alone to Thee.

 

“Though now delayed, my hour will come.

Involved, perchance, in deeper gloom.

 

“But, let it come; with joy I’ll rise,

And bear my yoke straight to the skies.”

 

What Would REFORMER ULRICH ZWINGLI Say to Us TODAY 2019 4Revival Sweeps Zürich

Zwingli recovered from this ordeal, his faith deepened and matured, his mind resolute. He called the people to return to the Bible as the sole standard of Faith and practice, to recognise Christ as the only true Head of the Church. Zwingli attacked one Roman doctrine after another. He attacked unbelief, superstition and hypocrisy. Eagerly he strove after repentance, applying Christ's Lordship to all areas of life, in Christian love and faith. He emphasized the need to care for and protect widows and orphans, to maintain law and uphold justice. Zwingli was concerned that our personal Christian faith and love should also result in justice established in the laws of the community.

 

Unity in Christ

At the heart of the Swiss Reformation was a dynamic sense of Christian community. The Church is a genuine community, one in body and spirit, having the grace of Christ in common and bearing the fruit of the Spirit, the fruit of Christ and the Spirit of God. This unity must extend beyond matters of the spirit to social concerns for the entire community.

 

What Would REFORMER ULRICH ZWINGLI Say to Us TODAY 2019 5Zürich Transformed

As Zwingli systematically preached through the New Testament, he laid the foundations for the Reformation in Switzerland. In 1523, the City Council of Zürich voted to become Protestant. At the First Zürich Disputation, in 1523, the City Council and 600 citizens, convened in the City Hall to observe the debate between Ulrich Zwingli and four delegates from the Bishop of Constance. At this gathering, the city formally adopted the Reformation and encouraged Zwingli to continue with his Reforms.

 

The 67 Theses

In Zwingli's 67 Theses, which he made public at The First Zürich Disputation (29 January 1523), he stated:

"3. Christ is the only way to salvation for all who ever were, are and shall be."

 

"19. Christ is the only Mediator between God and ourselves.

 

"42. But if ministers are unfaithful and transgress the Laws of Christ, they may be deposed in accordance with God's Will.

 

"56. Whoever remits any sin only for the sake of money is the companion of Simon (Magus) and Balaam and a real messenger of the devil."

 

With the support of the City Council, Zwingli launched a comprehensive programme of Reform. The City Council of Zürich put an end to mercenary service. All images, statues and relics were removed from church buildings. The mass was abolished. Altars, processions and other trappings and superstitions were discarded. The school system was reformed. Monastery buildings were turned into hospitals, schools and orphanages. The Bible became the basis for all law. All Zürich clergymen were ordered to preach only from Scripture. Priests, monks and nuns were permitted to marry.

 

What Would REFORMER ULRICH ZWINGLI Say to Us TODAY 2019 6Work Ethic Restored

Zwingli worked hard to shift the Swiss economy from dependence on mercenary service to agriculture and trade. He urged the people to productive labour: "You are a tool in the Hands of God. He demands your service… how fortunate you are that He lets you take part in His work."

 

From Death to Life

Zwingli compared the moral sickness and spiritual death of sin to the plague, which had killed one out of every three people in Zürich and he compared their physical recovery to health to the need for Regeneration and spiritual Reformation of church and society.

 

The Bible Translated

Zwingli began to translate the Scriptures into Schweizer-Deutsch (Swiss-German). His lively and dynamic translation reflects his upbringing amidst the towering mountains and lush valleys of Switzerland's Alps. For example in Psalm 23, he wrote: "In schoner Alp weidet Er mich"(In the beautiful Alps He tends me).

 

God’s Word is Unstoppable

Zwingli compared the Word of God to the mighty Rhine River that flowed out of the Alps: "For God's sake, do not put yourself at odds with the Word of God. For truly, it will persist as surely as the Rhine follows its course. One can possibly dam it up for a while, but it is impossible to stop it."

 

What Would REFORMER ULRICH ZWINGLI Say to Us TODAY 2019 7A Solemn Duty

Zwingli took his pastoral duties most seriously, writing that they "inspired in me more fear than joy, because I knew and I remain convinced that I will give an account of the blood of the sheep which would perish as a consequence of my carelessness."

 

Marriage

Earlier, on behalf of 11 other priests, Zwingli had written to the bishop of Constance seeking permission for priests to marry. This the bishop had refused. Now, after 2 years of secret marriage, Ulrich married Anna Reinhart, a young widow with 3 children. Ulrich and Anna Zwingli were blessed with another 3 children in their marriage.

 

Evangelising in the Market Place

Zwingli preached in the market place on Fridays that the crowds from surrounding villages might hear the Word of God. He proclaimed the sufficiency of faith in Christ, the deficiency and fraud of superstition and indulgences and the necessity of true repentance and holy living. He also emphasized the importance of caring for the poor and needy, the widow and the orphan. Grace cannot be bought or sold. Zwingli declared Christ's saving grace to be sufficient for the salvation of all who truly repent. Zürich's freedom-loving city, known for its efficient army and love of freedom and independence, found itself drawn to this dynamic preacher and Reformer.

 

What Would REFORMER ULRICH ZWINGLI Say to Us TODAY 2019 8The Battle of Kappel

From the time that Zwingli began his expository preaching on the Gospel of Matthew, 1 January 1519, he only had 12 years to establish the Reformation in Switzerland. He died in battle, fighting to defend Zürich from attack, in 1531. In 1529, a Protestant missionary from Zürich was burned at the stake for preaching the Gospel in the Catholic Canton of Schwyz. Zürich stopped trading with Schwyz in protest. The Catholic Cantons declared war on Zürich. In October 1531, 8,000 Catholic soldiers met 1,500 Protestant soldiers in battle at Kappel. Historian Myconius described Zwingli's death at the Battle of Kappel: "Three times Zwingli was thrown to the ground by the advancing forces, but in each case he stood up again. On the fourth occasion, a spear reached his chin and he fell to his knees saying: ‘They can kill the body, but they cannot kill the soul'."

 

What Would REFORMER ULRICH ZWINGLI Say to Us TODAY 2019 9Steadfast to the Last

Zwingli's successor, Heinrich Bullinger, added these details: "While the Catholic forces were looting the bodies of the dead and dying, they found Zwingli still alive, lying on his back, with his hands together as if he was praying and his eyes looking upward to Heaven… He was stricken with a mortal wound, so they asked whether a priest should be fetched to hear his confession. At this, Zwingli shook his head… They encouraged him to call upon Mary, the Mother of God and upon the saints." When Zwingli again shook his head, the Catholics cursed him, said that he was one of the obstinate, cantankerous heretics and should get what he deserved. One of the Catholic captains then drew his sword and thrust Zwingli through.

 

An Enduring Legacy

Although Zwingli's career had been cut short at the Battle of Kappel, he had laid firm foundations, which were later built upon by Heinrich Bullinger and John Calvin. Zwingli succeeded in establishing a thoroughly Reformed Church in Zürich, which served as a model for the Swiss National Protestant Church. Zwingli's model of Reform was adopted in Bern, Basel, Schaffhausen, Zürich and later Geneva. Zwingli's successes and sacrifices were effectively built upon by his successor Heinrich Bullinger, who from 1531 to 1575 served as pastor in Grossmünster. Until the founding of the Geneva Academy by Calvin in 1559, the Carolinum in Zürich was the only Theological College in Europe where students could study Reformed Theology. The Academy in Geneva and universities of Heidelburg and Holland built upon the solid foundations laid in Zürich.

 

What Would REFORMER ULRICH ZWINGLI Say to Us TODAY 2019 10Doctrine and Devotion

The English Book of Common Prayer, The 39 Articles and the Puritan emphasis on Head and Heart, Doctrine and Devotion, as well as the Reformed Episcopacy, adopted by the Church of England, were all built upon the teachings of Ulrich Zwingli and Heinrich Bullinger - which English exiles learned during their time in Zürich. Bullinger, Farel, Viret, Calvin and Beza all consolidated and continued the Reformation begun by Ulrich Zwingli.

 

The Authority of Christ

Ulrich Zwingli called his people to return to the Word of God, to return to the Bible as the sole standard of Faith and practice. Sola Scriptura! To recognise Christ alone as the Head of the Church, Solus Christus! Scripture alone is our ultimate authority. All authority is limited authority. All authority is delegated by God. All authority is answerable to God.

 

What Would REFORMER ULRICH ZWINGLI Say to Us TODAY 2019 11The Sceptre by Which Christ Rules His Church

Faith comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of God. The Bible is the sceptre by which Christ rules His Church. We have no greater priority than to study the Word of God, to understand the will of God, to be able to apply the Lordship of Christ to all areas of life, seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, making disciples of all nations, teaching obedience to all things that He has commanded.

 

Return to Biblical Exposition

In 2017, we remembered the return to the Bible that Martin Luther called for. This year we challenge all to return to study every Book and every verse of the Bible, to understand the central messages of each Book of the Word of God. How can you know God's will if you do not study His Word?

 

The Main Thing is to Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing

Ulrich Zwingli always recognised that his first duty was as a minister and teacher of the Word of God. If Ulrich Zwingli was here today, what might he say to us? I quote from his writings:

 

God’s Creatures Proclaim His Glory

“Man is not alone the offspring of God, all His creatures are so. They are by birth of God and in God and the more noble any animal is, the more it proclaims the Divine glory and power, such as the Eagle. But do not even the humblest of God’s creatures proclaim the wisdom and providence of the Godhead?

 

What Would REFORMER ULRICH ZWINGLI Say to Us TODAY 2019 12Even the Humblest Creature Testifies to the Creator

“The hedgehog, for example, when with its spine must carry a large quantity of fruit to its dwelling place, he rolls over the fruit and nails them on his spines and thus is able to carry a large quantity to his hiding place. The Alpine Rats, or Mountain rats, station one of their number upon an elevation that as they run about and attend to their work, no sudden danger may fall upon them without his cry of warning. Meanwhile the rest of the band carry off the softest of the food from all around. Since they have no wagons, they turn themselves into wagons by turns, one lying on his back and holding fast with all his feet, the food as it lays on his stomach and chest while another seizes it by his tail and transforms themselves into a wagon, pulling and dragging them with the plunder to their dwelling place to enable them to sleep through the harsh alpine winter season. The squirrel drags a broad bit of wood to the shore by its mouth, using this wood as a boat and hoisting its busy tail, thus being driven by the favourable breeze, needs no other sail than its tail.

 

All Creation Testifies to the Creator

“What speech pray, can proclaim the Divine wisdom as well as these creatures, which are amongst the humblest of all living things. They bear witness that the might that is in the life-giving power of the Godhead are ever present with them and all God's creatures.

 

All Things Work Together for Good for Those Who Love God

“A man complains that he is being confined to his bed many months and learns shortly afterwards how much good it brought to him and how much harm he escaped. A house is burned but a better one is raised in its place. He to whom this disaster happened, is humbled by it. All things are done by God’s dispensations.

 

The Word of God is Powerful and Active

“The Word of God is so sure and so strong that God wills all things to be done at the moment He speaks his Word, for His Word is living and powerful. Genesis 1:1 “and God said let there be light and there was light.” Note how alive and strong the Word of God is. Not merely ruling all things, but creating out of nothing that which It wills.

 

What Would REFORMER ULRICH ZWINGLI Say to Us TODAY 2019 13Infinite and Eternal

“With God, there is no such thing as past or future. He does not learn with time. He does not forget with time. But with unerring knowledge and perception, He sees all things present in eternity. It is in time that we who are temporal find meaning in measure of longest and shortest. Yet what seems long to us is not long to God. But eternally present.

 

No One Can Escape the Justice of God

“If you think that God often fails to punish a wicked individual, or a wicked nation, suffering the arrogance for far too long, you are mistaken. They can never escape Him. The whole world is before Him. All of time is before Him. When can they hide from His presence, or from His Justice? Most certainly He will find them and He will deal with them.

 

The Justice of God is Irresistible

“If you think He does not punish or save according to His Word, you are quite wrong. His Word can never be undone or destroyed, or resisted. For if it could, if God could be effectively resisted, He would not be Almighty. But His will must always be fulfilled. If it is not fulfilled at the time when you desire, it is not due to any deficiency of His power, but only to the freedom of His will. God will never leave His Word powerless. Ezekiel 12: ‘O you that are rebellious, I will say the Word and I will perform it. The Word which I have spoken shall be done.’ The Gospel is a sure demonstration that what God has promised will most certainly be performed. The One who has promised to the patriarchs, Who has prophesied, has now been given unto us and in Him we have this assurance of all our hope, as Simeon said in Luke 2. ‘For what can He withhold when He has delivered up His own Son to us and how shall He not with Him freely give us all things?’ as the Apostle Paul writes in Romans 8.

 

What Would REFORMER ULRICH ZWINGLI Say to Us TODAY 2019 14Be Courageous to Stand with Truth Against the Mob

“Truth does not necessarily lie with the majority. Indeed truth is seldom with the majority. Be courageous to stand against the crowd. I do not doubt that God will allow such dangers to encounter you and that you will see that He powerfully works for and shelters you. When the dangers come, do not be frightened, for God will only let you have trials and tribulations so that confessing the sole honour of God you may recognise His certain help all the better. For He will lead you into need so that you will not trust yourself. He helps you out, for you will see that all good things come from Him alone and He also helps us in our weakness.

 

Remove All Idols

“It is clear that idolatry and other images and representations that we have in houses of worship have caused many to commit idolatry. Idols should not be allowed to remain there. Nor in your house, nor in the market place, nor anywhere else where people may commit idolatry. Chiefly, they are not to be tolerated in any house of worship. If anyone desires for an historic representation or monument on the outside of the church, that may be allowed, so long as it does not incite people to worship. When people begin to bow before and to worship images, they are not to be tolerated anywhere in the whole wide world. It is not just the beginning of idolatry, it is idolatry itself.

 

Faith in Christ Leads to Vigorous Action

“Our confidence in Christ does not make us lazy. It does not make us negligent or careless. On the contrary, our confidence in Christ awakens us. It urges us on and makes us active in living righteous lives and doing good. There is no self-confidence that compares with confidence in Christ.

 

What Would REFORMER ULRICH ZWINGLI Say to Us TODAY 2019 15Our Christian Life is a Serious Battle

“The Christian life is a battle. It is a battle so sharp and full of danger, that if it can nowhere be relaxed without loss.

 

Magistrates are to be Ministers of Justice

“Magistrates must not only keep order, but they must be seen as guardians of public morality. A church without the magistrate is mutilated and incomplete, as the Church is a minister of Grace as the magistrate is to be a minister of Justice.”

 

One Atonement for All Time

“Our Lord Jesus Christ is the only way for Salvation for all who were, are and ever shall be. The Old Covenant people looked forward to the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. Today, in the day of grace, we look back. One event, one Atonement, one Saviour for all time.

 

The Word of God is Above the Church

“I shall allow myself to be taught better, but only from the Scriptures, based upon the Scriptures which are inspired by God. Sola Scriptura! All who say the Gospel is invalid without the confirmation of the church err and slander God. The Word of God is above the Church.

 

What Would REFORMER ULRICH ZWINGLI Say to Us TODAY 2019 16Christ Alone Redeems and Reconciles Us to God

“The sum and substance of the Gospel is that the Lord Jesus Christ, the true Son of God, has made known the will of our Heavenly Father and with His innocence and atoning sacrifice, He has redeemed us from death and has reconciled us to God. Christ is the only way to Salvation. Solus Christus!

 

False Teachers are Murderers of Souls

“Whoever so seeks, or points out any other way, errs. Yes, he is a thief and a murder of souls. Therefore all who consider other teachings equal to, or higher than, the Gospel err and they do not know what the Gospel is.

 

Christ Jesus is the Head of the Church

“For Christ Jesus is the Guide, the Leader, promised by God. He is the fulfillment of all Messianic prophecies. He is an eternal Salvation and He is the Head of all believers, who are His body. Outside of Him, we are dead in our trespassers and sins. We can do nothing without Him. All who have died in Christ are members of the Church and children of God. The Church is the communion of the saints, the Bride of Christ.

 

What Would REFORMER ULRICH ZWINGLI Say to Us TODAY 2019 17It is Foolishness and Insanity for the Members of the Body to Act Independently of the Head

“As the members of the body can do nothing without the control of the head, so no one in the body of the Church should do the least without the Head, Christ Jesus, our Lord. As a man is mad whose limbs try to do something without the head, tearing and wounding and injuring himself, thus when the members of Christ undertake something without the consent of the Head, Christ, they are mad. Hence, we see in the clerical all foolishness, for they also do not agree with the Head of the Church, who is Christ. Solus Christus! Thus, they still rage.

 

In Biblical Faith Rests Our Salvation

“Where Christ is listened to, one learns the will of God and we are united to Him. Therefore all Christian people shall use their best diligence to ensure that the Gospel of Christ is faithfully preached everywhere. For in the Faith rests our Salvation and in unbelief our damnation. You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.

 

The Papacy is Antichrist

“Human doctrines and decrees do not aid in the salvation of everyone. Solus Christus! Christ alone is the only eternal High Priest. From which it follows those who have called themselves high priests, or vicars of Christ, have opposed the honour and power of Christ. The pope is anti-Christ.

 

What Would REFORMER ULRICH ZWINGLI Say to Us TODAY 2019 18The Lord’s Supper is a Celebration and Memorial Service

“Christ having sacrificed Himself once for all is for eternity a certain and valid Sacrifice for all the sins of His faithful elect. From which it follows that the Lord’s Supper is not a sacrifice, it is not a mass, it is a Eucharist, a Thanksgiving service and a remembrance of the Sacrifice and assurance of the Salvation that Christ has given us. Christ is the only Mediator between God and us. Solus Christus! God desires to give us all things in His Name. We need no mediator except our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Through Christ Alone

“You cannot pray to God through saints and images. When we pray for each other here on earth, we do so through Christ alone. Christ is our Justice. Our words, in so far as they are good, they are of Christ. But, in so far as they are ours, they are neither good nor right.

 

Christ is our Example

“Christ scorned the luxuries and pomp of this world. Whence from it follows that those ministers who attract wealth to themselves in His Name, slander Him terribly when they make him the pretext for their greed and worldly things.

 

Reject All Idolatry and Hypocrisy

“No Christian is bound to do those things which God has not decreed. God is displeased with nothing so much as with idolatry and hypocrisy. All is gross hypocrisy and prolific, which is mere show that they may be seen of men.

 

You Have One Holy Father in Heaven

“All Christian men and women are brethren of Christ and brethren of one another and shall call no minister father, we have one Holy Father, Who is in Heaven.

 

What Would REFORMER ULRICH ZWINGLI Say to Us TODAY 2019 19Ministers Must Be Married

“All which God has allowed, or not forbidden, is righteous. Hence, marriage is permitted for all men and women. All who are known as clergy, sin when they do not protect themselves by marriage. Those who pledge and promise chastity, refusing matrimony, foolishly and childlessly take too much upon themselves, those who make such vows do wrong.

 

No One Has Authority to Excommunicate Those of Another City or Fellowship

“No person may impose a ban of excommunication upon anyone, except the whole church, that is the full congregation, of those amongst the one who being banned, together with their watchman. Rome has no authority, or jurisdiction, over Zürich. One may only ban him who is of the same congregation, who gives public offence through false doctrine, false teaching and blatant and unrepentant scandalous immorality.

 

Christ Alone is Head of the Church

“The teachings of Christ provide no justification for the spiritual so-called powers of popes and cardinals for their pomp and pretence. Scripture alone is our authority. Christ alone is the Head of the Church. The deeds and doctrines of Christ are superior to that of cardinals and popes. All that the papacy claims to have of power and protection, belongs actually to the laity of Christ’ true Church. If leaders are unfaithful and transgress the Laws of Christ, they may be deposed in the Name of God.

 

Regeneration is Essential for Membership of the True Church

“The church consists of born-again, baptised believers, who are faithfully studying the Word of God and applying the Lordship of Christ to all areas of life. Christians owe obedience only to Christ. In so far as church leaders do not command that which is contrary to God's Word, the Bible, they are to be followed.

 

What Would REFORMER ULRICH ZWINGLI Say to Us TODAY 2019 20Any Law Not in Conformity with the Laws of God is Invalid

“All laws must be in harmony with the Laws of God, as recorded in the Bible. No one may be condemned whom God's Word does not condemn. If God is not offended, let us not take offence. Their rule is best and most stable which rules in the Name of God alone and is worst and is most unstable which rules in accordance to man’s own laws.

 

Public Prayer Must Not be a Hypocritical Performance to Impress Men

“Real intercessors call to God in spirit. Truly, prayer must be made without great ado performed before men. Pray to God, do not perform for men. Hypocrites do their works so that all can be seen by men. They also will receive their reward only in this life. Hence, it must always follow that any church activities, song and outcry, without devotedness before God, is only for fleshly reward and is seeking either fame before men, or more unrighteous financial gain.

 

Ignore Those Who Condemn What God's Word Does Not Condemn

“Whoever, through stupidity or ignorance is offended without cause, should be ignored. We may not consider that as a sin, which is not a sin according to God, as clearly taught in His Word.

 

Papal Hypocrisy

“Greater offence I know not than that the pope does not allow priests to have wives, but he permits him to hire prostitutes! Out with this shame! A man who is inconsistent in his speech cannot be trusted. “

 

Confessionals Have No Power to Forgive Sins

“God alone remits sin through Jesus Christ His Son, He alone is our Sovereign Lord. Whosoever assigns power to forgive sins to human beings, fallible priests, detract from the honour of God and gives to one who is not God. This is real idolatry. The confession, which is made to priests or neighbours, should not be declared for our remittance of sins, but only seeking spiritual advice and Biblical counsel.

 

Those Men Who Claim to Remit Sins Are Antichrist

“Christ has borne all our griefs and guilt, therefore whoever assigns works of penance to confessors attributes that which belongs to Christ, they err and slander God. Whoever pretends to remit any sin to a penitent confessor, could not be a vicar of God, or of Saint Peter, but he is of the devil. Such are anti-Christ.

 

Accepting Money for Remission of Sins in Anti-christ

“Whoever remits any sin only for the sake of money is the companion of Simeon and Balaam and the real messenger of the devil personified, anti-Christ.

 

Purgatory is Not Taught in Scripture

“The true Scriptures teach nothing of purgatory after death. The sentence of evil is known to God alone. The less God has revealed in His Word concerning any subject, the less we should undertake to know about it. Where the Scripture is clear, we must be clear. Where the Scripture is silent, we may not be dogmatic. To determine the period of time therefore, e.g. seven years for a mortal sin and to lie for the sake of gain, is not human but devilish. Paying for indulgences is anti-Christ.

 

Cardinals and Bishops Need to Return to Biblical Duties or be Condemned Forever

“The Scripture recognise no priests, except those who faithfully proclaim the Word of God. All clerical superiors should at once step down and take up the Cross of Christ and not the money chest, or they will perish in hell forever. For I tell you, the axe is raised against the root of the rotten tree. Faith comes from hearing and hearing from the Word of God. I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ for it is the power of God for the Salvation of everyone who believes. For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any double edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow and is the discerner of the thoughts and intellect of the heart. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be complete and thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

 

“So shall My Word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

Isaiah 55:11

 

Back to Biblical Foundations

Ulrich Zwingli said: “They may kill the body, but they cannot kill the soul. Whatever cannot be justified by the Bible is to be abolished. Religion is a personal spiritual experience, which does not require sacraments, or ceremonies, to sustain it. The Bible is the Law of God. A truly Christian community must follow the Bible.”

 

"For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain."

Philippians 1:21

 

Transformed by the Word of God

One of the prayers of Ulrich Zwingli: “Almighty, eternal and merciful God whose Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path, open and illuminate our minds that we may purely and perfectly understand Thy Word and that our lives may be transformed to what we have rightly understood in the Word, that nothing may be displeasing unto Thy Majesty, who is Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

 

Dr. Peter Hammond

 

The Reformation Society

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The audio CD of this message as delivered to Livingstone Fellowship, can be obtained from Christian Liberty Books, PO Box 358, Howard Place 7450, Cape Town, South Africa, Tel: 021-689-7478, Fax: 086-551-7490, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and Website: www.christianlibertybooks.co.za.

 
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