Thursday, August 29, 2013

Reformation: The Outgrowth of Revival

For the next four weeks we are going to be looking at Revival through the filter of reformation. First the reformation of our worldview. Then the reformation of our actions. Then the reformation of our thinking. And finally the reformation of our relationships.

This week’s Bible Study has been about reformation as an outgrowth of revival. In other words, as the church experiences revival, her people are drawn to reform their way of life. Each day the lesson focused on a different time in history and demonstrated how leaders challenged the current worldview with a reformation of thought and action.

Sunday            Old Testament: Prophets
Monday           Early Church: Paul
Tuesday           Christian epochs: Jesus to the 7 Churches
Wednesday      Protestantism: Martin Luther
Thursday         Proclamation: Adventist Movement

What reformation is missing?
When Jesus came, Did He cause reformation?
How did his message and presence intentionally bring reformation?
What reformation did His death bring?
What reformation(s) did His life bring?

Below, label each reformation. What was being challenged?

People Group (church) Leader Reformation Challenge
Israel fleeing Egypt Moses Worship God alone
Israel in Exile Jeremiah Worship God in sincere action
Israel in Waiting Jesus Worship God thru true love
Early Church Paul
The Seven Churches Jesus
Middle ages Church Martin Luther
Modern Church (SDA lens) Ellen G White
Post-Modern Church Jesus

The omission, in our Bible Study Guide, of the greatest reformation ever to sweep the planet is telling. Why do you think this happened?
How often does this happen in our thinking as individuals and as a church?
Have we indoctrinated Jesus?

Christianity has come to focus almost exclusively on Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection, yet the gospels spend the majority of their time on Jesus’ life – the world-redefining reformation — between those bookends. We have a firm understanding of why Jesus died but why did He live?

In his 2012 book “How God Became King” NT Wright states:
We have lived for many years now with “Kingdom Christians” and “Cross Christians” in opposite corners of the room, anxious that those on the other side are missing the point, the one group with it’s social-gospel agenda and the other with its saving-souls-for-heaven agenda. The four gospels bring these two viewpoints together into a unity that is much greater than the sum of their parts.” (page 159)
Which side of the room is the Adventist Church typically on?

The gospels wholeheartedly embrace both Kingdom and Cross viewpoints. How might an accurate understanding of Jesus’ life change the way we experience revival as a church?

When you consider Jesus’ life what stands out for you?

What recent attempts have we seen toward reformation (particularly by our youth!) toward the “Kingdom” side of the room?
Why do you think our youth are drawn toward compassion, service and mission?

Why do all four gospel writers spend so much time focusing on the time between Jesus’ baptism and His death?

Will you commit to dedicating the month of September to the reading the gospels?
Let’s read one each week. For next week, read the book of Mark. It ties in nicely to the lesson for the week, so keep studying the lesson with an open heart and mind!

As we focus on reformation for the next three weeks, we will make special effort in our weekly discussion to focus on the life of Jesus so that we might experience the revival and reformation He alone can bring.

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