Celebrating Reformation Day, 31 October


- Soli Deo Gloria –


The reformation of the Christian Church during the 16th century was lead by spiritual and theological heroes such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox and many others.


The reformation as a spiritual renewal, doctrinal inspiration and church growth phenomenon second to none other, would change the spiritual views of millions of Christians, shaped the thoughts of tens of thousands of theologians and ministers of the Church, founded the Western views of just as many philosophers on matters regarding the state, politics, democracy, science, freedom and every other important sphere of life.


On Reformation Day, 31 October, we give thanks for and celebrate this phase of the history of the Christian Church that had the greatest impact on the revival of the Church since the days of the apostles in the New Testament Church.


This is one celebration we cannot ignore or forget. All our values and beliefs benefited from the genius, the humble and rock solid faith, piety and dependence on the work of the Holy Spirit of our reformation fathers.


The Reformed theology is popularly summarised by quoting the five “sola’s” or “only’s”, of the Reformed tradition, namely:

- We should live our lives “only to the glory of God!”

- We know the Gospel truth “only from the holy Scriptures!”

- We are redeemed “only by the salvation work of our Lord, Jesus Christ!”

- We are saved “only by grace!”

- We are justified “only through faith!” 


John Calvin became the leader of the Protestants in the city of Geneva, which became the centre of the Reformation in Europe. From Geneva Presbyterianism spread to Germany, Scotland, mainly through John Knox who studied under Calvin, to England, the Netherlands, Hungary, America and eventually across the globe, including amongst others, all the former Dutch and British colonies. 


Today tens of millions of men, women and children throughout the world belong to ‘Reformed’ or ‘Presbyterian’ Churches.


The name Reformed refers to Calvin’s intention to establish a Church reformed according to the Word of God. The name Presbyterian refers to our form of church government through ‘presbyters’ or elders – both ruling and teaching elders. 


Bible centred teaching and preaching match our passion for God centred living and God centred faith and it is the origin of passionately seeking a just society, up to this day.


Calvin’s vision to promote religious toleration challenged the Church and the state. His views on the separation of the powers of Church and State where each is independent of the other yet accountable to God for everything they do, led to the evolvement of the standards of democratic freedom of both the individual and the structures within society.


Without these principles democracy,  a free economy and objective, liberated science and technology set free from both theological and political tyranny, would not have flourished.


Let’s contemplate the fruit of the Reformation’s remarkable contribution towards the development of the ideals of Biblical Confession and truly free societies and nations, while we are inspired to seek answers for our own burning challenges of our age.

Let’s also give thanks for millions of lives to the glory of God, in service of the Church of Christ and the struggles for the liberation of humanity for more than 500 years.