“Faith of Our Fathers”
Nov. 19, 2017 Frank W.R. Benoit
Introduction – This year is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation of the 16th century and Thanksgiving is a result of the Reformation. How? From the Pilgrims and other colonial settlers onward, the basic concepts of the Reformation guided the worldview and governing principles of the colonial Americans, including their gratitude to God for His care. We can summarize their faith in the following areas:
Their belief in the Authority of the Bible as God’s absolute truth for every area of life and faith and the responsibility of each person to read and obey God’s word (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
Their belief in the Exclusivity of Jesus Christ as the one and only, true Savior for every person, and none other beside Him (Acts 4:12: John 14:6).
Their belief in the Necessity of a personal, experiential faith in Christ for forgiveness of sins and justification by God (John 3:16; Acts 16:31; Rom. 1:16-17).
Their belief in the Unmerited grace and mercy of God shown to the world in making salvation, forgiveness and reconciliation possible only through Jesus Christ
(Eph. 2:4-10; Titus 3:4-8).
Their belief in the Providential outworking of God’s purpose for the world, all to His glory alone (Ps. 19:1; Rom. 11:36).
Conclusion –Thanksgiving reminds us of the foundational, biblical truths that the 16th century Reformation restored to Christianity, and the need to be grateful to the only living and true God Almighty for His personal intervention in human history through His Son Jesus Christ. As we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation in 1517, we need to reaffirm the 5 “solas” or fundamental, biblical truths that the founders of America believed in. We need to express our gratitude to God that, by His grace, we received the gospel of Jesus Christ and salvation in Him. That is the greatest reason to be thankful for everything else that God has done and blessed us with.