Monthly Archives: October 2017

Happy 500th!

It’s rare to celebrate a 500th anniversary.

Five hundred years ago (31/10/1517), Martin Luther nailed his protest (95 Theses) against the Roman Catholic Church, calling it to return to the true gospel of the Bible, on the door of Castle Church, Wittenberg, Germany.

Sadly, over many centuries, the church had turned the good news of salvation through the righteousness of Jesus Christ into bad news: we must earn our salvation through good works and religious deeds (like penances and indulgences).

Right across Europe, Reformers protested against the Roman Church. The Reformers put their lives on the line to restore the good news to the church.

These gospel protests have come down to us as: salvation is according to Scripture alone, in Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone, for the glory of God alone.

Let’s celebrate and give thanks for the gospel, and the many who died for us to know the gospel! Let’s still pray for the reformation of the Roman Catholic church that she too may find the good news of salvation by grace alone through Christ alone.

In Christ, Tory Cayzer.

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Church is God’s people loving one another

Although the Bible tells us church is heaven on earth, it very often doesn’t feel that way. In honesty, church can be tough going.

Today in Ephesians 4, we see why it is so hard.

When we love each other – committed and sacrificial to one another – we grow toward the fullness of Christ. God makes us like him.

Dealing with the sin in our lives, sharing each others burdens and griefs, being patient with our differences, taking the time to know each other and praying for one another, is going to be hard and costly!!!

But this is God’s plan for us as he grows us to be like his Son Jesus. Let’s not miss this opportunity!

And when it is tough to love our church, remember, it’s nothing compared to the love Jesus showed on the Cross for your church family (Romans 5:8).

In Christ, Tory Cayzer.

Church is God’s people

Most would associate the word ‘church’ with a building, steeple, or priest. Yet, in the Bible that’s never the case. Church is the people of God.

In Ephesians 2:19–22, church is the household of God – the family of God. It’s a spiritual reality. God has put us in our town to show people what the family of God looks like. As we love one another, pray for one another, encourage one another, rebuke one another, and teach one another, we show our town what it looks like to live in relationships under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

To state the obvious, we can’t do this on our own. It’s impossible to ‘one another’ on your own.

And so it’s God’s plan for all Christians to meet together and live together as his people in the local church.

This is hard, but possible! And so let’s ask God to enable us to live as his people with love and grace.

In Christ, Tory Cayzer.

Church is God’s plan for you

A Christian who is not part of church is no where to be found in the Bible. In fact, the church is at the centre of God’s plan for the world and so is definitely God’s plan for you. There is no Plan B.

Jesus says he will build his church and won’t be stopped. All who confess he is the Messiah, the Son of the living God, are his church (Matthew 16:13–19).

So the most important thing happening in the world today is Jesus building his church.

We ought to be comforted and hopeful to know that Jesus is the one building the church. It’s easy to worry or wonder about the future of the church and Christianity. We are in good hands!

But knowing Jesus is the one who builds his church also gives us a challenge. If we are not involved in building the church, are we following Jesus?

My prayer is we’ll have a greater appreciation of the church in God’s plans, and seek to realise this in our local community as we help build his church.

In Christ, Tory Cayzer.

Spiritual Presence Alone

Thomas Cranmer wanted the Lord’s Supper service to give comfort and assurance to the Christian. It was not about us offering a sacrifice to God, but thanking him for his mercy to us in Jesus Christ. He reformed the Roman Catholic Mass so that it was inconceivable that the Lord’s Supper was repeating the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and that we were remembering his sacrifice – as Jesus himself commanded us to do.

Everything we do must be shaped by the gospel of grace in Jesus. We must keep on reforming!

And so the first gospel truth Cranmer guarded in his Lord’s Service was the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. In the words of consecration, he wrote:

ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, who of thy tender mercy didst give thine only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death upon the Cross for our redemption; who made there (by his one oblation of himself once offered) a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world; and did institute, and in his holy Gospel command us to continue, a perpetual memory of that his precious death, until his coming again;’

Christ’s sacrifice was sufficient. Once for all. We’re not repeating the sacrifice of Jesus in any way, we are remembering.

The second gospel truth was the incarnation. Jesus Christ had a real physical body and had to in order to truly represent us and die in our place. If he wasn’t he couldn’t save us. Yet, the Roman Catholic Church taught (and still does) that the substance of the bread and wine changes (transubstantiates) into the body and blood of Christ when the priest says the words of consecration.

Cranmer wanted it to be clear that Christ is seated in heaven at the right hand of the Father. He can’t be in two places at once, otherwise, he doesn’t have a body like ours. Christ is only present in the Lord’s Supper in a spiritual sense.

As we ‘take and eat’ the bread we participate in a spiritual sense as Christ dwells in us and we in him. We feed on him in our hearts by faith.

It was Cranmer’s rejection of the Roman false teaching of transubstantiation (the real presence of Jesus in the bread and wine) that he was burnt at the stake by Queen Mary.

Let’s pray that God would raise up men and women who hold to the perfect and sufficient sacrifice of Christ for us, men and women ready to go to the stake for the one true gospel of grace.

In Christ,

Tory Cayzer