F A L L • 2 0 1 6
VOLUME 17, ISSUE 3
D E P A R T M E N T S
On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther inadvertently changed history. A German monk and a professor of moral theology, Luther was unable to accept the Catholic church’s practice of selling indulgences in order to pay for sins and thus reduce one’s time in purgatory. On that date, Luther sent a list of 95 Theses which were meant to stimulate academic disputation about repentance and forgiveness to the Archbishop of Mainz, the overseer of the sale of indulgences. To his surprise, his document, which he soon also posted on the church door in Wittenberg, sparked a movement he could not contain.
The Reformation was born, and the doctrine of justification by faith and the power of God’s word fueled the Protestant movement. Indulgences died, and the “Five Solas” of the Reformation exposed the heresy of Catholic doctrine. In English the Solas are: by Scripture alone, by faith alone, by grace alone, through Christ alone, to the glory of God alone.
Today these Solas are becoming eclipsed within Protestantism by the quest for experiences and practices to enhance spirituality. Doctrine is called divisive, and Christians increasingly use God’s word to support their preferences rather than allowing God’s word to shape their worldview.
We who have left Adventism for the Lord Jesus resonate with Martin Luther’s passion for the gospel. The reality that we are justified by God’s grace when we place our faith in Jesus alone changes us. We learn this truth only from Scripture. Our works and observances do nothing to cause God to view us with favor, and we do not receive more of His grace or presence by practicing disciplines. Our salvation is entirely the work of God, and it is for His glory alone that we are justified and born again.
The new covenant is the truth that exposes our Adventist view of salvation and reveals justification by faith alone. The New Testament teaches that in the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, all the shadows of the Law were fulfilled, and atonement for our sins was completed at the cross. Jesus’ blood shed on Calvary inaugurated the new covenant, and His resurrection destroyed the curse of the law—death. When we trust His finished work, we pass from death to life at that moment (Jn. 5:24). We will not come under judgment (Jn. 3:18).
God doesn’t ask us to keep the law; rather, He asks us to believe and trust Jesus (Jn. 6:29). When we do, we are born again and sealed with the Holy Spirit (Jn. 3:3-6; Eph. 1:13-14). We are ushered into the new covenant as children born of God (Jn. 1:12) and also as His adopted children and heirs (Rom. 8:14-17). This reality shatters Adventist theology. Any other teaching is a false gospel.
Because the new covenant in Jesus’ blood is the heart of the gospel that reveals the falsehood of Adventism’s Sabbath requirement, we are dedicating this issue of Proclamation! to understanding how Jesus fulfilled the Law and inaugurated something new. We have updated Dale Ratzlaff’s classic study, “The Covenants: The Continental Divide of Biblical Interpretation” which we last printed in the May/June, 2005, issue of the magazine. Because our mailing list has tripled since that date, we want to offer again the clear biblical evidence that the new covenant fulfills rather than adds to the old covenant.
We also share William Hohmann’s article on the deceptive works of the devil that lure people away from believing God’s word as well as Michael Pursley’s short piece on Judas Goats.
Peter Zenthoeffer shares his story of how discovering the gospel caused him and his wife to leave Adventism to retain their integrity, and Rick Barker examines Adventism’s Fundamental Belief on the Sabbath. We also hear from columnists Chris Lee, Carolyn Macomber, and Lisa Winn.
We pray that the miraculous truth of the new covenant in Jesus’ blood will sweep away the futility of trying to keep the Law well enough to please God. We pray the truth of God’s word will convict us all that Jesus is Lord, and only in Him can we know God.†
Copyright 2016 Life Assurance Ministries, Inc., Camp Verde, Arizona, USA. All rights reserved. Revised November 23, 2016. Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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