On my mind lately is the matter of our regular celebration of Reformation Month at our local assembly of believers. It has been on my heart to fan the flame of the reformed faith in such a way because my own heart has been encouraged by reading Calvin and Chesterton this year. I thought of how the apostle Peter tells those pilgrims in this world to add, supplement, or as I like the word, furnish—their faith with certain things. And then I thought how the Bible teaches us that faith and joy go together. Here are some examples:
“Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith.
Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith,
looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
(2Corinthians 1:24; Philippians 1:25; Hebrews 12:2 ESV)
In these above verses there is the idea of progress in the faith and joy before and in the Lord. It is right I think that when it comes to the reformed faith, as we may call it, which is really the Christian faith, that we do not neglect improving of our lives by the things we believe—faith and practice if you will, or better—Faith and joy!
I was further encouraged as I thought of that latin phrase Semper Reformanda! Always Reforming! This phrase does not mean always changing as if the faith is not settled. Better, Robert Godfrey explains it this way:
Semper Reformanda — since we now have a church reformed …let us always be working to ensure that our hearts and lives are being reformed by the Word and Spirit of God. (W. Robert Godfrey, Ligonier Ministries)
You can read a full background historically on that phrase at Ligonier Ministries here. Godfrey goes on to say this: “The part of religion that always needs reforming is the human heart. It is vital religion and true faith that must be constantly cultivated.”