It’s been about two years now that a gathering of a half dozen men met at Grace Community Church in Oscoda, Mi. It was the desire and passion of these men to see the doctrines of Grace proclaimed to the Christian community of northern Michigan. Pastor Tom Burbridge was our first pastor chair. Pastor Jeremy Lee for the past year has been our pastor leader. Beginning in January '09 Pastor Jeff Ryan will officiate as pastor chair.
This is the crux of the matter:
"Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ" (Col. 2:8).
"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Heb. 11:6).
" Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ "(Rom. 5:1).
"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:17).
Our pastor in church on Sunday prayed a prayer I believe I have never heard in a congregational meeting. He prayed a prayer of repentance for himself and his congregation. It was not a short prayer of repentance; it was quite long and thorough. I bowed my heart feeling as though the pastor’s passionate hands were on me personally.
This is the ministry of the NE Michigan Reformation Society. We are a Para-Church organization. Our goal is to be a help to local churches.
We are not a society that meets for coffee to talk politics, church growth methods etc. We meet to encourage all of the sufficiency of God’s Holy Word in every ministry and walk of life God into which God leads us. We meet to repent of our worldliness, and to seek the knowledge of God as led by the Holy Spirit through Bible studies and encouragement. We pray for the reformation of churches, for His guidance through His Word; we pray that Congregations everywhere will use Scripture Alone as their only rule for faith and practice. Our passion is the reformation of all Northern Michigan.
"My neighbor came by a couple days ago. He is a "twice immersed, hand raised convert after singing the song ten times unbeliever." He has a telescope that he has invited me to use to visit the heavens more closely. I mentioned that the Milky Way was so large that it would take 4 million light years to cross it traveling at the speed of the shuttle at 18,000 mph. He said that that was proof God didn’t make the stars and the universe because God could not possibly make anything that big. To a screeching halt I came. "Who do you think God is? Is He a man like you and I? Is He a human being? No, God is a spirit." He is all powerful and everywhere. God made everything. Harold Camping made this serious mistake on his Christian radio program. He didn’t know how God could hear the prayers of millions; he just trusted that God heard. Wow! What does the Scripture say?
"He who comes to God must believe that He is."
"We are justified by faith, faith comes by hearing, hearing comes by the Word of God."It is the Word of God that saves.
"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Heb. 4:12).
What about Psalms 139, "Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me" (vs. 7-10).
God is everywhere all the time in every event. Nothing escapes Him. We call Christians everywhere to repentance, worship, and total dependence on His Word, thus all will be saved who repent, worship, and depend upon Him.
The NE Michigan Reformation Society will soon be in its third year as a presence in NE Michigan. I have been very blessed to have met many pastors and lay people who have a heart for the message that the Cambridge Declaration brings, ie, the five Solas of the Christian reformation: Scripture Alone, Christ Alone, Grace Alone, Faith Alone, to the Glory of God Alone. I want to express my appreciation for the love each brother has shown me. I trust I can reciprocate in like manner. This note is a thank you.
"Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen" (Hebrews 13:20, 21).
NE Michigan Reformation Society