On Saturday 16th September, 2017 the youth (and a few not-so-young people) gathered at LBC for the annual youth rally. This years theme: "Are there any reformed youth today?" Elder Chikondi Phiri was tasked with helping the youth answer that question.
To answer this question Elder Phiri posed two more questions to the youth in his sermons. Firstly, what does it mean to be reformed? Before the Reformation, Roman Catholicism had been the dominant form of Christianity and had been since about the 4th century. Through the Reformation it pleased the Lord to bring back doctrines and practises that were biblical. To answer his first question Elder Phiri took the youth through Isaiah 6. From these verses of scripture we learned two things about someone who is truly reformed.
(i) one who is truly reformed beholds the greatness of God, gets overwhelmed by it and is changed by it and
(ii) is someone who experiences the grace of God gets overtaken by it and is ultimately changed by it. During this sermon Elder Phiri also gave us three reasons why we are reformed. We are reformed because of the reformation legacy. We are reformed because of our belief in and experience with reformed theology. We are reformed because of our desire to continue reforming according to the Word of God. Semper Reformanda!
Secondly, what does it mean, in practice, to be a reformed youth today? In the second session of the sermon Elder Phiri looked at the practical implications of being reformed. He preached on what it means to be reformed youth in the church; it means taking up a prophetic role in a local church: sharing the gospel, building up and encouraging others, sharing reformed doctrines with believers from non-reformed circles, be willing to suffer for Christ, engaging with the elders and pastor of the church. It means reformed youths should be willing to take up a priestly role: active participation in church activities, praying, engaging in gospel centred topics and not gossip about the fleeting pleasures of this world.
Young people also have a kingly role the church: We have to effectively fight our 3 enemies: The world, the flesh and the devil. We need to be aware of the 3 enemies tactics. We are to fight worldly friendships as bad company corrupts good morals, we are to be careful with the use of our tongues, we are to exercise self control, we are to treat the opposite sex as brothers or sisters in Christ with holiness and purity, we are to exercise stewardship over the resources God has given us. We are to be spent by the God, to bring glory to Him.
From 1 Timothy 4:12, elder Phiri gave five areas for the reformed youth to work through: Speech- Mathew 12:34-37, Ephesians 4: 25, 29 & 31. Conduct- Titus 2:10, 1 Peter 1:15. Love- John 15:13. Faith- 1 Corinthians 4:2. Sexual Purity- 1 Timothy 3:2.
The sermon came to a close with these two points: Christ is the example for the youth and we are to look back and admire the work of Jesus Christ as a prophet!
Along with the sermon, the day was packed with a bible study session, singing of hymns, sharing of poems, testimonies and songs. There was also good food that was thoroughly enjoyed. (Link to pictures)
With that said, are there any reformed youth today?