The rediscovery of biblical truth is a biblical principle known as reformation.  It is not just a dramatic change in the religious lives of people, it is a continual process.  There is a good bit of talk today among Christians about reformation and revival.  Every year on October 31st we remember the 16th century Reformation and how Dr. Martin Luther rediscovered "justification by faith alone."  The Reformed church has experienced biblical reformation throughout its history.  Sometimes it was so insignificant it could hardly be measured and other times professing Christians left the true religion rather than being reformed, but reformation means being reformed by the Word of God. 

The Congregational Church at Northampton, Mass. under the preaching of Jonathan Edwards experienced reformation gradually until 1735 when there was a widespread awakening among the congregation.  His sermons were vigorous reformation sermons as we can see from a sermon preached in 1729 from Jeremiah 6:29-30 entitled "Living Unconverted Under an Eminent Means of Grace."  This very graphic sermon describes the "great danger of being finally left of God, when sinners have lived long unconverted under eminent means of conversion."  His three points were:

1.  Their sins are abundantly more aggravated than other men's

2.  Their hearts are more hardened against means of grace than other men's

3.  They have resisted the Holy Ghost more than others, and so will be more likely to be finally left by him.

            He concluded his sermon by warning his congregation that those who were unaffected by the reformation were yet unconverted.  It was about that time in Jonathan Edwards' ministry that he began to insist on evidence of conversion in order to be admitted to the Lord's table.  The last two paragraphs of his sermon will give you a taste of those reformation sermons preached during his 23 years at Northampton.

            "And how dreadful is the case of those vicious persons that yet continue unreformed.  How doleful will the punishment of drunkards be that have been unreformed by all means they have enjoyed and that yet continue unreformed.

            The many powerful awakening sermons that you have heard won't be forgotten, though you have so little regarded them.  They'll all be remembered, and you must hear'em rehearsed again.  Though you was so quiet under'em when you heard'em, yet when you hear'em again, you will not be so quiet; they'll thunder to you.  Every word will pierce your heart through and through with torments."  Edwards believed that unreformed church goers would hear the sermons and be tormented by them in eternal punishment.

            Ecclesia reformata semper est reformanda is a Latin phrase that defines the true meaning of biblical reformation; the church reformed is always being reformed.