“…as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’”
Every year around this time people in the church resume a long-standing debate which centers on the following question: Should Christians celebrate this day or not? I, for one, think the answer is obvious. Of course we should celebrate it! Christians have more reason to celebrate this day than any other group of people on earth. The only problem is that far too few of us know the reason why.
Today is Reformation Day, and if we had ever experienced how dark life was in the church before this significant event took place, we’d never allow October 31st to slip by without praising God for His mercy. Nearly 500 years ago on this date, God used a monk named Martin Luther to change the course of history…
At the time, few would have suspected that the sound of a hammer striking the castle church door in Wittenberg, Germany, would soon be heard around the world and lead ultimately to the greatest transformation of Western society since the apostles first preached the Gospel throughout the Roman empire. Martin Luther’s nailing of his ninety-five theses to the church door on October 31, 1517, provoked a debate that culminated finally in what we now call the Protestant Reformation…
Martin Luther…became the center of a great controversy after his theses were copied and distributed throughout Europe. Initially protesting the pope’s attempt to sell salvation, Luther’s study of Scripture soon led him to oppose the church of Rome on issues including the primacy of the Bible over church tradition and the means by which we are found righteous in the sight of God.
This last issue is probably Luther’s most significant contribution to Christian theology. Though preached clearly in the New Testament and found in the writings of many of the church fathers, the medieval bishops and priests had largely forgotten the truth that our own good works can by no means merit God’s favor. Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone, and good works result from our faith, they are not added to it as the grounds for our right standing in the Lord’s eyes (Eph. 2:8–10).
[Taken from “What Is Reformation Day All About?” by Robert Rothwell]
Learn more about the history of Reformation Day and Martin Luther’s courageous stand against the church of Rome in the following dramatic reading by award-winning actor Max McLean…
Related Post: Happy Reformation Day!