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  • Celebrating 500 years of the Reformation

    October 31st 1517, Martin Luther nailed his soon to become infamous 95 theses to the door of the Wittenberg castle church, starting what we now call the Reformation. 500 years on why are this one man's actions and the Reformation period in general important for us to celebrate, and what can we learn?

    Celebrating 500 years of the Reformation - primary image

    Firstly, we have the historical victories of the Reformation; the restoration of gospel focused (rather than Papal focused) church; the translation of the Bible into common languages; the utilisation of the printing press for rapidly spreading the message, etc.

    Secondly, you have the theological victories. The Roman Catholic church, which dominated much of Europe, endorsed a semi-Pelagian theology, which taught God only gave grace as we did good works. Off the back of this heresy they guilt-tripped vulnerable people into giving money they didn’t have to buy the Pope’s blessing. The church was in a dire state. The Reformation rediscovered that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, and in Christ alone.

    Thirdly. Martin Luther was an ordinary man. He had many flaws; he had a foul mouth on him, he was accused of being a drunk, and in his old age he became anti-semitic. None of these things we should excuse, but we should also not let these things distract us from seeing the work God was doing through this man. We should also allow these flaws to preach Christ sufficiency to us again. If God would use one foul mouthed, racist, drunk to lift the centuries-old yoke of Roman Catholicism, what might he do with us, seemingly more savoury, characters? If God would use the murderous David, the racist Luther, and the persecutor Paul, this shows us that he doesn’t call the qualified, but that he qualifies the called.

    So, 500 years on, what is God wanting to Reform in your heart? In what areas of your life is God calling you to make a stand, and nail your 95 theses to some doors? And, what are you going to do about it?

    Happy Reformation Day!

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