Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Reformation Day!

On October 31, 1517, a young monk named Martin Luther nailed ninety-five theses to the castle church door in Wittenberg, Germany. He addressed the abuses of the sale of indulgences and this event proved to provide the catalyst for the Protestant Reformation. In an era when the Gospel had been eclipsed by a system of human merit, Martin Luther, John Calvin, and the other magisterial reformers proclaimed to the people of God that we are declared righteous in the sight of the Lord through faith alone in the person and work of Christ Jesus.

Dr. Michael Haykin writes...

When historians write of the Reformation, Martin Luther and his rediscovery of the doctrine of justification by faith alone rightly take centre stage. Humanly speaking, if it had not been for Luther, this doctrine, which permeates both of the scenes we began with, might well have remained in obscurity, and Jane and Thomas may well have looked to their good works and faithfulness as evidence of God's grace and acceptance of them. As it was, they trusted in Christ alone for their salvation. And that because, in part, of the work of Luther.

But when we say Luther "rediscovered" this doctrine, we are implying that the doctrine had been lost or obscured between the New Testament era and Luther's day. Luther rightly viewed the loss of this key doctrine as having had detrimental effects on the health of the church. For Luther, justification by faith alone is "the principal doctrine of Christianity" and its opposite, the idea that one can be approved by God on the basis of one's own good works, the "fundamental principle" of the world and the devil. As he said more than twenty years after his experience of rediscovering the truth of justification by faith alone: "if this article [of justification] stands, the church stands, if it falls, the church falls." here to read full article...

Happy Reformation Day!

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