Saints of Old

  • Oct. 20, 2017
  • #9255

Remembering Martin Luther's courageous stand that salvation is only gained through the grace of Jesus Christ ...

500 years ago Martin Luther’s disagreements with the Catholic Church ignited the Reformation.

Martin Luther

Next week is a very big celebration for the church.

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada, and I am certain you’ve already heard that next week is the anniversary of Martin Luther’s reformation. And that is quite a big deal. Just as a refresher, Luther was a German priest back in the late 1400s; he was also a professor of theology in the Catholic Church. So he really knew the Bible. And through his studies, he came to disagree with the Catholic view on several teachings. Luther wanted to reform the Catholic Church from within, and so He proposed an academic discussion on 95 controversial topics. To get the conversation going, 500 years ago on October 31, Martin Luther posted his 95 questions on the church door at Wittenberg, Germany.

My husband Ken and I have been to Wittenberg and we have seen that wooden door on which Luther nailed his questions. Wow! Anyway, the Pope did not like that, and so, Martin Luther was excommunicated. Actually, he was made an outlaw. And that’s what started the Reformation. Other Christian leaders like Luther agreed with him. They agreed that salvation was not earned by good works, but was the free gift of God's grace through a believer’s faith in Jesus. Luther’s theology also challenged the authority of the Pope by proclaiming that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge. And his translation of the Bible into the common language of the people made God's Word accessible to everyday followers of Christ. That was another thing that really rattled the Pope and the Catholic Church.

But oh, just look what happened as a result of Martin Luther’s courageous stand against false doctrine. He did not want his followers to be called Lutherans (as many were). He wanted them to be known as evangelicals, as Christians. And just look at what God did through the Reformation. The Gospel is reaching all over the world; believers are celebrating the amazing grace of God's gift of salvation. It’s free to all who would but embrace Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Salvation isn’t just for those who join a certain church, or pay homage to certain leaders, or follow church rules and regulations. Salvation is only for those who are sinners; for those who, like us, know we are utterly lost and heading for hell without Christ. For those who know that our hearts are deceitful and wicked above all things and in constant need of rescuing. That is what the Reformation secured for us 500 years ago, and so we celebrate the brave stand that Martin Luther took on behalf of the Gospel of Christ.

As part of the celebration, I am offering something very special this week. I would like to give you a copy of my book “A Step Furtherwhich I wrote many years ago after my diving accident. Because I too had lots of questions about my suffering and the goodness of God. If God were good, and if He were sovereign and in control, then why didn’t He prevent my awful accident from happening?  Psalm 84 says that no good thing does He withhold from those who follow Him. Isn’t walking a good thing? Well, I answer these questions and many more in my book “A Step Further. And you can get your free gift by visiting joniandfriends.org/radio. Supplies of “A Step Further are limited. So be sure to visit joniandfriends.org/radio today. The gift is my book called “A Step Further. It’s all a part of highlighting 500 years of the evangelical faith. Thank you, Martin Luther. Let me hear from you at my Facebook page or you can always post a comment on my blog at joniandfriends.org.

© Joni and Friends

 

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