This year we celebrate the dawn of the Reformation which began with Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg on October 31st of 1517. As we look back over the last 500 years of Christendom, it is important to note that without the unrelenting and convictional leadership of Martin Luther, his predecessors Jon Huss and John Wycliffe, and his contemporaries John Calvin and Huldrych Zwingli we may have remained in the dark ages without access to the text of Scripture in our own languages while still embracing the erroneous beliefs that the church and its hierarchy are soteriological and that a placeholder in glory can be purchased.
Spurgeon, writing on Luther’s discovery of Hebrews 10:38 notes, “This one sentence, ‘The just shall live by his faith,’ produced the Reformation. Out of this one line, as from the opening of one of the Apocalyptic seals, came forth all that sounding of gospel trumpets, and all that singing of gospel songs, which made in the world a sound like the noise of many waters. This one seed, forgotten and hidden away in the dark mediæval times, was brought forth, dropped into the human heart, made by the Spirit of God to grow, and in the end to produce great results.” With this illimunation, Luther could not keep quiet and led a movement that changed the world and continues centuries later.
The Reformation was unified under the doctrines of Sola Fide, Solus Christus, Soli Deo Gloria, Sola Gratia, and Sola Scriptura placing the beleiver’s emphasis on Christ alone as the sole provider of faith and grace based on the Sacred Text and only for His glory. Many have suffered and died holding fast to these basic tenants of the Christian faith. The 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation highlights these men as tools in the hands of a God who continually “re-forms” His church to reflect the original, inerrant teachings of the Prophets, the Apostles, and Christ. Reformational leadership, therefore, is about leading faithfully, based on truth, no matter the cost.
-Soli Deo Gloria