We need to celebrate today. Today is a special day in the life of the Church, although many Christians don’t know it. Many people will dress up in the scariest costume they could find, many will dress up as their favorite character, and many as their favorite superhero. They will then walk around door to door asking strangers for candy, the very thing their parents told them not to do every other day of the week, but that’s besides the point. Then, there will be other people who look down upon the people who dress up and try to get their share of the candy. Although they can’t really explain why they do that. Still, for the Church today is a special day in history.
Not because of Halloween. In fact this has nothing to do with Halloween. No matter your position on the “holiday”, today the Church should celebrate for an entirely different reason. 501 years ago, on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of Wittenberg Church. As a result, he began what we know of today as the Protestant Reformation.
At the time of Martin Luther, the Catholic Church was at the forefront of society. They had power and dominion, and used that power to be domineering over the people. Which is the exact thing that Jesus warned against. (1 Peter 5:3) At that time people, much like today, had an opinion on the Bible but almost no one ever read it. This was due to the fact that it was hard to come by and people had become too complacent. As a result, they would entrust the leaders to shape their view of who God is, who they are, and what they should do as a result. This brought about many things that contradict and go against Gods Word.
Luther was one of the few people actually reading the Bible. History has it that even though Luther was a monk, he actually hated the God of the Bible. But the more he studied it the more clearly he began to see who God is. He began to see Jesus for who He is. Most importantly, he began to see that he could do nothing about the evil in his own life, but that Jesus was the only answer for that evil. There was nothing he could do to atone for his sin, and Jesus had been the atonement for sin.
This began what we know of as the Protestant Reformation. I do not expect Christians to know all the details about the reformation, but we must know the glorious truth that came out of it. Mainly, I am talking about the “five solas”.
By Scripture Alone.
By Grace Alone.
By Faith Alone.
By Christ Alone.
To the Glory of God Alone.
These are the five truths that radically transformed the Church. They went against the thinking of that day, and sought to re-orient the Church around the truth of Jesus. That scripture is the authoritative Word of God, and not man. That we are saved by grace through faith, and cannot earn salvation. That our salivation has been given to us by Jesus and not by any man or Church. That all of this, in the end, is for Gods glory alone.
Brothers and sisters, today the Church must celebrate and praise God that He never leaves us in the dark. God has revealed himself to us, and displayed His love for us in Jesus. We are reminded of this daily. By the way, I don’t care if you dress up and go get candy today (pick me up some chocolate if you do). But on the day when darkness seems to be celebrated, it is the truth and light of Jesus that shines clearly.
Happy Reformation Day.