Autumn repays the earth the leaves which summer lent it. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), translated by Norman Alliston, 1908
The final day of a 2017 October is here. What better way to close the month than with the celebration of the 500th year of the Reformation! But what is the reformation and who in the world is Martin Luther? A brave German monk, Luther, nailed a ninety-five theses to Wittenburg’s Church door, proposing an academic discussion but insuring a protestant reformation. Luther was challenging the papal system which practiced selling indulgences and not holding Scripture as the highest authority. So thankful that from his ninety-five theses, five “solas” were born.
- Sola Scriptura – (Scripture Alone): The Bible alone is our highest authority.
- Sola Fide (Faith Alone): We are saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.
- Sola Gratia (Grace Alone): We are saved by the grace of God alone.
- Solus Christus (Christ Alone): Jesus Christ alone is our Lord, Savior, and King.
- Soli Deo Gloria (to the Glory of God Alone): We live for the glory of God alone.
For me, personally, I was blessed to have a teacher that taught Church History and gave me an understanding of how courageous and important was the life of Martin Luther. Thank you, Randy Dick, I know you are enjoying your heavenly home with great men and women of God, and no doubt Luther is sharing all his experiences firsthand! I am also blessed to have a pastor, Stephen Davey (and let me hasten to add my husband), who preaches and teaches these truths and honors the life and courage of Martin Luther. Proudly, our church choir and orchestra was invited to Germany to sing for the 500th year celebration!
This past Sunday, our pastor preached from the following passage of Scripture:
Romans 3:21-31, Living Bible (TLB)
21-22 But now God has shown us a different way to heaven—not by “being good enough” and trying to keep his laws, but by a new way (though not new, really, for the Scriptures told about it long ago). Now God says he will accept and acquit us—declare us “not guilty”—if we trust Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, by coming to Christ, no matter who we are or what we have been like. 23 Yes, all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious ideal; 24 yet now God declares us “not guilty” of offending him if we trust in Jesus Christ, who in his kindness freely takes away our sins.
25 For God sent Christ Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to end all God’s anger against us. He used Christ’s blood and our faith as the means of saving us from his wrath. In this way he was being entirely fair, even though he did not punish those who sinned in former times. For he was looking forward to the time when Christ would come and take away those sins. 26 And now in these days also he can receive sinners in this same way because Jesus took away their sins.
But isn’t this unfair for God to let criminals go free, and say that they are innocent? No, for he does it on the basis of their trust in Jesus who took away their sins.
27 Then what can we boast about doing to earn our salvation? Nothing at all. Why? Because our acquittal is not based on our good deeds; it is based on what Christ has done and our faith in him. 28 So it is that we are saved by faith in Christ and not by the good things we do.
29 And does God save only the Jews in this way? No, the Gentiles, too, may come to him in this same manner. 30 God treats us all the same; all, whether Jews or Gentiles, are acquitted if they have faith. 31 Well then, if we are saved by faith, does this mean that we no longer need obey God’s laws? Just the opposite! In fact, only when we trust Jesus can we truly obey him.
We should never distort the “free-gift” of God (Rom. 6:23)! We ought never to think we can earn His gift through our actions or even expect as if by our performance we gain any merit. The gospel commands no other sense of any faith other than in Christ-alone by grace-alone; the only thing we can know with eternal certainty (I John 5:11-13) is the grace and mercy received through Jesus Christ. As Luther’s theses boldly declared, the gospel isn’t for sale, its’s free!
What a relief that it doesn’t depend on anything I must do!
Have you believed in God’s only Son for eternal life?