Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Reformation Still Matters 500 Years Later Because the Gospel Still Matters 500 Years Later


This year marks the 500th anniversary of the unofficial beginning of the Protestant Reformation. October 31st, 1517 is the date of Martin Luther's nailing his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany. Although the Reformation had its faults, it still matters. It matters all these years later because the Gospel of Jesus Christ still matters.

It's popular today within many Christian circles in the USA to act as if the differences between Catholicism and Biblical Christianity aren't that significant. Excuse me, but they are still extremely significant. That's because Rome has not changed its dogma since the time of the Reformation. The reality is that Rome doesn't change. In the Middle Ages it offered a works-based salvation, and it still does today.

God used the Protestant Reformation to rescue the Gospel from the clutches of Rome. The Reformers did something that was novel at the time: they looked in the Bible to see what it had to say about salvation. What they found was justification by grace alone through faith alone. Let me repeat: they found grace in the Biblical Jesus Christ.

Today many of us have multiple copies of the Bible that we can read whenever we want. The situation was far different 500 years ago. Most folks couldn't read, and they certainly didn't have Bibles. They relied on Roman-bought priests to tell them what to believe. What the common man received was a bunch of Latin hogwash dressed up in hocus pocus. It was tradition wrapped in ceremony dressed up in, to quote that famous theologian Han Solo, "simple tricks and nonsense."

The Reformation is not about Martin Luther. The Reformation is about Jesus Christ. God has revealed His Son, the God-Man Jesus Christ, to us in the pages of scripture. What we know about Jesus we know from the Bible. Frankly, everything we know about Christ comes from scripture. Additionally, the best way to abide with Jesus is through the Bible.

The Gospel matters because Jesus Christ matters. The Reformation will not stop mattering until the Gospel stops mattering. That, of course, will never happen because Jesus is the One and only who offers true salvation: by grace alone through faith alone.

5 comments:

Arthur Sido said...

There is no expiration date on the truth.

BTW, not a fan of the new font, it looks like you banged this post out on a typewriter.

Aussie John said...

Eric,

Can only say "Amen" to your words!

Whilst we need to remember there is truth in the slogan "Ecclesia semper reformanda";(the church reformed, always reforming, we must also remember with sadness that the slogan has been used as the excuse to introduce the most un-biblical practices to the life and practice of the church. Followers of Christ are bound to God’s Word as the charter and objective rule for Christian faith and practice.

Eric said...

Arthur,

Thanks for the feedback. I'm looking for a font that can be big (due to my poor eyesight) but not in bold. Blogger is very limiting. Grrr.

Eric said...

John,

"Followers of Christ are bound to God’s Word as the charter and objective rule for Christian faith and practice."

Yes!

T Aagard said...

As we struggle to help the church continue to reform out of it's own version of the local church papacy - under a different title, it's commitment to sola lectura scriptura, (my own invented latin), etc, we can grasp the struggle the reformers dealt with in their hearts, in their relationships, and in their work. Most of the NT epistles were written to reform the young church out of immediate corruptions that jumped on the wagon.