Celebrate Reformation Day Martin Luther
Salvation Justification by Faith Alone
For Lutherans, and other Protestant denominations, Reformation Day is an important holiday. Reformation Day is traditionally celebrated on the last Sunday in October. This day celebrates the beginning of the Reformation. The Reformation officially began with Martin Luther posting ninety-five theses on the door at the entrance to the Castle Church in the town of Wittenberg, Germany, in 1517 AD.
Martin Luther, an Augustinian monk, doctor of theology, and resident of Wittenberg, has the distinction of rediscovering the fundamental tenants of Christian faith, which at the time set the stage for a confrontation within the Church that would eventually lead to the Reformation.
History of the Reformation
The historical trends that brought about the Reformation began centuries before its actual occurrence. Some fundamental causes stem from the Church’s departure from the foundational teachings of Christ regarding a believer’s relationship with God, believers’ relationships with one another, and the means by which we receive salvation. It is professed that by the fifth century AD, about the time Rome fell, the Church adopted many practices contrary to the teachings of Christ as found in Biblical Scripture.
There are three notable perceived errors in doctrine standing out as major flaws in direct opposition to the teachings of Christ. These became the basis for Martin Luther’s ninety-five theses. The first error created a priesthood that acted as mediator between the believer and God, suggesting that direct communication between ordinary man and the Almighty was impossible. The second error established a pontiff, the pope, who would exercise authority over the entire Church. The third error related to the attainment of salvation through penitent works and charitable acts, rather than through the miracle of faith in Jesus Christ.
Faith alone is the foundational answer to the question, “What must I do to be saved?” The doctrine of justification by faith alone is at the center of Reformation theology, and remains critical for all believers today. This doctrine is continually under assault, yet without it, there is no real gospel message.
Text gleaned and summarized from the written teaching of Martin Luther and interpretation of Biblical Scripture.
Peace & Joy! Pastor Michael.