The Protestant Reformation – 500 years

The above videos are 3, 30, and 70 minutes long, respectively. The 2nd video was found at Maria Tatham’s blog. Her blog, previously called “Pilgrim’s Progress revisited – a former Catholic on the narrow way,” is now called “Pilgrim’s Progress revisited – Christiana on the narrow way.” Each video can give you a timely summary of the Reformation and why it is vitally important to Protestants. If anyone is able to find anything historically wrong with any of the three, please leave a comment.

What do you believe about God? I think it is the most important question. Having been raised in the Protestant church named after the man who is remembered today, The Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod in my case), I have been somewhat familiar with this topic for a long time. It is why I have included the fourth video. Influential “protestants” in today’s world are attempting to ignore important doctrines, rediscovered by the reformers, in an attempt to create unity. Unity without truth is worthless. If this seems harsh, one should read the words of Martin Luther. As I read his words in a search for material for this post, I was struck at how biting many of his words would seem to people today. It is obvious why his words put his life at risk at the time.

There were three famous “solas” (Latin word for “only”) that Martin Luther coined, which ultimately sparked the Reformation. Here they are below, as well as a description of each:

1. Sola Gratia (“only by grace alone”): Luther read scripture verses such as Ephesians 2:8 (“For it is by grace you have been saved…” ESV) and came to believe that it is only through God’s grace, not any works a person can do, that salvation is accomplished. One must rely on God’s free and infinite grace for his salvation and must not try to add to it through good deeds, giving money, etc.

2. Sola Fide (“only through faith alone”): Luther furthermore believed whole-heartedly that salvation only comes through a person’s faith in God. He came to believe this through continuing to read Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (ESV). He argued that God’s great grace saves sinners, in conjunction with the faith that He also provides.

3. Sola Scriptura (“only through the Scriptures alone”): Finally, Luther was a strong advocate of the idea that to understand God’s grace and to have faith in Him, the common person must be able to have access to God’s Word, the Bible. During a time when only the priests and religious teachers could read the Scriptures, Luther, along with other reformers, believed the common man must be able to hear the Word of God in his own language and understand it for himself. He noted verses like 2 Timothy 3:16 which states, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and is profitable for teaching, reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (ESV). Therefore, since every part of Scripture is God’s Word, then the common man must be able to hear and understand it to have faith in God.

Source

Modern man is no different than man who lived in Medieval Times. He needs the God of the Bible. Each must “be able to hear and understand it to have faith in God.”

Chris Reimers

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