- Created: October 27 2019 October 27 2019
On October 31, 1517, an Augustinian monk posted ninety-five statements for discussion on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. Dr. Martin Luther hoped that posting his theses would bring about an academic debate regarding repentance, the sale of indulgences and other matters of concern within the Roman Catholic Church. However, Rome eventually excommunicated Luther, judging him to be a heretic. Luther’s reforms, centered on the teaching that a believer is justified by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, sparked religious reforms not only in the German states but also in many European countries.
Jesus tells us that “wisdom is justified by her deeds.” Though He was accused of being a glutton and drunkard and of keeping poor company, Jesus came to rescue everyone—even the tax collectors and sinners He befriended—by His grace from the slavery of sin and death. The true Wisdom of God, Christ Jesus, the incarnate Son, has justified us by His deeds. He prepared the way by preaching of repentance, but suffered the violence of the Law and handed Himself over to be crucified that we, too, might eat and drink with Him in His Kingdom and “remain in the house forever.”
The message of the Reformation was and is salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, on account of Christ alone. Because “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” and since “no human being” can or will be justified by “works of the law,” God revealed a righteousness apart from the law, “the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.” This is the truth that sets us free! For “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed”!
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