A prayer of gratefulness for the Reformation

Today marks the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation, when a 33-year-old Augustinian friar, Martin Luther, nailed his 95 theses to the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, in Saxony, Germany on October 31st, 1517. The Holy Spirit would use Luther and the other Reformers in a mighty way to recover the Good News! Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone that was preached by the New Testament church, but had been buried beneath layers of religious legalism, ritual, tradition, and ceremony created by the institutional church of Rome.

I’m so grateful for the early Reformers. It took great courage and faith for Luther, Zwingli, Calvin and the others to oppose Rome at a time when such opposition should have meant certain death. Over the ages, many believers were persecuted and even martyred for their faith in Christ. I can pick up my Bible and read it any time of the day. I can also gather with other believers and worship the Lord according to His Word without restriction. I’m mindful of the many Christians who gave their lives rather than deny their faith.

I was baptized into the Roman Catholic church as an infant and educated in a Catholic grammar school and high school. In my 27 years as a Roman Catholic, I never heard the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Not once. What I was taught was a complicated religious system that was based on sacramental grace and merit. I’m so grateful for the legacy of the Reformers that’s been handed down for over 500 years and is alive in the mission of believing churches and their members. Jose, Ray, and Mike witnessed to me back in the early 1980s because someone had witnessed to them, because someone had witnessed to them, and back and back.

Lord, I am so grateful You raised up the early Reformers and used them to recover the Gospel of grace. Thank You for the generations of believers who have faithfully spread your Good News! throughout the world and help us to continue this mission. Help us also to defend the Gospel of grace and fight for its purity at a time when many who claim to be Christian compromise and betray the Gospel for the sake of popularity and false unity with those who teach “another gospel.”

This past Sunday, no mention was made at our church of the upcoming 500th anniversary of the Reformation. I’m guessing that was the case in many evangelical churches. So the Reformation continues. Semper reformanda! Always reforming!

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28 thoughts on “A prayer of gratefulness for the Reformation

  1. I can relate to your story, since I am myself an excatholic, with harsh suicidal thoughts at 18, saved gracefully by God, by hearing and believing the Gospel of Jesus Christ! May your heart be blessed with a continual Reformation, (as it was taught in our Baptist Church last Sunday 🙂 ) Thank you for posting this!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thanks for the comment, arinuckptl! I praise the Lord that He freed you from religious chains and chains of despair and that you accepted Christ! Thank you and may you be blessed with continual reformation according to God’s Word and the work of the Holy Spirit as well!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Good prayer, Tom. As you know, it won’t be mentioned at our place, as we maintain our position that we are not a product of the Reformation at all, but part of the remnant that never went away. Having said that….thank God the Reformation happened and may it continue!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Wally! Yes, I believe there were always those who held to salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone as taught in the Scriptures. The Reformation, empowered by the Holy Spirit, the Bible in the vernacular, and the printing press spread the Gospel like wildfire.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Amen to the prayer!

    I listened to the local Lutheran church service this past Sunday and they mentioned some conference where Catholics and Lutherans were going to meet and talk about Luther’s Reformation. No problem with that since Catholics have come to the side of the Lutheran’s beliefs about salvation by grace! Hmmm….Then the rest of the “sermon” was about the two Communions that both are going to share at this Conference. It seems to me that the Lutherans have dropped out of Semper Reformanda…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Sherry! Yes, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is pretty much a social gospel group that embraces all religiosities as legitimate pathways to (g)od, same as Catholicism.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. They have indeed dropped out of Sola Gracia because Rome despite its glosses on this teaching, cannot embrace it, because of its mystical sacramental superstition that claims they provide in the eucharist and priestly mediation Christ’s virtues of righteousness. This is the Abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the Prophet (Daniel 7, for example) and Christ in Matthew 24…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a beautiful way to look at this, brother! One witness, after the next, after the next from the Reformation down to us, Gods great grace is awe inspiring! Thank you for this post! Always Reforming <- I like that!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, sister! Yup, a believer can’t help but feel grateful when contemplating the Reformation. It’s interesting how Catholics differ from believers regarding the Reformation. They see it as a regrettable catastrophe that shook the church to the core and resulted in thousands of sects. Believers see it as an awesome miracle of the Lord that spread the Gospel and released millions upon millions from religious chains to faith in Christ as Savior. The Lord get’s all the glory because there was no man-made institution or hierarchy overseeing the Reformation, it just….happened! Rome despite it’s great wealth and power, could not contain it.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It really is the churches historical David and Goliath…I never thought about how improbable it was for a few Spirit filled men to change such a monumental institution! Thats a great well of hope, this is why I have so greatly enjoyed learning about church history this past year!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Take a look at the Augsburg Confession in the Book The Great Controversy, you can find online to read — The protestants decided not to agree with a tempting compromise to restrict religious liberty under the air of equity — they said no to Rome’s subtle maneuver in proposing, after Luther’s stand opened the way for nobles top stand united, that the promulgation of the Gospel would be permitted only where Lutheranism was already established…

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I too am grateful for the Reformation! While I didn’t mention about the Reformation on Sunday (I was so focused on preaching on my passage in light of our Romans series) our church definitely through conversations and other teachings know how important the Reformation is!!! I’m glad the Lord brought about the Reformation that was important point in history that allow the clarity of the Gospel that is important for your salvation and mine!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I’ve really enjoyed studying the Reformation the last couple of years. Our previous pastor used to regularly refer to the 5 Solas as the “non-negotiables,” but I don’t think I’ve heard the new pastor make any such references in the past year.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for posting on the need for continual reformation even while my former SDA leaders last year met with the pope in an ecumenical meeting, the religious liberty rep himself, no less! May God help His people separate from that which is the “Mystery of Iniquity” to use the words of the Apostle Paul who prophesied of this wicked power that exalts itself above God in its imagination. We are told by Paul to “Cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” Well then brothers, sisters, we see the Papacy, the hierarchy exalts itself against God while pretending to love God…

    Thanks for the truth!

    Liked by 1 person

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