Give me a word, Lord: REFORMATION DAY

Ephesians 2:8-9 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

Romans 3:21-24 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.  For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 

Revelation 3:20 “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.

On this day , in 1517, 503 years ago, a little known (at the time) German priest and professor named Martin Luther came knocking on the Wittenberg door of the Roman Catholic Church. Sin and corruption had escalated within the Roman Catholic Church spreading to many of the leaders, and unfortunately, it had spread into the church practices and doctrines. The church had grown very prosperous, but did not realize how blind to the Word of God they had become. The church practiced selling indulgences to absolve sin. Martin Luther loved the Word of God, and he loved the church, the bride of Christ, and he followed the will of God. On this very day, all those years ago, he took a hammer and a few nails, and nailed a 95 page thesis to the door of the church. This thesis outlined indictments against the Roman Catholic Church. It was a call to repentance.

Back in A.D. 95, Jesus came metaphorically knocking on the door of the church of Laodicea. We all remember them as the lukewarm church. ““Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” (Revelation 3:20) We can picture Jesus standing at the door knocking and inviting the lost to come to Him. Just as we envision Jesus knocking on the church door of Laodicea, we can envision Jesus knocking on the door of that church in Wittenberg 503 years ago. With each pound of the hammer of Martin Luther, Jesus was knocking, and that knocking set off a major chain reaction that we now know as the Protestant Reformation. As a result of reformation, hundreds of millions of Christians all over the world have submitted to the Word of God as their highest authority (Sola Scriptura), to His teaching that salvation is the gift given by God’s grace alone (Sola Gratia), and through faith alone (Sola Fide) in the death and resurrection of their one savior and mediator, Jesus Christ (Solo Christus), so that all glory would always be found to the Triune God alone (Sola Deo Gloria).

The church opened the door to Jesus and repentance and reformation was the spiritual cure for the ongoing corruption and sinfulness. The Good News and spiritual health spread through much of Europe, the New World, Asia, and Africa. A massive evangelism movement was spurred. The Bible was translated into languages for all to read, and a great awakening of the church occurred. Jesus knocked, and many doors were opened.

Today, is considered Halloween. The kids will dress up in costumes and go out for Trick or Treating. Families will join together for family fun as children go door to door knocking. Rather than celebrate this day as Halloween, we should be celebrating a day of thanksgiving! We must remember that great day when Martin Luther pounded on the door of the church as Jesus came knocking for both you and I. How do we celebrate this wonderful day in history? The best way we can observe Reformation Day is by doing some serious prayerful soul searching. Are we allowing a Laodicean lifestyle to seep into the church today? Are we lukewarm? Are we living by the Word of God, or are we living for the world? Are the standards we hold true for our church Biblical or worldly? Is Jesus knocking on the doors of our homes and churches asking to come in? Have we shut Him out?

If Jesus is knocking on our doors, let us please welcome Him in! Now, more than ever, Christians must stand firm in our faith. We need to listen for the gentle knocking of our Lord and heed to his calling. Happy Reformation Day, Peeps!

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