In the month of October 2017 we commemorate the reformation in its 500th anniversary. We do so not only by giving honor to those who have been servants of our Lord and His people but more so in affirmation of the the five solas of the reformation; sola Scriptura, sola gratia, sola fide, sola Christus, sola Deo gloria. The Word of God reveals that we are justified by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone.
The Spark of the reformation flame
Martin Luther, a German monk and priest, on October 31, 1517 endeavored to correct many false doctrines and practices of the Roman Catholic Church by publicly calling attention to the error of these teachings and activities by posting what is known as his 95 theses on the door of Wittenberg castle church. Among his concerns were Papal arrogance, financial bribery (indulgences), and immorality throughout the church leadership.
Luther followed this public challenge (the 95 theses) of the Roman Catholic Church by publishing a number of books and other writings which expanded on the Biblical basis for renouncing such errors. In these writings Luther asserted that Christians were bound in the teaching and practice of Christianity by no other authority but Scripture alone, Sola Scriptura.
This the pope could not tolerate and retain the prestige and power of his position and therefore excommunicated Luther from the Roman Catholic Church in January, 1521.
There was widespread support for Luther among many of the government officials and a few months later Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, convened a court of inquiry to publicly establish what Luther was doing. This court was called the Diet of Worms. Luther was encouraged to explain himself in such a way that it would be understood that he was not challenging the pope and the church but only talking about unimportant questions. In response Luther said in part:
“Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Holy Scriptures or by evident reason-for I can believe neither pope nor councils alone, as it is clear that they have erred repeatedly and contradicted themselves-I consider myself convicted by the testimony of Holy Scripture, which is my basis; my conscience is captive to the Word of God. Thus I cannot and will not recant, because acting against one's conscience is neither safe nor sound. Here I stand; I can do no other. God help me. Amen.”
Luther was declared a heretic and an outlaw. He was secretly hide by supporters and continued his writing and teaching which led to the protestant reformation. Luther’s stand for Sola Scriptura cemented the authority of the reformed church in Scripture alone.
The first article of Sovereign Grace Church Statement of faith:
We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction ; that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter; that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us; and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.
The first article of Sovereign Grace Church Covenant:
“to submit to the authority of the Scriptures as the authority on all issues.” (Psalm 119; 2 Timothy 3:14-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21).
False doctrines are denied by holding to the truth! We commemorate the 500th anniversary of the reformation to be reminded that the stand of the reformers demands, that all those in Christ STAND in truth, Sola Scriptura, sola gratia, sola fide, sola Christus, Sola Deo gloria.