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On October 31st nearly 500 years ago, Martin Luther started the REFORMATION that changed the Church and the world forever!  The Church and its leadership had perverted the Gospel and revised the Scriptures to suit their own purposes.  Because the Pope needed funding for St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the Church devised a scheme to sell God’s forgiveness.  The Bible clearly informs us that God’s forgiveness is completely free to us, earned for us at the costly price of God’s own Son when He gave his life on the cross.  The Reformation, then, was simply Luther’s attempt to return the Church to the Scriptures and teach the truth as God has revealed it to us.  When the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church refused to listen to Luther, the result was the formation of several Protestant Churches, all trying to be faithful to God’s Word.

Some of these Churches “threw the baby out with the bathwater”, so to speak, by denouncing everything the Roman Church had practiced, taught, and stood on, and started anew from scratch.  Lutherans, on the other hand, merely tried to correct the errors of the Roman Church, and return it to its Scriptural foundation, the grace of God through Jesus Christ.  The hallmark stance of Lutherans was stated in the 4th Article of the Augsburg Confession: “We cannot obtain forgiveness of sin and righteousness before God by our own merits, works, or satisfactions, but we receive forgiveness of sin and become righteous before God by grace, for Christ’s sake, through faith, when we believe that Christ suffered for us and that for his sake our sin is forgiven and righteousness and eternal life are given to us.”  What beautiful words!  This is truly the Word of God!  (See Romans 3:21-26 and Ephesians 2:4-10)

We here at Peace Lutheran Church, and other congregations who are Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) can relate well with what happened to Luther and the resulting Reformation.  We have an opportunity today for a new reformation of Christ’s Church simply by proclaiming the truth of Scripture and calling the Church back to its foundation, Jesus Christ, and calling our world and society back to the Word of God as God himself has revealed it.  This reform has already begun.  By the power of the Holy Spirit it will be completed!

Pastor Kurt Wandrey