500th Reformation!

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It is October 31, 1517. Can you hear the sound of the hammer? That’s the nails being driven into that heavy timbered door in Wittenberg. Do you suppose that church door reverberated with the same kind of sound that was heard when the nails were driven into the hands of our Lord? The church door should have been like a gateway to a mighty fortress filled with the blessed teachings of God’s love and forgiveness His Grace! The church should be those people who are called to spread comfort and healing. The church should be a place for those who are wounded and struggling. The church should be a place where you are welcome, safe and free. The church should be the place where the Word of God is spoken; in truths that tell of the wisdom of the law and the blessings of the Good News. THIS WAS NOT THE CHURCH OF MARTIN LUTHER’S DAY.

Seven years earlier Martin Luther had been sent to Rome on an errand for his order. He was sent to the church!! What joy and excitement there must have been, even in the midst of all the hardships of the journey, as Martin traversed the 850 miles on foot. He walked over Swiss mountain ranges and valleys to Rome. It took months – this was his dream -to see the home of his beloved church. This was the place where he apparently believed righteousness and faith would truly be exhibited. What a shock it must have been to enter this city where morals had deteriorated so drastically and God’s love did not appear to be displayed at all. And the depravity was not only not being condemned by the church, but happening in it. Luther was shocked by the lack of morality and piety of the local clergy and by the luxurious lifestyle of Pope Leo X, a member of the Medici family. The papacy was at a low point in its history and others had been calling out for reform prior to Luther.

CALLING OUT FOR REFORM: That was how it began! I wonder if Martin Luther didn’t have thoughts such as these: “If the mother church is ignorant of what is happening, it must be brought to her attention.” “God is not being listened to – His Word is being ignored. We must repent and turn away from the deadly direction that we are going!” “Surely the papacy will see what is really happening if I post my concerns right up on the church door, surely this will bring needed discussion!”

What was the secret of Luther’s teachings that he and his beliefs have not died? The answer is, in a way, rather simple. Luther took God at His Word and fearlessly told the world so. At the same time, Luther refused to go beyond that Word. (Luther; Biography of a Reformer)

People of Peace Lutheran Church, we must always be aware of the subtle teachings and deadly distractions that would draw us away from the inspired Word of God. This October 31st will mark the 500th anniversary of the day that Martin Luther posted those 95 theses on the church door.  2017 finds God’s Word still being compromised. But in this day and age, as compared to 500 years ago, there is no reason that anyone should be ignorant of what God’s Word says. Open your bible – any one of the many that you have in your house. Begin reading what God has written to you. Trust that every precious Word has a reason, a purpose – a blessing! Then stand on that Word.

Here we stand, we can do no other, God help us!!

Pastor Gail

“Everyone who believes has God’s approval through faith in Jesus Christ.” Romans 3:22

“We conclude that a person has God’s approval by faith, not by his own efforts.” Romans 3:28