Happy Reformation Day!

You don’t have to be Reformed to appreciate Reformation Day. All you have to be is protestant. On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of the church of Wittenburg. Through these statements Luther defended the truths set forth in Ephesians 2:8-9:

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

The Catholic Church at the time was in the habit of granting indulgences, which were certificates distributed by the church, often in exchange for payments from the churchgoers. These certificates stated that the giver had a reduced sentence in purgatory because of their donations, though normally indulgences were granted for doing certain deeds. The amount of reduction was often linked to the size of the person’s donation to the church. Luther had an objection of the utmost strength to the idea that the church had the power to forgive sins through the act of confession or to remit punishment in purgatory.

Instead, he defended the truths of Ephesians 2:8-9, which says that salvation and forgiveness happen only through faith, not through any acts of confession or paying for indulgences. God alone is sovereign; He alone has the power to forgive our sins and to save us from any sort of punishment. It is in Christ alone that our hope is found, not in any man or institution of man. If these are ideas you hold to, if your trust is in God alone for your salvation, then this is a day to celebrate! Protestants might not exist today if it were not for the exposition and courage of Martin Luther. I, for one, am quite thankful for him. So, to protestants everywhere, happy Reformation Day!

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