490 years ago on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted 95 thesis on the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany. This door served as a public bulletin board where people could post important announcements. Luther’s post, however, was no simple announcement! This monk used these 95 statements to debate the doctrine and practice of indulgences, which is defined as “the (full or partial) remission of temporal punishment due to sins which have already been forgiven.” His statements were the result of a great deal of personal study in the Scriptures during which he discovered that the teachings he had followed for so long were actually not Biblical. This act by Martin Luther began what came to be known as the Reformation. Christians returned to personal study of the Bible and stood up against false teachings. Many of the Protestant denominations owe their very existence to this bold act of Luther. Unfortunately, I did not learn about Reformation Day until a few days ago. I have not had time to research it fully. I do know, however, that Christians would do well to celebrate this holiday and learn all that they can about the Reformers. I have seen sites that have ideas to celebrate Reformation Day, and by this time next year, it is my plan to have a full Reformation Day celebration with my family. For now, though, I want to remember this special day by listing the 5 Solas of the Reformation. These statements summarize the teachings of the Reformation, and I find them true, inspirational, and applicable today as well.1. Sola Scripture (Scripture alone) The Word of God is the ultimate and final authority. It is its own interpreter and alone has the power to bind the conscience.2. Sola Gratia (Grace alone) Salvation is by grace alone. It cannot be earned. It cannot be found in any human merit or effort.
3. Solus Christus (Christ alone) Jesus Christ is the only Mediator between God and man. Anyone can have direct access to the Father through Jesus.
4. Sola Fide (Faith alone) Faith in the Person of Christ, His finished atonement on the cross, and His resurrection is the only means of salvation. Righteousness is by faith and faith only.
5. Soli Deo Gloria (for God’s glory alone) Because salvation is of God, He alone is worthy to receive praise and thanksgiving. A Christian lives his life and performs deeds of service for God’s glory, and His alone.
My friend Onthuhlist at http://onthuhlist.wordpress.com/ offered this as a suggestion for celebrating Reformation Day: [Let’s] celebrate Reformation Day by doing something specificaly to contribute to 21st century reform. We could identify something in our personal lives or community that is in error when measured by the measuring stick of God’s Word, and then do something to personally contribute to correcting that error and to inform others of the truth.
Wouldn’t it be great if 95 people would post a single reformation statement for which they personally would take action? Combined together, God could use it to begin a much-needed new reformation! If you take on this challenge, please give me the link to your site by either posting a comment to this post or by emailing me at email@example.com .
On this Reformation Day, let us return to the truth of Jesus Christ. Soli Deo Gloria!