Luther was not the first to draw attention to the corruption and false teachings that had arisen in Roman Catholicism, but he was the first to become to public and widespread so fast. Within decades the entire continent of Europe was in a uproar. Much of what followed was tragic. There were numerous wars between Protestants and Catholics. But on the other hand what was happening was nothing short of a recovery of biblical Christianity that had almost disappeared in the abuses of Rome.
At its core the Reformation started by Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and many others was about the recovery of biblical authority. Would the Bible alone be the source of our truth, doctrine, and practice, or would the traditions of the church hold equal authority? And when the Bible was carefully examined outside the approved interpretation of Rome, it was discovered that the gospel itself had been compromised. Salvation comes by faith alone. It is not so many works added to the gospel, it is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
This year we will be marking this important anniversary in a number of ways. Just released is a new documentary on Martin Luther that I am hoping to arrange a showing for any who are interested in learning more. Also I am preparing to take a once in a lifetime trip with my daughter this summer to Germany and Switzerland to hopefully learn more about this amazing work of God started 500 years ago. We are also planning other ways to mark this year as we move to the fall and October 31st. You may be thinking to yourself, “I don’t care about all that history stuff.” But please remember this is not just about the historical events, it is about the ongoing reformation to be reformed to the Word of God and the gospel of Christ. We must always be in the process of being reformed to the Word of God.