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Many people associate October 31st with Halloween, but let me challenge you to see it as something more. Let’s take a look at history and see how a German theologian, Martin Luther impacted Christianity on this day so many years ago.
According to Britannica.com, Martin Luther was born November 10, 1483. This and the anniversary of his death, February 18, were once celebrated by Protestant Christians as a day to remember him. However, most now celebrate Martin Luther on October 31st.
This date was chosen to be commemorated because on this day in the year 1517 Martin Luther is said to have posted his Ninety-Five Theses on the door of the Castle Church located in Wittenberg, Germany. It was a document challenging the religious leaders of the Catholic church of its day to repent and turn back to God and the truth of His Word. At this time in history, common people did not have access to God’s Word in the way we do today, and the leaders of the church were teaching things that did not line up with the true Word of God—specifically accepting money from people as a way of being absolved from their sins.
Being raised in church has given me a great curiosity. I mean, since Jesus prayed for us all to be united (John 17:21), then why are there so many denominations? I don’t pretend to have that answer but my research has convinced me that Martin Luther was not trying to bring division or start a new religion or a new church. He was truly seeking to bring repentance to the church of his day. Being a man who knew the Bible, he knew he could not follow the law to the letter. He also had a great revelation of God’s mercy and forgiveness that can only come through Jesus. He knew he could not earn heaven. He could not buy his way in. He could only accept what Jesus did for him by living a perfect life and then dying in his place. And he was passionate that God’s truths should not be misrepresented.
What about today? What about us? Do we know we cannot make it without the forgiveness that only comes through Jesus? Are we standing firm on the Word of God?
Romans 3:23 (NLT) says, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”
We just cannot live a sinless life.
Romans 10:9 says, “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Through our faith in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for our sins and victory over death, we can be saved. What a blessing!
So, this Reformation Day let’s take a moment to thank God for forgiving us. Let’s take a look at our lives and the truth of God’s Holy Bible, and ask God, “Where in my life do I need reformation? What truth are you wanting to show me today?”
Scripture is quoted from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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