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devotional-of-the-month

A Reason to Celebrate!

The end of this month, Protestant churches will have great reason to celebrate their heritage. Oct. 31 will be the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting of his 95 theses on the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. The event precipitated the Reformation and the recapturing of great Christian truths and practices that had been mired in murky tradition and ecclesiastical corruption during the middle ages.
Under Luther’s impetus, the Evangelical Church was reborn, restoring the individual access to the great tenets of genuine religion: the scriptures available to all people in their own languages, salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone, with all glory going to God alone, the priesthood of all believers.
I pray that all of our pastors recognize the importance of this event and recognize it from their pulpits.
Williston Walker, in his volume The Reformation in the set Ten Epochs of Church History by John Fulton, closes the book with an assessment which follows (in part). If you’re not convinced yet, perhaps the words of this superb Church historian will help (pp. 461ff.):
“The Reformation age is the most striking period in religious history since the days of the early Church. The threads of all modern religious life in western Christendom run back into it. … 
“[Its tenets] touched society and the common man in the relationships of every-day life, of personal piety, of government and of social welfare. It was not an age of … abstruse theology. It was preeminently an epoch of deeds. …
“[As] mighty as were the giants of the Reformation age, the principles that they championed were yet mightier. The central impulse of the Reformation was a revival of religion. … That desire, in a new and revolutionary faith that strove to burst the shackles of externalism which the middle ages had imposed and to bring the human soul into direct contact with God, was the starting-point of Luther's work. The Reformation vitalized the religious life of Europe.
“To the Protestant, the profoundest obligations were to use his divinely-given faculties to ascertain for himself what is the truth of God as contained — so the Reformation age would say — in His infallible and absolutely authoritative Word; and to enter through faith into vital, immediate and personal relations with his Savior. 

“No wise Protestant will lightly value the birthright of freedom which the Reformation won for him. Nor can he regard a movement which has stimulated independence of religious thought, has promoted investigation, has emphasized individual responsibility, and has made social, political and intellectual life freer in a thousand ways as other than an unmeasured blessing.

“Christendom has reason to rejoice to this day that the transition from the mediaeval to the modern world was accompanied by a profound, searching and transforming revival of religion.”

May we recapture these great Reformation truths!