The Reformation should be a memorial to Christians as many known and unknown stood against the false doctrines of Catholicism. The Reformation is celebrated on October 31st because of Martin Luther’s 95 theses was nailed to the Wittenberg, Saxony church. His main protest was against the sale of indulgences but also included protests against the pope, the veneration of Mary, and the devotion to saints. His stand marked and spurred on others like Ulrich Zwingli in Switzerland. There were many who stood and some who died like William Tyndale & John Huss for the faith of the Gospel. Because of their stand we have doctrines that stand today which are as follows.
1) Sola Scriptura – Scripture Alone
The Scripture alone is the bases for the Christian’s understanding of who God is and how man is saved. Jesus even pointing to the scripture that “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” Man’s sole basis needs to come from scripture to rightly understand God’s work. Nothing can replace its usefulness as it judges the intentions and thoughts of men and giving understanding of the will of God. (Romans 12:1, Hebrews 4:12, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:2-3)
2) Sola Fide – Faith Alone
Faith is the basis by which we are saved. There is nothing anyone can do to be saved except to believe. People asked of Jesus ‘“What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”
Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”’ Without faith it is impossible to please God. If we come to God with our works without faith it is not counted as grace but debt. Rather one is saved by grace through faith that not of himself but it is a gift of God lest anyone should boast. (John 6:28-29, Hebrews 11:6, Romans 4:4, Ephesians 2:8-9)
3) Sola Gratia – Grace Alone
Grace is God’s gift to men in salvation. The Psalm say blessed is the man whose sin is not counted to him. For we are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Even Paul admonishes that we are “estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.” (Gal 5:4) Salvation is “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:5-7. So what hope do we have except that God pardons sin.
4) Solus Christus – Christ Alone
Since Christ is Head of the Church, no one can do anything apart from Him. For He is the “the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” For even the Gospel of John was “written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” Without Jesus Christ we cannot be saved. For Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the Life, no one comes to the father but by Me. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
5) Soli Deo Gloria _ For the Glory of God Alone
The end of mans all is to glorify God. Everything that happens gives glory to God as He is the Sovereign of all things. “..that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen” For God says: “I am the LORD, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images.” Even the heavens, the earth and all that is in it will give glory to Him. (Ecclesiastes 12:3; 1 Peter 4:11, 5:11 Isaiah 42:8; Psalm 19:1; 29:2)
There are great many other things that could be said along these lines and a life time talking about them. For even heaven we will continue glorifying God. Yet I am simply celebrating the truths of the reformation and the lives of saints who walked before me. God be glorified both now and forever more! Let us continue to be reformers in our lives ever transforming into the image of the Son Jesus Christ.