Luther Sees the Light
This month marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, which began when Martin Luther nailed his "95 Theses" on the door of a church in Germany in 1517. The 95 theses forcefully opposed the Roman Catholic Church teaching of the time that sins could be forgiven by paying the Church money for "indulgences" to gain pardon.
Luther believed the Bible was more important than the pronouncements of Church authority and tradition, and that it should be available to the general public. Through studying the Bible he came to see that salvation is not earned by works, as taught by the Church of the time, but rather is a free gift of God through the grace of Christ's sacrifice, to be accepted by faith alone.
The Holy Spirit was opening Luther's mind to see the wonderful light of God's truth. Actually, there have been numerous times in history where God has stepped in to cause a Reformation when people have strayed from the truth. A couple of Old Testament examples were the reformations led by Kings Josiah and Hezekiah. A modern instance happened when the Holy Spirit opened the mind of Joseph Tkach Sr to see where our denomination had gone astray.
Indeed, God works with all of us in this way when we are called to repentance from our past way of life. Each of us is guided through our own personal reformation, you might say. Five hundred years after the famous Reformation, God graciously and lovingly continues to bring reformation to us frail and fickle humans, both individually and corporately, in the light of His glorious gospel through the eye-opening Holy Spirit.