Happy Reformation Day
This is an old post that decided to re-post today, in honor of Reformation Day. (I have changed the anniversary year to make it accurate.)
Not only is today Halloween, it is also the 492nd anniversary of the day Martin Luther nailed his “Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences” (commonly called the 95 Thesis) to a church door in Wittenberg, Germany. He intended to engage in a debate with his fellow university professors on the subject of the Church’s sale of indulgences for the forgiveness of sins. Originally his document was written in Latin, but an anonymous translator printed them in German and widely distributed his thoughts. Although it had been building for years, this is commonly understood to be the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.
I want to offer a brief thought on the first in the list of 95 Thesis.
When our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, said “Repent”, He called for the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.
Repentance is not a one time act, only necessary for the major shortcomings of our moral character. It is meant to be the posture of every follower of Christ. Not that we should live in inconsolable grief over our sinful nature, but that we constantly, everyday recognize our fallen standing before our Lord and Savior and glory in His marvelous grace. At the same time Luther was saying two things. First, we should not think of our sin as something we can make payment for. Secondly, and more gloriously, we should constantly recognize our depravity in light of the miracle of forgiveness that is offered to all those who are in Christ Jesus. Our response to the Gospel (turning from sin and having faith in the saving power of Jesus) is not something we did WHEN we became a Christian, it is something we do every day and every minute BECAUSE we are Christians. It is an act of worship, not of condemnation. May we think on this glorious truth and praise God for giving Martin Luther the courage to start a discussion about it.