The Protestant Reformation, one the most significant events in history, is often overlooked. However, this year we will take the month of October to celebrate the 500-year anniversary of this magnificent event. Why is it so important to understand what took place during this time? It was during the Reformation that the Bible was rediscovered. From the 13th-15th century, the Roman Catholic church had a death grip on the Bible. Namely, if you desired salvation, you had to go through the church. God began to loosen the Catholic church’s grip through faithful men like John Wycliffe, Martin Luther, John Calvin and John Knox. During this time what the Bible teaches about salvation was rediscovered. This where the “five solas” of the Reformation came into formation: “Sola Gratia” (grace alone), “Sola Fide” (faith alone), “Sola Christos” (Christ Alone), “Sola Scriptura” (Scripture alone), and “Sola De Gloria” (the glory of God alone). Each of these affirmations points back to what the Bible teaches concerning salvation.
There is still a great need today to keep the fires of the Reformation going. In an age where the Bible has been set aside and the needs of the people reign, there must be a resurgence for the truth. We must see the Protestant Reformation as being as relevant today as it was 500 years ago. Is there any other mean through which our loving God has spoken to us other than the Bible? No! There is not! Thus, our commitment to Scripture alone must be our conviction as we move forward. Can man work his way to God on his own merits? We would heartily agree, no! Thus, our commitment to salvation by grace alone must be our resolve. Can man see his education, ethnicity, or family as means to God? This can never be! Thus, we affirm that salvation is through faith alone in Christ alone. This is the only way to be right with a perfect and holy God. Will it be said of us that we lived our lives for ourselves and for our own glory? May it never be! We all would affirm that our salvation and our sanctification are for the glory of God alone.
The point I want to make here is the Reformation’s teachings from the Reformers are true, not because they came from the many men of this era, but because they are all rooted in the Bible. The Protestant Reformation has not ended but lives on in each of us as we stand faithfully with Christ and His truth. May God give us courage and resolve for the next 500 years as we protest any other gospel. “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed.” (Gal. 1:8)