Today marks the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. What began as one monk requesting to discuss church practices among his peers, suddenly turned into the glorious rediscovery of The Gospel of grace.
Robert Capon puts it this way:
The Reformation was a time when men went blind, staggering drunk because they had discovered, in the dusty basement of late medievalism, a whole cellarful of fifteen-hundred-year-old, two-hundred-proof grace–of bottle after bottle of pure distillate of Scripture, one sip of which would convince anyone that God saves us single-handedly. The word of the gospel–after all those centuries of trying to lift yourself into heaven by worrying about the perfection of your bootstraps–suddenly turned out to be a flat announcement that the saved were home before they started… Grace has to be drunk straight: no water, no ice, and certainly no ginger ale; neither goodness, nor badness, nor the flowers that bloom in the spring of super spirituality could be allowed to enter into the case.
The reformers discovered in the scriptures that our salvation is completely outside of ourselves. It is found in Jesus Christ alone, apart from any works done on our part. They discovered that Jesus did in fact accomplish everything necessary to make us right with God and this amazing gift is to be received by the empty hands of faith alone.
The Gospel always shines brightest in the darkest places. As it did 500 years ago in the medieval church, may it shine in our churches today, as well as in our hearts.
To God be the glory alone.
Happy Reformation Day.
For further study on The Protestant Reformation, I highly recommend the free documentary series, “The Protestant Revolt”.