The month of October brings with it the excitement of the costumes, candy, sights and sounds of Halloween, but for us as Christians there is another thing for us to celebrate during this month, and it actually lands on the same day.
Can you guess what it is? It’s the Protestant Reformation. It was on October 31st, 500 years ago that a Catholic monk by the name of Martin Luther posted 95 theses, or statements, on the castle church door in Wittenberg, Germany.
What was Luther so upset about? The church was teaching that forgiveness could be paid for, bought, as long as you had enough money to pay.
As Luther continued to study God’s Word, God revealed to him the truth: that forgiveness is not something that could be paid for or even earned through good works, but rather it was something given freely by God’s grace. A teaching that spelled out for us so clearly in Ephesians chapter 2 verses 8 and 9:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast. –Ephesians 2:8-9
What a precious teaching to know that we are forgiven before God, not because of how much money we have, or the good works that we can do, which we never do enough of, but rather simply by God’s grace through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.
I invite you to celebrate this month, but don’t forget the Reformation. It’s especially precious to think about that time when God permitted the gospel to shine once again in his church, that sinners can be assured that they are forgiven by God’s grace through faith. Amen.