The Reformation

by Mike Tatem

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. Luther was a professor of moral theology at the University of Wittenberg and posted these statements in order to spark theological debate about indulgences. Indulgences were certificates that the church sold that would grant the buyer either a reduction in temporal consequences to his sinful actions or a reduction in the amount of time a dead loved one spent in purgatory.

The posting did more than Luther could have ever imagined. The debate over the use of indulgences created a schism in the Catholic Church that formed the beginning of the Reformation and led to further discussions about theological topics like justification (how we are saved) and sanctification (how we grow in Christ). Points of contention between the Catholic Church and the Reformers led to the establishment of the Protestant denominations.

The tenants of the Reformation have been summarized using five phrases called the Five Solas. The word sola is Latin for only or alone and this word was used to describe the Reformers position on authority, means of salvation, and purpose of salvation. Simply stated, the reformation declared that from Scripture alone, we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone for God’s glory alone.

We are excited about our new sermon series based on these five truths of Scripture. Our series begins Sunday, September 24 and ends on Reformation Sunday, October 29, when we will celebrate with Communion the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation. We hope that you will join us each week at 9:45 or 11:00 as we explore more deeply each of the sola themes. 


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