3/8/2013 11:56:20 AM
What Caused the Reformation?
The Reformation's beginning is often credited to Martin Luther for nailing his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenberg in response to the unbiblical Roman Catholic practice of selling indulgences. While Luther was one of many throughought history who recognized Rome's unbiblical teachings (i.e. Huss, Wycliffe, Arnold, Waldo), he was instrumental in helping the Reformation to gain momentum and paved the way for others to more effectively proclaimin the biblical gospel.
Luther never believed he was single handedly responsible for the Reformation and neither should we. Note this encouraging quote from Luther showing His understanding of the power of God's Word:
"Take me, for example. I opposed indulgences and all papists, but never by force. I simply taught, preached, wrote God's Word: otherwise I did nothing. And then, while I slept or drank Wittenberg beer with my Philip of Amsdorf the Word so greatly weakened the papacy that never a prince or emperor did such damage to it. I did nothing: the Word did it all. Had I wanted to start trouble.... I could have started such a little game at Worms that even the emperor wouldn't have been safe. But what would it have been? A mug's game. I did nothing: I left it to the Word."
Luther rightly understood that all authority and power is found in God's Holy Word (2 Cor 10:3-5). He, just as we today, stayed centered on biblical truth and simply preached the Word (2 Tim 4:2). In a similar respect, one of the greatest blows that the Reformers made against Rome was making biblical truth accessible to the people by translating the Bible into the common languages spoken by the people. How sad that most Catholics today own a copy of the Bible in their own language and yet still fail to read it.
Luther nor the other reformers had perfect understanding of biblical truth, but their eyes and hearts had been illuminated by the biblical gospel. They had courage, passion, and dedication as a result of understanding and embracing gospel truth and rightfully fearing God and not man. May all of our ministry and outreach to Catholics always be saturated in God's Word and centered on the biblical gospel.