October 31 marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther posting his Ninety-five Theses on the door of All Saints' Church in Wittenberg, Germany—the event that sparked the Protestant Reformation.
Corruption and abuse within the church in those days compelled Luther to act. Silence was not an option. "Out of love and concern for the truth," Luther challenged church leaders to debate key theological issues.
The most important? Justification by Faith. Luther, along with other reformers of the day, argued that a person is justified by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone — Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Solus Christus.
This wasn't simply for theological debate. Luther was concerned for the souls of men and women. In his own quest for peace and freedom, nothing the church offered satisfied his soul or liberated his heart from the terror of sin and guilt.
The Bible alone spoke to his heart through the words of Paul's letter to Rome: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes...For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, 'The righteous shall live by faith'" (Romans 1:16, 17).
The impact was deep and profound. Luther wrote, "Then I grasped that the justice of God is that righteousness by which through grace and sheer mercy God justifies us through faith. Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through the doors of paradise."
For Luther, his stand was for much more than the reformation of the church. He fought for the truth, the truth that set him free.
This is what you fight for when you give to Basic Gospel. And you do so because you have felt the weight of sin lifted from your soul. You have found rest in the finished work of Jesus and freedom from fear and guilt.
There are so many people today who, like Luther, want to say, "It is well with my soul." But the answers they are finding out in the world, and even in the church, leave them restless, empty and fearful.
Thank you for delivering truth to troubled souls. Thank you for helping people experience forgiveness and new life by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus alone.
Luther helped the church recover it's most cherished doctrines. Today, we have a powerful platform to speak the grace of God directly to the hearts of people literally around the world. This is not a task to take for granted, or to shrink back from in any way.
People desperately need what the Gospel alone provides. Luther put it this way in his commentary on Galatians:
"…a Christian is not he which has no sin, or feels no sin, but he to whom God imputes not his sin because of his faith in Christ. This doctrine brings strong consolation to afflicted consciences in serious and inward terrors. It is not without good cause, therefore, that we do so often repeat and beat into your minds the forgiveness of sins, and imputation of righteousness for Christ's sake. [Emphasis added.]
Sin and error continue to wreak havoc in the souls of men. Modern day Christianity is doing very little to alleviate the pain and the spiritual suffering. But you are!
Your personal experiences with the religious messages of the day—whether it was pure legalism, positive thinking, the prosperity gospel, or any other flavor—have compelled you to act...to realize that silence is not an option. And people like Kristin are hearing your voice.
I grew up being taught a lot of religion, rules and law to live by. And, no matter what, God was going to get me. What freedom I am now living and experiencing in my life thanks to the biblical truth being taught by all the guys with Basic Gospel. Thank you all so much, and I love your ministry!
As you can see, your support to Basic Gospel is vital. Let's keep telling the story as often as we can...to as many people as we can... so that their hearts can rest in the forgiveness of sins and the righteousness they have by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
As our thanks for your gift this month I want to send you our new series, The Reformation Project. These five truths ignited the Protestant Reformation. These are the truths that ignite reformation in the human heart. Request your copy when you send your gift to Basic Gospel.
And thank you in advance for fighting for the truth.
The offer, The Reformation Project, associated with this letter has expired, however you may purchase it online here or request it by phone at 844.412.2742.