When we think of the word reformation , our minds are naturally drawn to the Protestant Reformation and Martin Luther.
Until then, western Christianity was for the most part locked in tradition. The tenets of the church overshadowed the teachings of Jesus. Tradition became more quoted than Scripture. Multitudes were dominated by fear. They had little or no assurance of salvation. Confused and bewildered, they struggled to believe that God really longed to save them.
It was at this crucial point of religious history that God raised up Martin Luther, among others, to lead His people into a thorough reformation. Luther had struggled with the guilt of his own sins for years until the light of the gospel broke through.
Read the following passages from Romans. Why did they make such a powerful impact on Luther’s life? Why are they so vital in leading us to a revival of faith and reformation? Rom. 1:16-17; 3:21-25; 5:6-11; 8:1-4.
“Sinners can be justified by God only when He pardons their sins, remits the punishment they deserve, and treats them as though they were really just and had not sinned, receiving them into divine favor and treating them as if they were righteous. They are justified alone through the imputed righteousness of Christ. The Father accepts the Son, and through the atoning sacrifice of His Son accepts the sinner.”-Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 3, p. 194.
Understanding grace is life transforming. It is the very essence of Christianity. God’s unmerited, undeserved grace is the cornerstone of our faith. Through the life, death, resurrection, and priestly ministry of Jesus, the gift of eternal life is ours. Receiving it by faith, we have the assurance of salvation.
Revival has to do with appreciating the gift of grace every day. There is nothing more spiritually uplifting than the daily rejoicing in the goodness and grace of God. Reformation is simply living out that grace in all that we do.
Dwell on the great hope that salvation is found in what Christ has done for you. Why must that truth be the foundation of any revival and reformation in your life?