The 500th anniversary of the Reformation is past but its truths endure. Here, a grade 8 student discusses its historicity and its relevance for today. The student ends with a searching question that we all must answer.
Not only is October 31st remembered as Halloween, but it is also remembered for the Reformation. Martin Luther, a monk of the middle Ages, boldly pointed out the errors in the beliefs and teachings of the Catholic Church. By briefly looking at these beliefs and what the Bible has to say about them, we will discover the basis of his concerns.
Many of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses concern salvation. In the early Catholic Church, it was taught that to be accepted into heaven, you must have accomplished good works to cover your sin. In addition, to skip a time between death and heaven, it was taught that you must pay money to the church. Also known as penance, to be forgiven from any sin, you were required to perform good works for the church. Only the priests had access to Bibles, so teachings like these were believed true.
Although the priests read the Bible, their teachings did not reflect biblical truths. Scripture is clear that we are saved through Jesus, and Jesus alone. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If we are required to pay for our salvation, then Jesus died for nothing! Isn’t that a disheartening thought? Our salvation was bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ and is given to us as a free gift. Let us not throw that gift way!
Considering such foundational errors, it is understandable why Martin Luther contradicted the Catholic Church. The church leaders taught many false doctrines regarding salvation, which revealed their lack of understanding of the Scriptures. God calls us to read the Bible in order to store it up in our hearts. Only in this way can we stand up against the devil and false teachings. Martin Luther stood up to what was false. How will you stand up against the false teachings of this world?
Written by McKinley