«You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus» (2 Timothy 2: l).
TODAY WE CELEBRATE another anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. In the chapter entitled «Luther’s Separation from Rome» in the book The Great Controversy, Ellen G. White recounts that «through him God accomplished a great work for the reformation of the church and the enlightenment of the world» (p. 120).
Martin Luther came from a family of miners in a humble German home. His father dreamed he would someday become a lawyer, but Heaven had another dream. Knowledge of God and the practice of Christian virtues constituted his schooling to prepare for the mission.
Luther was increasingly convinced of his sinful condition; he was fun of remorse and shame, and practiced corporal punishment in order to win God’s approval.
Staupitz explained the Word to him: «Instead of torturing yourself on account of your sins, throw yourself into the Redeemer’s arms. Trust in Him, in the righteousness of His life, in the atonement of His death…. Love Him who first loved you» (ibid., p. 123).
Luther taught the Psalms, the Gospels, and the Epistles at the University of Wittenberg, opening the understanding of multitudes. He was powerful with the Scriptures and the Lord’s grace, persuading with the truth.
While devotedly ascending up Pilate’s Staircase, he recalled Paul’s words: «The righteous shall live by faith» (Rom. 1:17), which influenced his life forever. Returning from Rome, he received his doctorate in theology at the University of Wittenberg. He would no longer be a mere monk, but a herald of salvation, forgiveness, and the hope of immortal life. This ignited a light that would increase until the end of time.
Luther was horrified by the blasphemy of indulgences. Many had purchased certificates of pardon, but grace was a free gift. That is why he counseled against buying indulgences and trusting in the Redeemer instead.
Luther nailed a paper on the door of the castle church of Wittenberg with the ninety-five theses against indulgences, ready to defend them. However, no one accepted his challenge. Luther affirmed that the gospel is the most valuable treasure of the church, and that grace is received by faith as a gift given to those who repent. He said that he was not guided by human counsel, but by God.
We must finish the work of reformation that Luther began.
We do not own ourselves. Let us be driven to finish the mission, passionate about His irresistible love and grace.