Updated: Apr 10
*** This blog was originally posted online 12/23/21.
Martin Luther is recognized as the leader of the Reformation of the sixteenth century. He became a monk when he was about nineteen years old. He found an old Bible in an Augustine convent and through study became convinced that the religion of this day was foreign to that taught in the word of God. With great courage, Martin Luther undertook to reform the Roman church. Luther began to teach justification by faith in contrast to the cold and ritualistic theory of Rome. It was Luther who unchained the Bible and gave it back to the people. He did not have in mind the starting of another church, but merely the reformation of the apostate church. He encouraged men not to call themselves Lutherans, but Christians only.
Following the work of Luther, John Calvin of France came on the religious scene. He advocated: Predestination, irresistible Grace, Original sin, particular Redemption, and the Perseverance of the Saints. This is still known as “Calvinism.” By his great influence his name has been perpetuated as a great reformer.
Others such as Henry VIII and John Wesley were advocates of the Reformation Movement. Many people now call themselves Protestants. Why are they so called? If they are Protestants, they must be protesting something. That which was originally protested in the Protestant Reformation was the error of the church of Rome.
We are indebted to these men for their causing men to investigate and search the Bible. However, as a result of their efforts, there was begun many different churches with different names, teaching different doctrines. This is commonly known as the denominational world. With the rise of all these different churches, fuel was added to the fire of division. It is not what the Bible teaches that has caused the religious division that exists today; this is what the Bible does not teach – the creeds and doctrines of men.
May the Lord bless you and keep you!
Getting To Know Your Bible (www.gettingtoknowyourbible.com)
Summerdale Church of Christ (www.summerdalechurch.org).