standing at the door at Castle Church, Wittenburg where Martin Luther was supposed to have nailed his 95 theses

 

This day celebrates the beginning of the Reformation on 31 October, 1517. It was the day that Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany. This is especially significant day for me as I went on a study tour of Reformation Germany earlier this year. As I reflected on what I learnt about the reformation and its implication, I realize that I often need a knock on the head to remind the five solas that is foundational to the Reformation.

 

Sola scriptura (by Scripture alone)

Sola fide (by faith alone)

Sola gratia (by grace alone)

Solus Christus (Christ alone)

Soli Deo gloria (glory to God alone)

 

Sometimes when we are busy in ministry and church work, we often become dissociated from the solas. We began to depend on our own knowledge, skills set, strength, and abilities to achieve and often forget that the work of the Kingdom depends not on human effort but by God alone as the solas remind us. We need to slow down and find ourselves in God in silence. Philippians 2:13 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) notes “For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose”.

We live in a culture that knows little or nothing of a life that listens and waits, a life that attends and adores. What makes things even more difficult, we live in a church that knows even less of this life that makes friend with silence, a life that leaves time and space for the Holy Spirit to breathe into our hourglass lives and form a mature Christ life. The consequences are alarming as our great Christ heritage becomes more superficial by the decade, shallow and trivialized, noisy and gitzy with god-talk

Eugene Peterson

As Kingfisher Catches Fire, p.77

So instead of clinging to our spiritual lives and ministries, and trying to develop or build it out by sheer human effort, let us submit and commit ourselves to Him who has given us everything and all things from Him alone.

 

31 October 2018