Reformation Figures: Martin Luther

Reformation Figures: Martin Luther

Martin Luther had a role to play in the reformation as a seed planter. Luther wouldn’t live to see many of the fruits of discussions he had helped begin. He wasn’t a “finisher” in the reformation, he was a starter. He was used tremendously by God to restore and reform the church. Luther’s importance can be still felt today by anyone who participates in a community of Christian faith that seeks to rely on God’s Word rather than anything else as the highest authority in the church. 

It’s October! Which means it’s the season of cider, pumpkin spice, and the glorious changing of forest colors. It is also the month when the European Reformation began.

There were many people, men, and women, that God used to shape the Reformation era in European history. During this time an entire continent experienced a tremendous struggle and opportunity to seek the Lord through his Word.

One of the most recognized people of the reformation era is Martin Luther. Luther, more than any other individual is recognized as the catalyzing force which launched the reformation. When marking the period of the Reformation, October 31 is remembered as the day the Reformation began.  On that day in 1517, Luther nailed a document containing 95 statements of question and critique of the Roman church.

Protestantism is a direct result of this movement that began in 1517. Whether you are Congregational, Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, Anglican, Pentecostal, Episcopalian, Lutheran, or non-denominational, your historic roots have been influenced and shaped by the Reformation. Even if you are a part of the Roman church if you have ever read or heard anything from the Bible in your own native language that is only a reality because of the Reformation.

While only the most bookish of Christians will know any of the particulars of Luther’s 95 theses, it was the actions Luther (and other reformers) took that formed the memorable and ongoing legacy of the Reformation. More important than any of his individual 95 points, was the collective work and effort to point the church back to the scriptures.

While doctrinal distinctions abound among protestants, these smaller internal distinguishing points are only present because of a much larger action.

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