Why am I making such a big deal about the Protestant Reformation? Admittedly, I enjoy history, so blogging about this period gives me a marvelous excuse to take myself back to 16th Century Europe. But my regular readers probably already know that my fascination with history takes a back seat to my love of the Lord and my passion for doctrinal purity.
God, in fact, brought about the Reformation because the Roman Catholic Church had obscured the Gospel with false teachings and human traditions, largely in an effort to establish and maintain its political control. In the process, the church departed from Scripture’s teaching that salvation comes only through faith in Jesus Christ and His work on the cross.
The church reverted to heresies not very much different from those of the First Century Judaizers, who taught that Gentile converts to Christianity had to observe Jewish laws (particularly circumcision) in order to be saved. The books of Romans, Galatians and Hebrews directly address this corruption of the Gospel. Luther, in fact, found freedom from his efforts to find freedom from the weight of his sin when he read Romans 1:17.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” ~~Romans 1:16-17 (ESV)
The doctrine of justification by faith is foundational to Biblical Christianity, and we cannot allow anyone to compromise it. This short video of R.C. Sproul helps explain why we must hold fast to it.