Read: Romans 11:33-36
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. (v. 36)
Imagine that your church has become run down. The congregation is hungry for God, yet some pastors are just in it for the money or clueless about the Bible. There have been scandals among top denominational leaders and constant arguments about who is in charge. Locally, no one seems to read the Bible or know what they believe. Worst of all, despite people’s interest in spiritual things, God seems very distant. It’s like one has to jump through hundreds of hoops to get to God—special clergy, official biblical interpretations, and prescribed spiritual practices to get divine grace.
These were problems on the eve of the 16th century in Europe. Into this tangled spiritual mess, God raised up a strange band of immensely gifted yet deeply flawed church leaders, including Martin Luther. Luther and other Reformers believed Scripture alone had to be the agent of reform. God’s truth needed to “re-form” a distorted gospel story, grounding salvation in God’s grace alone and received by faith alone. This is how we are united to God by the reconciling work of Christ alone, and therefore all of life ought to be centered upon and lived for God’s glory alone.
This month, we mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. In this series we will explore these crucial Reformation themes and how they can continue to shape our church and world. —Michael Andres
Prayer: May we seek you alone, gracious God.