Every year, on October 31st, Halloween gets top billing. Which is rather sad since there is nothing but darkness and death associated with it.
We in the church have a different reason for celebrating on October 31st and it is not simply an alternative to Halloween. In fact, we are remembering a very special event when an Augustinian monk named Martin Luther, recently born-again through personal preparation and study in Romans and Galatians, when the Holy Spirit revealed to him and he realized that nobody is capable of attaining enough righteousness points with God to achieve salvation.
Luther came to realize that only by Christ's work on the cross and the grace we don't deserve and the free gift of faith we are given can we be justified and forgiven. By faith alone are we justified and thus, Christ's innocent sacrifice on the cross accomplished what no man could ever do. An amazing and supernatural transaction takes place as Jesus' righteousness is imputed to us (ie: credited to us). Our guilt, through sin, is imputed on to Christ, even though He didn't deserve it. He took the penalty in our place. What an amazing gift of love God has done!
This same message of love and hope is needed even now. This message of justification by faith alone is desperately needed today. God's Word and the message of justification by faith alone is still being used to transform hearts and lives, just as it was used by God to transform Luther into an obedient and faithful preacher who could write, "Every week I preach justification by faith to my people, because every week they forget it".
The message of the Reformation still matters today...nothing has changed. I invite you to click on the picture below and read the blog article from Ligonier Ministries to read more about this topic, "Why the Reformation Still Matters".
Check back to this blog regularly for other posts focused upon how we might thrive as his servants!
Robert Thomas Clark, M.Div.
Follower of Christ