Today is more than Halloween! It’s also Reformation Day!
Sweeter than any Halloween candy is the “treat” that has been passed down through the ages. On October 31, 1517, the 16th century German theologian and former Roman Catholic monk, Martin Luther nailed a list of 95 arguments on the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Germany. That was a way to start a conversation in those days. It not only started a conversation, it started a reformation!
As the revolutionary “father” of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther’s 95 Point Theses boldly declared that salvation is by grace alone through faith in Christ. His arguments contradicted that which the church was teaching, but were widely accepted and spread through Europe like wildfire, largely due to the recent invention of the printing press. Luther claimed that the Roman Catholic Church had deviated from the teachings of the Bible regarding justification in salvation.
Luther began a movement that would change the face of Christianity forever, when He proclaimed the word of God from Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
On this Reformation Day, don’t get caught up in the festivities of Halloween and don’t forget about the significance of that day in 1571. Remember the clarity that Luther brought to Christendom and how it taught us to remember that Jesus has freed us from our works to make ourselves righteous. He paid for our sins and He gives us His righteousness.
2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Martin Luther called this The Great Exchange. An earlier church father, Athanasius of Alexandria, called this The Glorious Exchange. Jesus took our sins upon himself and in exchange gave us His righteousness. What a Great and Glorious Exchange!
On this anniversary of Reformation Day, almost five centuries after Martin Luther nailed the 95 Point Thesis to the church door, remember what Christ has done for you by His life, death, burial and resurrection. Remember the Great and Glorious Exchange. And, remember there are lost people everywhere who don’t know our Jesus. They need to hear about His mercy and grace. They need to understand their sin and how our great and glorious Saviour will forgive their sins. They need to understand the Great and Glorious Exchange and be told how they can receive the Lord’s great gift of salvation.
On this Halloween/Reformation Day, give the sweetest treat of all— the gospel. For those who are not Christians, they need to hear it! For those who are Christians, they need to hear it!
In the words of Martin Luther,
“…Paul tells us in I Corinthians 1:23, 24: ‘We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.’ Begin with Christ. He came down to earth, lived among men, suffered, was crucified, and then He died, standing clearly before us, so that our hearts and eyes may fasten upon Him… The Gospel supplies the world with the salvation of Jesus Christ, peace of conscience, and every blessing.” (1)
No tricks in those words—and, oh, what a treat it is to know the sweet, sweet love of Jesus.
If you didn’t read our Halloween article, you can do so here: Does Satan have a stronger influence on Halloween?
<*}}}><(1) Martin Luther. Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians (Kindle Edition, chapter 1)
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