God’s Grace is Unchanging
Even in a Changing World
In 1517 a great Reformation in teaching and practice began in Europe – the acceptance of God’s free grace though faith in Jesus Christ alone – without adding to or subtracting from God’s powerful Word.
Nearly five hundred years later we still find this teaching to be in need of proclamation. That’s why we’ve prepared for an outward celebration of the Reformation before a world that seeks an inner peace. That peace is what we enjoy in Christ, who is the only Lord of His Church:
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Join us in the Celebration!
Click here to view all the events and keynotes taking place around Western New York in 2016.
What was the Reformation all about?
- A political reformation of the way authority was wielded across the European continent?
- A social reformation that brought power and dignity to the common people?
- An educational reformation that gave rise to a unified German language and increased literacy among its citizens?
It can be argued that all these movements were the results of Luther’s Reformation. But none of these were the real object of the Lutheran Reformation. Luther’s purpose was to reform the Church’s teaching of how our gracious God reconciles our relationship with Him through the merits of Jesus Christ.
When Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses on Indulgences to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany, he thought he was inviting people to come to a discussion of a church practice that needed reform. Little did he know that he was about to profoundly change so many facets of European culture.
Luther had not discovered any novel theology. He didn’t bring a new philosophy into His understanding of God and man. He was a contrite sinner who searched God’s Scriptures and found in them a Gospel message that had become covered up by the humanly instituted canons of medieval church law.
For Luther the issue was about delivering the comfort of God’s free gift of grace to sinners seeking forgiveness. The church’s practice of holding onto God’s grace and distributing it at its own discretion seemed to be a corruption of Scripture’s acclamation “The righteous shall live by faith.” [Romans 1:17] The connection of grace, faith and Christ’s all-sufficient death on the cross just didn’t allow for the church to make its rules essential to that gift. In fact, Luther observed, the right understanding of the church is that it is the assembly of repentant sinners who are to be ministered to by the clergy – not to fall under their rule.
For more information about the national Lutheran church and Lutheran churches in our neighborhood see the following links: http://www.lcms.org/