“For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.” Romans 1:17 CSB
Martin Luther was born in 1483 in Germany. On October 31, 1517 he started what is known as the Protestant Reformation by hanging “The 95 Theses” on the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church. Luther had two central ideas he was trying to convey. The first is that all Believers must repent. The second is that we are saved by faith alone and not by deeds. These thoughts contrasted the beliefs of the Catholic church and sparked a debate that continues to this day. The anniversary of this historic event in church history seemed an appropriate way to end our month on fear. Martin Luther feared God. He had spent years studying the Scriptures to come to his conclusions. He was sharing what he learned, even if it didn’t agree with the current religious model.
God used lightning to get Martin’s attention. In July of 1505, while attending law school, Martin was caught in a storm. A bolt of lightning almost hit him. He begged God to save him, promising if He did, Martin would dedicate his life to Him. Martin lived up to his word. On July 17, just days later, he joined an Augustinian Monastery. Martin spent the next twelve years studying and teaching the Scriptures. His insights into Scripture have influenced Christian thought for centuries. He had to have known, when he hung those theses on the door the controversy he was creating, he knew the consequences were excommunication from the church. Yet he feared God more than excommunication. As a result, he helped start a whole new way of thinking.
His faith is what helped Martin overcome his fear of what people would think. His faith prompted him to begin a discussion that is is still continued today. When we place our faith in God, giving him our all, we don’t know where He will take us or what He will ask us to do. But in order to overcome our fears, we have to take steps of faith. We have to believe in a God who is bigger than all of our problems. We have to have faith in His love and grace He has given us so freely through Jesus. When we come to God honestly, laying our fears at His feet, admitting we can’t overcome them without Him, He will show up. He will overcome. We won’t be disappointed.