(1 Peter 2:1 NIV) “…but the word of the Lord stands forever.”  And this is the word that was preached to you.”

Four hundred and ninety five years ago to the day, on October 31, 1517 Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses (statements) to the door of the Castle church.  Luther wrote these 95 theses looking for someone to debate on the topic of indulgences.  Indulgences were worthless pieces of paper which promised people release from the punishment of their sins in purgatory in exchange for a payment of money.  Luther wrote these statements which showed that the sale of these indulgences was contrary to the Bible.   These 95 theses would ignite a religious fire in Germany and the whole Roman empire as Luther had unknowingly begun the Reformation. 

Throughout the Reformation, Luther would debate the false teachings which had infiltrated the Church.   In these debates Luther would vigorously defend God’s word from the attacks it was under.  These attacks came to a head in 1521 when Luther was summoned to a meeting by the Emperor.  Luther was ordered to take back all the things he had said and written and admit that they were wrong.  If Luther would not admit he was wrong he would be declared an outlaw whom anyone could kill after twenty days.

After prayerfully thinking over his answer for a day, Luther stood in front of the Emperor and said, “Unless you can prove from the Bible that I have made wrong statements, I cannot and I will not take back anything.  My conscience is bound by the Word of God.  Here I stand.  I cannot do otherwise.  God help me.  Amen.” 

Luther’s life was now in danger.  He was an outlaw.  Yet, throughout the next years, even though Luther was an outlaw the Lord kept him safe and preserved His word as Luther continued to preach God’s word in its truth and purity.  God preserved His word through Martin Luther!

And so today we celebrate the Reformation.  We give all thanks and glory to our awesome God for sending us a man like Martin Luther to stand up for God’s word, to teach us that there is nothing more important than keeping God’s Word in its truth and purity, and to remind us that God’s word never fails!

Throughout the years God’s word has undergone great persecution and it is still being persecuted today.  At times it seems as if God’s word has all but dissapeared.  But our God promises that His Word lasts forever!  He promises to preserve His word to the end.  And so today and every day we strive to be like Luther as we make our stand on God’s Word.  God has preserved His word in people like you and me.  He has given us His word to guard and protect with our lives.  And so just like Luther we won’t back down but we stand up for what the Bible says and what Jesus has done for us.

Making my stand on God’s Word, just like Luther and just like you,                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Pastor Schumann