1517 – 2017: 500 years of Martin Luther’s 95 thesis.
German scholar Martin Luther (1483-1546) became a monk after he prayed to Saint Ann to save him from a thunder storm. He tried by all his means to find peace with God. Luther wanted to be forgiven of his sins and to satisfy God’s requirements for a holy life. Sadly, the more Luther tried, the more he distant he felt from God. To the point of feeling anger against his Creator.
Steady prayer, starving his body from food for days, depriving himself of warm clothes in the winter, as sacrifices to impress God, only brought confusion to Luther’s heart. He could not understand God and his anger continued to grow. Luther developed the discipline of reading the Latin Bible, trying to understand the mind and thinking of God.
Reading Romans 1, he was struck with verses 16 and 17 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
Luther discovered that he could have eternal life by faith. Believing in the sacrifice of Jesus. He continued discovering many problems with the established Roman church and thought of fixing some of these issues. Not to separate from the church, but to make the church resemble more what Jesus intended. He wanted Latin reading scholars to join and have a talk about the topics he considered important. The night before All Saints day, October 31, 1517, when many Latin reading scholars would pass by the Wittenberg cathedral, Luther decided to let them know the issues he was interested in discussing.
The Latin reading students and university professors wrote down, translated to German and distributed these ninety-five thesis. This thesis came to the attention of the catholic hierarchy. Concerns about salvation, the authority of the pope and Scriptures, the selling of indulgences and the moral of the Catholic church were some of the topics suggested by Luther to be studied.
My prayer today is that this revival in hearing God through his word will be in our lives today. That all through Rowan County and North Carolina, we will have a strong desire to listen to God through his Bible.
Director of Missions