In 1517, Martin Luther knew the norms of society and the rules of church. He followed the teachings of the church. His faith was so strong, he was an Augustinian monk. It would have been easy for Luther to have just gone along. It would have been easy for Luther to just do his thing and let things be as they were, but the hierarchy of the church had strayed from Luther’s understanding of discipleship, according to the Holy Scriptures.
The church of Martin Luther’s time believed that people had a definite, if limited, role in their own justification. It taught that people could earn favor with God through works (deeds) and religious observance. It was their understanding of their relationship with God.
This belief was corrupted by men - “professional pardoners” in order to raise money for the church, especially in the sale of indulgences which is the remission of sin by the Church. This was all based on that sin must have a penalty either on earth or in purgatory, even after the sinner has been reconciled with God by penitence and absolution. On October 31, 1517, Luther’s 95 theses on indulgences were posted on the door of the castle church of Wittenberg. When he posted his theses, Luther had no desire to leave the church. He just wanted to reform it.
As a professor of theology and biblical exegesis at Wittenberg University, Luther taught and studied the book of Romans. This study of Romans (specifically Romans 1:17) changed his life and the world forever. His study led him to believe that we are unable to respond to God without divine grace, and that we can only be “justified” through faith and faith alone, by the merits of Christ imputed to us.
Luther was at the right place at the right time. A hundred years earlier, John Huss had been burned at the stake for challenging Rome’s supremacy as much as Luther did. Luther had the advantage of the printing press that circulated his 95 theses and other writings to the laity gaining him widespread support of the people and of the princes in Germany. This support protected Luther from the Pope’s punishments which could include death. Luther began by wanting to reform his church, but the reformation ended in creating a church which continues to this day.
The hierarchy of the church of Luther’s time had gotten away from scripture as their only guide. They let their personal wants and desire direct them. They let worldly needs direct their decision making, not scripture. I believe the reformation took hold because scripture was the guide the reformers followed. Personal glory and wants was never their goal. Luther died as he started - a professor of theology and bible at Wittenberg University.
As Christians, and as Lutherans, we are daily reformers in our own right. We refuse to follow the ways of the world. We live by a different set of rules by the grace of God through our faith and faith alone that is strengthened through our reading and hearing of His Holy Scriptures.
It is said that Luther would say each day when you arise and wash your face “remember your Baptism” abiding and enduring in God’s word and becoming freed from the love of self.
news & events
- November 23Thankoffering / Thanksgiving Meal
Sunday, November 23 is our annual Thankoffering/Thanksgiving Meal. After worship, there will be a covered dish dinner with WINGS preparing the meat, bread, and drinks. The congregation is asked to bring side dishes and desserts. We will have a short Thankoffering after the meal to benefit this year’s sponsored group– to be announced soon. Please plan to stay and help make this year’s Thankoffering / Thanksgiving one of the best ever!
- December 6Annual Cookie Walk
It’s time to circle December 6 on our calendars! Scheduled for the first Saturday in December, plans are already underway for the Annual Cookie Walk. Ladies, if you were part of the organizing team for the 2012 or 2013 Cookie Walk, we need your expertise, because planning time is short. If you’re one of our annual bakers, we’ll have sign-up sheets out soon for donations of your famous cookies, pound cakes, and specialty items. Check out our new street banner flying over the Thanksgiving Weekend!
- December 11Men’s Prayer Breakfast
Thursday at 7:00 AM at Gregg's BBQ in Statesville.
- December 13 Community Breakfast
Saturday 8:00 AM — 10 AM at St. John's.
Come & bring your neighbor—Donations accepted to benefit Iredell Christian & 5th Street Ministries
- More News and Events Info
Sunday, November 16
9:30 am Sunday School
10:30 am Worship
12:00 pm Annual Congregational Meeting
Tuesday, November 18
6:00 pm Young Life—Scout Hut
Wednesday, November 19
10:30 am Mutual Ministry
3:00 pm Worship & Music
6:00 pm Youth
6:30 pm Handbells
7:30 pm Chancel Choir
Saturday, November 22
Sunday, November 23
9:30 am Sunday School
10:30 am Worship
12:00 pm Thankoffering Service/Meal
Sermons on Demand
October 12th Sermon
August 24th Sermon
June 29th Sermon
June 15th Sermon