American evangelist Billy Graham died on Wednesday 21 February at the age of 99.

Ever since I came to know Christ at the age of nine, Billy Graham has held a special place in my heart, as he has in the hearts of millions of others all over the globe who believe the Bible and love his clear, powerful preaching of the good news of the gospel. My special ‘link’ with him is the fact that I was born on his 30th birthday, 7 November. Ever since I discovered this, I would remember him with joy and thanksgiving on my birthday. What a remarkable servant of God he has been.

Over the years of his ministry, he preached the gospel to an estimated 215 million people, in 400 evangelistic crusades in 185 countries on 6 continents! Wow!

At the beginning of his ministry, Billy Graham experienced what he called “a crisis of faith”. At a student conference in August 1949, in the San Bernardino mountains of California, his faith in the Bible was put to the test. Charles Templeton had asked questions about the Bible’s truthfulness that Billy could not answer. He went out in the forest and wandered up the mountain, praying as he walked: “Lord, what shall I do? What shall be the direction of my life?”

He saw that intellect alone could not resolve the question of the authority of Scripture. You must go beyond intellect. He thought of the faith used constantly in daily life: he did not know how a train or plane or car worked, but he rode them . . . Was it only in things of the spirit that such faith was wrong?

“So I went back and I got my Bible, and I went out in the moonlight. I got to a stump and put the Bible on the stump, and I knelt down, and I said, ‘Oh, God; I cannot prove certain things. I cannot answer some of the questions Chuck and some of the other people are raising, but I accept this book by faith as the Word of God.’”

That was a defining moment in the life and ministry of Billy Graham, and from then on, he confidently held out the word of life to millions through his preaching.

I am persuaded that unless we believe that the whole Bible is indeed the word of God we will not “hold out the word of life” (Philippians 2:16) to people where we live, work, and play.

Our Mission at RUC to CALL, EQUIP, and SEND disciples for the glory of God is rooted in our conviction that the Bible is the Word of God, and that Jesus’ words are true: “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned but has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24).

It is my prayer that our new sermon series, MADE FOR THIS (Finding your place in God’s mission), will strengthen our grip on the gospel and sharpen our skills in holding it out to others.

Rays of Hope

Rays of Hope’s partnership with Sparrow School in Melville that began in 2016 has continued to flourish this year. Thanks to generous donors linked to Rosebank Union Church, we were able to send 10 children from Alexandra (Ithemba Labantwana program) to Sparrow in 2017, and this year six new learners have joined the school.

Sparrow provides remedial and special needs education, with a strong Christian ethos. Not only do the children get a fantastic education, they learn that Jesus loves them no matter what their background or abilities.  The teachers know that if there is a concern about our children they can contact our field workers at Ithemba Labantwana and we can work together with the families to address it.

The first day was filled with excitement and some nerves (that were quickly settled when the children met their teachers and classmates). On the second day we received a call from the grandmother of one of the children, who was so grateful as her grandson had come back full of enthusiasm, describing every moment of his first day!

We know that these six new children will be greatly impacted by the support they receive at Sparrow, and give glory to God as we think about the progress the children made there in 2017. Their attitude towards school and learning has completely shifted. From being fearful of school and avoiding it where possible, they now love their education and are excited about learning. The confidence that this new environment has brought our children is incredible. One little girl in Grade 1 was so shy that she would never speak to or look an adult in the eye, but she has now blossomed into a playful, enthusiastic, joyful little girl who loves to joke and have fun. Not only this but she and others have gone from not understanding a word of English to communicating with ease. Several of our children have won awards for effort, achievement or for being helpful, kind and considerate classmates.

Many orphaned and vulnerable children from Alexandra struggle at school. The trauma they have suffered affects their learning and daily experience while classes often have 70 students with one teacher, so individualised attention for those who are falling behind is impossible. While our homework club helps to fill some of the gaps, sometimes more intensive intervention is needed.

We thank God for this provision and for our partnership with Sparrow and look forward to seeing what God has in store for these new little ones.

 

By Jennie Morley (Social Work Consultant)

At the start of January our Pastor of Worship & Arts, Justin Tamlin, returned from a 3 month sabbatical. For every 5 years of work, our pastors qualify for a well-deserved 3 month sabbatical period focused on self-development, rest and spiritual renewal.

We took the opportunity to ask Justin how God met with him devotionally.


How was your heart stirred towards personal devotion while on sabbatical?

My sabbatical has been one of the best gifts I have ever been given in 22 years of full-time pastoral ministry. What a privilege to have a few months off to reflect, read, write, travel, receive input and to spend extended time alone with God and with my family. In ministry it can be a real danger to read God’s Word and to immediately think of ways it could apply to other people in a sermon! I found it a joy to meet with God for extended times without the pressures of ministry in the background.

Any stories of how God spoke to you?

I realised that a busy heart is a closed heart. This unhurried season allowed God to speak deeply into my life. God exposed things in my life that I don’t always see amidst the noise of life.

God spoke to me through his Word about areas of self-sufficiency; fear; irritability, etc. He spoke to me about the difference between compliance and obedience. Compliance is mere dutiful performance, but true obedience is from the heart and motivated by love for Him. God reminded me of the gospel, His love, His purposes and plans.

God used His Word, prayer, long walks on the beach, significant conversations, and divine God-incidences to shape me, encourage me and remind me of gospel truths.

Paul Tripp’s book, “Dangerous Calling” was like heart surgery from a fellow pastor armed with a scalpel. In one place he writes: “You must die to your desire to be in control … You must die to your own kingship. You must die to the pursuit of your own glory … you must die to the maintenance of your own reputation. You must die to having the final answer and getting your own way. You must die to your unfaltering confidence in you. You must die.” Ouch!

Any tips to help others get in tune with God?

In our busy culture we have to carve out time for God – not just daily time, but special seasons and days where we can have extended time with the Lord. Longer times are like special meals where we get to savour and enjoy the nourishment! We live in a city where we are surrounded by tributes to our man-made endeavours. We need to spend time in nature so that we can look beyond the skyscrapers. Last year I took out an annual membership with the Botanical Society which allows me free entrance into any Botanical Garden in SA – an early morning before work at 6am; an early evening; an hour or two on a weekend – this was life transforming in my devotional life in the past year. Try a new (and trustworthy!) Bible translation – I recently purchased the new Christian Standard Bible (CSB) and have loved the freshness of discovering well known passages translated differently. Along with the new Bible I bought a set of Dry Highlighters and have been highlighting. It helps me to concentrate and to focus. Journal some points of application; read a good Christian book that can focus you on the Scriptures and expound them. Pray Scripture back to the Lord after your time in the Word. Use music to prepare your heart and finish your devotional time by singing truth! All these things and more have been a great blessing in reinvigorating my devotional life in the past year. Allow Christ, the living water to satisfy your soul! He invites you to come!

Devotions

Most well taught Christians recognize that having a regular time of Bible reading and prayer is absolutely vital for their spiritual growth. The challenge is making it happen. Most of us are by nature undisciplined and since we live busy lives filled with multiple obligations and distractions God is the One who most often gets bumped off our schedule. We make time for the things that are most important to us but, sadly, he often doesn’t make it onto that list. How are we to remedy this? Part of the solution lies in one unpopular word . . . discipline! We will not get into a regular rhythm and routine of meeting with God in his Word and in prayer without rugged discipline. We have to learn to handle ourselves, especially our feelings and our natural desire for comfort and ease if we’re going to win this battle.

In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, the apostle employs an illustration from athletics to drive this point home. He writes,

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”

Discipline means making my body my slave by doing what I may not feel like doing, and doing so over and over until it becomes a habit of life. As time goes by we begin the reap the rewards. We begin to enjoy the sweetness of God’s Word and the joy of his presence and drudgery turns into delight.

One of the keys in this process is to just keep starting over. If you miss a few days, start over. If you go on holiday or travel overseas on business and your daily routine is broken, start over. If you sin and don’t feel close to God, start over. Don’t give up! Start over!

Writing to Timothy, Paul again employs an image from the world of physical training to motivate us to discipline in our spiritual walk. “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:8). With this truth in mind, JUST KEEP STARTING OVER!

Christmas

As we prepare to celebrate the miracle of Christ’s birth at Christmas, we reflect on the lengths that God went to in order to be reconciled to an estranged humanity.

Scripture tells us, ‘God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.’ (2 Cor 5:19)

As those who have been reconciled to God through Christ, we have in turn been given a ministry of reconciliation, to be bridge-builders not only between God and man, but also between estranged peoples.

The ministry of Rays of Hope is like the Grayston Drive bridge connecting Sandton and Alex, a bridge between ‘the pot of gold’, Sandton, and ‘the pot of tin’, Alex. These two communities are the perfect symbols of the disparities and divisions in our country: divisions between suburbs and townships, rich and poor, black and white. Divisions which experts tell us are simply unsustainable; a ticking time bomb.

Rays of Hope, as that bridge, has been partnering with the community of Alex to create lasting change for 26 years. We run nine programmes in three focus areas: orphaned and vulnerable children, education and work readiness. Our work directly impacts 2 660 members of the Alex community.

We would love you, the community of Rosebank Union Church, to join us in this ministry of reconciliation and building bridges, throughout the year.

As Christmas approaches, we are excited to be participating in the Santa Shoe Box project. This is an initiative where members of the public place gifts of toiletries, stationery, clothing, sweets and a toy in shoe boxes, which are dropped off at Rays of Hope and distributed to all the children in our children’s programmes, as well as our partners in Alex: Alex Kidz Clinic, Takalani Day Care, Dinoko Day Care, Mercy House and Ikusasa Lisakhanya Reading Club.

This Christmas, let’s build bridges and be reconciled to one another, reaching out in love!

Christmas

For me, one of the most staggering truths in the universe is the fact that at a point in history “God appeared in a body” (1 Timothy 3:16). The baby born in the stable in Bethlehem was God. Mary held God! Think about it! Amazing! No wonder Paul exclaimed, “Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: God appeared in a body!” (1 Timothy 3:16).

In a body, Jesus did his Father’s will. Although “tempted in every way, just as we are . . . (he was) without sin” (Hebrews 5:15).

In a body, he showed us God. He said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father” (John 14:9). All the attributes of God not visible in creation were made visible in Christ.

In a body, he suffered. “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him” (Hebrews 5:7-9).

In a body, he died. Our salvation depends on his having died in our place for our sins on the cross. “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation” (Colossians 1:21-22).

In a body, he intercedes for us now at God’s right hand in heaven. As a struggling disciple, I continually find great encouragement in this truth: “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16).

As we head into this Christmas season, take time to think more deeply about the incarnation. Let the mystery of the incarnation lead you to greater wonder, deeper worship, fuller commitment, and stronger confidence as we head into 2018 with all its uncertainties politically, economically, and personally. Whatever happens, remember “Immanuel … God with us” (Matthew 1:23).

Irene joins me in wishing you a truly blessed Christmas and in thanking you for your love, support, and prayers through another year.

Thanks

In this month of Thanksgiving we celebrate the many volunteers who have supported the various Rays of Hope programmes over the years, and say THANK YOU for your faithfulness.

For 27 years, Rose-Act Saturday School has called on members of RUC to tutor on Saturdays during school term.

Rose-Act wants to thank its amazing group of volunteer tutors and assistants, who selflessly give hours toward preparation of lessons and then another 2 hours of their time every Saturday to teach our students English and Maths. Their passion to help every child do the best they can and the love they show their classes enables Rose-Act to have the huge impact that it has.”

In about 2002, a group from RUC responded to a call to go and assist the terminally ill in their homes in Alexandra and so was born the Rays of Hope Home-Based Care programme.  Today, we say thank you to Lynne Bowker, our original volunteer, and current volunteers Corrine Andrews and Zandra Murray, who continue this calling to provide support, encouragement and prayer for those who are sick.

Another programme that was initially run by volunteers is Ignition, a programme offering students financial and mentorship support for tertiary education.  We thank God for Sarah and Craig van Zyl and Craig and Helen Pournara for their faithfulness and we thank each volunteer mentor of the programme for your journey with each of these young students.

Knox, a work readiness programme for the unemployed, was also initiated by volunteers and to Gary Seath, Mzi Kaka, Garth Barnes, Jimmy Copeland and Makhotso Fako who spend Saturday afternoons working with the unemployed and providing a range of work readiness skills, thank you.

The Ithemba Labantwana (hope for orphaned and vulnerable children) programme is another that has been blessed with so many volunteers. We are so blessed to have Richard O’Callaghan, Heather Blackstock, Graham Pfuhl, Claire Morrison, Jennie Morley and Jenny Laithwaite helping the children with literacy and numeracy at the Homework Club. A group of medical personnel have over the year helped our children with referrals and check-ups.

We also give thanks to the RUC Counselling Centre for their ongoing support in the lives of our children, as well as to many others from Alex who have been traumatised.

Our newest programme is our Early Childhood Development programme and once again, this continues through the dedication of volunteers Christy Bennet (programme co-ordinator), Gillian Leathers (curriculum developer and trainer) and a host of support volunteers in the fields of nutrition, occupational therapy, speech therapy, play therapy and baby stimulation.  The care givers in the ECD centres are immensely grateful for your input.

Another area of support has come from our “Friday ladies” who faithfully sort out donations for our various programmes and when the need arises, will swap sorting for sandwich making to ensure that Rose-Act students each get a sandwich on Saturday.

We continue to give thanks for the amazing way the Lord has ensured that Rays of Hope has been financially sustained in 2017, with many people giving to Rays of Hope over and above their tithe to RUC. We have seen wonderful partnerships develop between RUC owned/managed businesses and ROH! Thank you so much for your financial support, without which our work in Alex would not be possible.

“I thank God whenever I remember you ….because of your partnership in the Gospel from the first day until now” (Philippians 1:3)

Sola Scriptura

The first of the five solas of the Protestant Reformation is Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone). Although, when we study the history of the Reformation, we rightly pay tribute to the men who were particularly used by God in bringing about that monumental shift in the church that has cascaded down the last 500 years changing the world we must never lose sight of the fact that the actual cause of the Reformation was the Bible.

It was through the study of the Scriptures, particularly Romans 1:17, that Martin Luther came to understand the doctrine of justification by faith. He wrestled and wrestled with that text until at last the breakthrough came and, through the work of the Holy Spirit, he understood that righteousness was God’s gift received by faith. This became known as Luther’s ‘tower experience’ where he encountered God through the text of Scripture and was changed from the inside out. He later wrote, “Here I felt I was altogether born again and had entered paradise itself through open gates . . . That place in Paul (Romans 1:17) was for me the very gate to paradise.”

Later, while hidden away in the castle in Wartburg, Luther translated the New Testament into German in just eleven weeks. It took a further twelve years (with the help of others) to complete the Old Testament. Having the Scriptures in the language of the people transformed the church in Germany. People who lived in darkness and superstition were brought into the light of salvation as the Word of God was read and preached in their own language.

The same thing happened in England through the life and ministry of William Tyndale. The Catholic Church in England would not allow the production of the English Bible, so Tyndale worked in secret in Germany. In 1526, he completed translating the first English New Testament. Despite strenuous efforts by Catholic bishops and other church officials (including the burning of Bibles and people), thousands of copies of Tyndale’s New Testament were printed and smuggled into England.

In 1535, while working on translating the Old Testament from Hebrew into English, Tyndale was arrested and imprisoned. After over a year in jail, he was sentenced to death by strangulation and burning. As he died, his final cry encapsulated his unwavering mission to bring the Word of God to the people: “Lord, open the king of England’s eyes!” Several years after his death, God answered that prayer. The political tide turned in England and Tyndale’s Bible was published.

The work and sacrifice of both Martin Luther and William Tyndale to provide the Word of God in the language of the people was driven by their belief that the Bible is the means God uses to save people from sin and grow them in holiness.

Thank God for his precious Word! But how do we say ‘thank-you’? Firstly, we do so by regularly reading and studying the Bible. How tragic it is to neglect the Book the Reformers paid such a high price to give us. How are you doing in this area? Do you regularly read the Bible?

A second way to say ‘thank-you’ for God’s Word is to give sacrificially so that people who do not yet have the Bible in their own language can get it. Our November Thank-offering at RUC provides you with the opportunity to do this. Most of this offering will go to provide Bible’s for people in the least reached areas of the world. I urge you, as a sign of your thankfulness for the Bible, to give generously. You may do so electronically or by placing your money in an envelope marked ‘Thank-offering’ and placing it in the collection bag on Sunday.

Mandela Month

Every year Mandela Day means lots of attention is given to our projects from corporates for one day only, which can do more harm than good. This year it was decided that we would encourage companies to engage with the projects over a longer period, or contribute to a more sustainable difference… and it worked!

26 companies engaged with us this year, most of whom were new engagements . We engaged with companies like Eskom, Sanlam, Hatch and Old Mutual, Hollard Insurance, Michaelangelo Hotel, Deloitte and Altech Netstar.

Activities varied from a week-long engagement with a child care centre, to renovations and big blanket and clothing drives. We were about to connect companies with  other community organisations, which we partner with in Alex.

Below are some of the Mandela-inspired examples:

Medtronic Africa visited a day care centre for 5 days, taking soup and rolls and reading to the children.

YFM did an extensive blanket driver and live broadcast from Altrek during the Rose-Act holiday club.  The blankets were shared amongst our projects, as well as being given to the Old Age Home, Hospice, Phuthadichaba, Christ Church Christian Care Centre, Ratang-bana and Bathusheng.

American Tower Corporation spent a day cleaning, painting and doing maintenance at House 1.  They purchased a new hob top so that homework club cooking can happen in House 1.

Torre Group invested in Takalani Day Care, doing a complete make-over with painting and repairs.

Public Investment Corporation invested in Ndivoyo with repairs, painting and resources, as well as treating the children to a party with a jumping castle, face-painter, Mandela Cake, party packs and balloons.

Gogo’s of Hope were treated to a movie by Mall of Africa and were given sandwiches, fruit and toiletry hampers prepared by Red Pepper Studios.

Goldfields spent the morning cleaning our offices in Marlboro at House 2.  Capital Group went to the foster family and cooked a dinner, whilst Thirst and Meridian Wine did collections and spent time playing with the kids at House 5.  Bureau Veritas Sandton team collected clothing for the children.

There were several other shorter initiatives too.

We are so grateful for the great interest and love shown to the community during this time . However we are keen to engage with more companies next year, particularly those with an eye to more sustainable longer-term solutions. In most cases, the once-off sugar high from a day of cup-cakes and fizzy drinks is not what Mandela would have hoped for.

‘ In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ –Acts 20:35

“There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to help others without expecting anything in return.’

– Nelson Mandela

To understand Martin Luther we need to understand something of the world into which he was born in November 1483. The period of history known as the Middle Ages (approximately 700-1300AD) was characterised by hardship, war and little scholarship. Gradually during the 14th century AD Europe started to experience more peace and stability and there was a renewed focus on learning, literature and art, later known as the Renaissance. People started to question and think for themselves.

The invention of the printing press in 1440 encouraged the spread of new ideas. Prior to this literacy was limited to the upper classes and the clergy, but now books and pamphlets became more readily available and more people learnt to read. Portions of the Latin Bible were printed and ordinary people were able, for the first time, to read God’s Word for themselves. It’s hard for us to imagine a time when only the clergy had direct access to the Bible, but this is how it was until late in the 15th century AD.

TIMELINE:

  • 11 November 1483 – Martin Luther was born in Eisleben, Saxony.
  • 1501 – He enrolled to study law at the University of Erfurt.
  • 1505 – The story goes that he was caught in a thunderstorm and in his fear he called out to God and promised to enter a monastery if he survived.
  • 1507 – He was ordained as a priest.
  • 1510 – He was sent to Rome as part of a delegation from the university and was shocked by what he saw there.
  • 1511 – He became professor of theology at the university in Wittenberg.
  • Luther tried for many years to earn salvation by good works – he fasted, prayed and chastised himself, but he continued to be oppressed by a sense of his utter sinfulness.
  • 1512 – He began to study the book of Romans and when he read Romans 1:17 God spoke to him and he realised that people are saved not by works but by faith – the righteous shall live by faith!
  • 31 October 1517 – Luther nailed 95 theses (propositions for debate concerned with the question of indulgences) to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenburg – in these theses Luther criticised some church practices, especially the sale of Indulgences. This is seen as the start of the Reformation.

An indulgence was a payment to the Catholic Church that purchased an exemption from punishment (penance) for some types of sins. Some of those selling indulgences even claimed that the souls of people who had passed away could be freed from purgatory by the purchase of an indulgence. A large portion of the Catholic Church’s revenue came from the sale of indulgences.

At this time the church believed that only a priest could administer the sacraments and without the sacraments there was no salvation so the church had a very strong hold on the people. Luther’s ideas would loosen the hold of the priests on the people.

  • July 1518 Luther was summoned to Rome to meet with the Pope – Elector Frederick of Saxony got the summons cancelled.
  • October 1518 – Luther had three interviews with Cardinal Cajetan in Augsburg. A papal bull declared some of Luther’s statements heretical without mentioning his name.

papal bull is a specific kind of public decree, or charter issued by a pope of the Roman Catholic Church. It is named after the leaden seal (bulla) that was traditionally appended to the end in order to authenticate it.

He met with Von Miltitz and they seemed to come to an agreement – the pope invited Luther to Rome to make his confession. (Emperor Maximilian died and the pope was involved in the selection of his successor and so left Luther’s fate alone for 18 months).

  • Leipzig debate July 1519. Eck managed to get Luther to say that he did not think Huss was altogether wrong – this meant he was siding with a condemned heretic. From this time reconciliation between Luther and the Roman Catholic church became impossible.
  • 15 June 1520 Pope Leo excommunicated Luther. All his writings were to be burned and he was to be imprisoned.
  • 10 Dec 1520 Luther publicly burnt a copy of the papal bull in Wittenburg.
  • Charles V had been elected emperor – he was a devout Catholic, King of Spain – he summoned Luther to the Diet at Worms in April 1521.

The Diet of Worms in 1521 was an imperial diet of the Holy Roman Empire held at the Heylshof Garden in Worms, then an Imperial Free City of the Empire. An imperial diet was a formal deliberative assembly of the whole Empire.

Luther was allowed to address the Diet and when the emperor demanded whether he would recant or not he is reported to have said: “If the emperor desires a plain answer I will give it to him. It is impossible for me to recant unless I am proved to be wrong by the testimony of Scripture. My conscience is bound to the Word of God. It is neither safe nor honest to act against one’s conscience. Here I stand. God help me. I cannot do otherwise.”

Frederick the Wise organised for Luther to be taken secretly to his castle at Wartburg where he remained in safety for about 10 months. During this time he translated the New Testament into German.

Luther was informed that some of his ‘followers’ were turning to violence and destroying statues, art works, etc in churches in Wittenburg so he returned there to teach them that such behaviour was not in line with Scripture.

  • In 1525 he married former nun, Catherine von Bora.

He wrote the official statement of faith of the Lutheran church in what has become known as the Augsburg Confession.

  • He wrote many books and encouraged the establishment of schools everywhere. He completed the translation of the whole Bible into German in 1542. He also wrote songs and hymns – ‘Away in a Manger’ and ‘A Mighty fortress is Our God’ are two of them.
  • He died on 18 February 1546 at the age of 63.

Luther did not set out to establish a new church or to break away from the Roman Catholic Church. He would have preferred to reform it from within, but when that was not possible he broke away. Many built on his work and went in diverse directions – Zwingli, Calvin, Anabaptists, Mennonites, Amish, etc.

We have the privilege of benefitting from these men of faith and their dedication to serving God according to the Bible.

– by Shelley Seiler