Celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation


On 31 October 1517 a 33-year old university professor by the name of Martin Luther nailed a series of theological propositions and arguments (that came to be called The Ninety-Five Theses) to the doors of the church in the small city of Wittenberg in Saxony, eastern Germany where he lived. “In doing so, he was imagining he would spark a debate in academic and ecclesiastical circles. In actual fact he changed Europe and ultimately the world. Today there are over 800 million people across the globe who could be described as ‘Protestant’ in one way or another. The stranglehold on Christian faith excercised by the Roman Catholic Church through the ministry of the priesthood was broken forever and the Bible became a book that was open to all to read and explore” (Andy Johnston in Convinced by Scripture).

“As the Reformers (Luther and others) looked at the European church, they saw an institution that had wandered from the heart of the gospel. And when the heart of the gospel is lost, the Christian faith is lost. Therefore these men and women were moved to put their livelihoods, homes, fortunes, and lives on the line to restore to the church the essential teachings of the gospel. These have come down to us by five Latin phrases: Sola Scriptura, Solus Christus, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, and Soli Deo Gloria. Translated into English, they assert that salvation is according to Scripture alone, in Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone, for the glory of God alone. Each of these Solas proves to be essential to the gospel. We neglect them to our harm. When the church loses its understanding of these rallying cries of the Reformation, it loses the gospel” (Jason Helopoulos in These Truths Alone).

Rosebank Union Church is an evangelical Protestant church . . . the fruit of the Reformation. We thank God for our heritage and, together with Protestants around the world, celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation by remembering the Reformers and, above all, returning to the Scriptures to refresh our understanding of the Five Solas.

It is my deep prayer that the Holy Spirit will use this sermon series to strengthen our faith, sanctify our lives, and spur us on to be faithful witness of this amazing, life-changing gospel.