BY REV. DAVE SIMONSON - SPIRIT LAKE IMMANUEL LUTHERAN CHURCH
The month October is typically a delightful month. Farmers are busy bringing in the harvest, temperatures are in the 60s, and the change from summer to winter transpires — included in that change is the fall colors.
Also included in October is the birthday of the Protestant Reformation. A little over 500 years ago, Martin Luther and others changed the direction of God's church forever. God used Luther and others to reform the thinking and the course of the church for all time.
Ephesians 2:8-9 are critical verses that are foundational to the Reformation and to our spiritual lives. Paul wrote: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast."
These verses tell us that our eternal hope lies in the grace of God. We will life forever by a gift from God. Not by anything we do, only and all by the works of our loving God. We simply live in response to God's love and His gift in a life of faith.
The Reformation came about because a change was needed. One key word and concept as we live a life in faith is the word "repent." Repent simply means to turn 180 degrees. When we find ourselves going in a wrong direction, we turn back to God. If we are headed to sin, we turn 180 degrees back to God and His grace.
Luther is known for three pillars of the Reformation to simplify our thinking. He brings to our attention three Solas. Sola means "alone." Luther based most of his teachings on scripture alone, grace alone and faith alone. All that we believe and teach about God is from the Bible. We test all that we teach based on what the Bible states (scripture alone). And as we just stated, we are saved by God's gift of love (grace alone). And we know these to be true because the Holy Spirit changes our heart to believe and trust in God (faith alone).
Now as we move from October into November, and on into winter, let us reform our spiritual lives to align with Our heavenly Father and His will and His ways. May we be changed by His scripture, grace and faith alone! We thank God for who He is. And He daily reforms our lives back to Him.
See you on Sunday!