Today is Reformation Day, the alleged date that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Thesis to the Wittenberg church’s door.
Luther was certainly right to have a problem with the indulgences of the Catholic Church and call them out on their profiteering.
As with most reactionary responses, it went to an equally ridiculous extreme. Luther invented the concept of Sola Fide, which refers to being justified by faith alone.
The only problem is that the only time the Bible mentions “faith alone” is in James 2:24
You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.
So, you are now left having to choose between Sola Fide or Sola Scriptura. Faith Alone or Scripture Alone? Choose carefully, because it can’t be both!
Guess which one Luther chose? You guessed it: he went with his pet doctrine over Scripture.
“Therefore St James’ epistle is really an epistle of straw, compared to these others, for it has nothing of the nature of the Gospel about it . . . The epistle of James gives us much trouble, for the Papists embrace it alone and leave out all the rest…Accordingly, if they will not admit my interpretations, then I shall make rubble also of it. I almost feel like throwing Jimmy into the stove . . . I maintain that some Jew wrote it who probably heard about Christian people but never encountered any. Since he heard that Christians place great weight on faith in Christ, he thought, ‘Wait a moment! I’ll oppose them and urge works alone.’ This he did.”
This Reformation Day, take some time to reflect on your faith. How much is based on Scripture and how much is based on defending doctrines that your guys hold? How much of the Bible do you need to throw away to maintain your doctrine? Is your faith consistent with Scripture? Do you know the Scriptures well enough to answer that question? If not, don’t you think you might want to figure that out before you stand before God and give an account?
Don’t worry about reforming the church; reform your own faith.