The power of God’s Word has the ability to give you new life! One historical example is Martin Luther whose life changed forever because he studied God’s Word!
Even as a monk, Luther really did not study God’s Word much. He spent his time in worship and prayer. He worried so much about his own sinfulness that he was known to spend hours in the confessional. Finally, his wise confessor made Luther a professor which resulted in him studying the Bible!
Because he was reading the Bible closely, Martin Luther found the heart of the gospel. He learned that Christ freed him from sin. He did not have to earn his salvation. The grace of God was a gift not something to be paid for with money or works. At last Luther stopped worrying about being condemned for eternity and started to live!
There are many passages of scripture that changed Luther’s life but one key passage was from Ephesians. Paul writes: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast.” in Ephesians 2:8-9.
I know that most of us have heard this passage a million times. As a Lutheran, I grew up knowing that I was saved by grace and never had to work for my salvation. So it does not seem life changing at all, but it is. We miss the real radicalness of this statement.
These words saved Luther from worrying about himself and gave him the freedom to share the gospel with the world. He lectured in Wittenberg and printed his writings on the gospel for the world to read. The Bible changed not just Luther but the world. People learned that God loved them and that Christ forgave them.
Even though we have heard these words over and over again, they are still life changing. Do you really believe that God loves you just the way you are? Do you really trust that the worst sin you ever committed can be forgiven? Do you really trust that you are saved by Christ, not your own works? When you start to really believe these things, you are free. You know that nothing can separate you from the love of Christ. You might even get so excited that you want to share this love.
When we realize how loved we really are by our Creator, we are eager to share that with everyone. We want others to know that Christ died for them as well. We are free to love our neighbors. We are free to give our talents, our money, and even our time to let people know that God loves them. So I hope that you celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation by starting to believe that God loves you completely. Then share the good news of Christ’s love with everyone you meet!