Daily Devotionals

What Happened 500 Years Ago?

Five Hundred Years Ago Today

For over one thousand years, the world was in darkness as to what God expected of humans.  The religion that was launched in 33 AD had been kept in cloistered halls of the religious elite.  The Bible had been taken away from the common person.  The common person was told they did not have the Spirit to know the truth.  They needed a “Priest” to tell them what to believe.

For centuries, the religious services were held in the language only the “educated” could understand.  The common person was in darkness because they did not have access to the Bible.  Five hundred years ago today in a small village of Wittenberg, Germany, a rather insignificant professor of the Bible, posted a list of grievances he wanted the priests to address.  He had no idea what would transpire over the next few months.  The world would never be the same again.

Today on this campus, you are standing on the glowing coals of what took place five hundred years ago.  A man who believed the Bible to be the Truth of God wanted the common person to have open access to the Scriptures.  The mystery that was hidden for centuries was now about to be out in the open.  No one could have foreseen what the outcome would be.  Someone once said, “The Bible is like a lion.  You do not need to defend it, you only to let it out of its cage.  It will do its own defending.”

Today you are at a university that has been the recipient of what took place five hundred years ago.  Wherever the Bible is freely studied, people are free.  Take the Bible from the common person and it will not be long until some ruling despot or cruel dictator enslaves man.

Today, if you have the freedom to express your views without fear of reprisal from the authorities, you have Martin Luther and the men and women of the Protestant Reformation to thank.  They stood and proclaimed that man has no human go between, between himself and God, but Jesus Christ the Righteous Son of God.  He was crucified that we would be saved from the wrath of God that we so justly deserved.  He is the one who paid the penalty for our rebellion and now stands offering the way to God without cost.

Martin Luther unlocked that which hidden from the common person for more than a thousand years.  “The one who is righteous shall live by faith.”  The faith that makes a person acceptable to God is the work of Jesus Christ our Savior.  It is through his work and his alone that we are made right with God.  All of this is a gift that God freely bestows on anyone who will call upon him in faith.

This gift of eternal life is for all who see their own sinful actions and understand that they cannot be good enough to warrant this incredible gift of everlasting life.

Today, if you have felt the sting of your own rebellion against God, if you see how unable you are to keep that which you know to be right and good (The Ten Commandments), if you see Christ and his sacrifice as your only hope of being made right in God’s eyes then the good news of Christ is for you.

If you desire to be forgiven, to find joy that will never end, to be fully accepted and adopted into the family of God that will never be destroyed, then take a moment to consider praying this.

“Father, I understand that I have sinned and broken your law.  I see that I cannot hope to save myself.  I am broken and in need of forgiveness and cleansing from my sin.  I believe that Jesus Christ, your Son died in my place.  He suffered the wrath that I should have suffered.  Right now, I turn from my sin and receive your Son as my Savior and Lord.  May I be like the reformers who took their stand in the hope of eternal life because of the payment of your Son for our sins on the cross.  Come Lord Jesus and rule over my life for the glory of your name I pray!  Amen!”


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