Here I Stand Sunday – Part Four

For the past 500 years, members of The Lutheran Church have been able to, “Hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23)

It all began when Martin Luther made his heroic stand before Emperor Charles V at the imperial diet in the city of Worms, Germany, on April 18, 1521.

And now, 500 years later, we continue to take a stand. Luther’s stand at Worms was not a one-time event. It was just the beginning. It has been repeated by everyone who has embraced Luther’s teachings right down to today.

We have to continue taking a stand for the Gospel of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ because the Gospel is always under attack. Fortunately we have God’s Word firmly on our side.

Luther loved quoting from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans in support of his teaching:

Romans 1:16–17 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. [17] For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” (ESV)

For someone who had been taught that his salvation depended on his own efforts it was great finding out that the Gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.

Romans 3:21–24 “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—[22] the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: [23] for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, [24] and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” (ESV)

If salvation is a gift why should people have to pay for it as was being taught in Luther’s day?

Ephesians 2:8–9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, [9] not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (ESV)

All human boasting is excluded when we realize that salvation is God’s doing, not ours.

And the Apostle John chimes in with:

I John 2:1-2 “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. [2] He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” (ESV)

As I have said many times, the Gospel of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ is so very simple. What gets complicated is the fact that, since the Gospel is always under attack, we constantly need to take a stand for the truth of God’s Word. By God’s grace Lutherans will continue to do so for another 500 years or until Jesus returns.

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