Reformation Day is a small celebration among Protestants in the area of Christianity known as Reformed. Most of these Protestants follow the Biblical truths put forth by John Calvin, a contemporary of Martin Luther, and leader of the Reformation in Geneva. His main thesis, in what is called Calvinism, is the sovereignty of God in all things. This sovereignty emphasizes man’s inability to save himself, and God’s overwhelming grace in saving a people to Himself, through Jesus Christ. To the Calvinist, as it was for Paul, no one seeks God… there is none who does good (Romans 3:11-12). This emphasizes that those who are saved, are saved by God’s grace alone, in Christ alone.
These truths was part of what Martin Luther declared when he posted his theses on the Wittenberg Door on October 31, 1517. The actual 95 Theses was over the abuses of the Roman Catholic church and its popes. But his driving issue, and posted on the door prior to the 95 Theses, was over justification by faith alone in Christ alone. That doctrine is the heart of the gospel, and at the heart of those of us who are called Reformed.
All that Luther and Calvin worked for, was a reformation of the church. The Roman Catholic church of the day, taught that man could earn his salvation by doing good works and earning enough merit to work their way out of purgatory into heaven. But Paul showed this not to be the case (Ephesians 2:8-10). We are saved by faith in Christ, not our works. Amen and amen. For if our works are tainted with the least bit of sin, they are rejected by God. We need the works of another, one who was perfect: Jesus Christ.
It is for this reason we remember October 31, 1517 and call it Reformation Day. Our celebration is not a mandate of God, but something we do with thanksgiving that God worked through men like Luther and Calvin for the purity of the gospel.
The following pictures were taking at our Reformation gathering and feature Arthur, also known as “Bear.” More pics to follow in the coming days.
All photos Copyright Timothy J. Hammons 2020.