October 31 is the anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of the 95 Thesis to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, sparking what is known as the Protestant Reformation. The reformers rediscovered that salvation was by grace alone, through faith alone, by Christ alone, through the Word alone! And they discovered that all this was for the glory of God alone!
The result was that great changes took place in worship and church organization. There was also a renewed enthusiasm for missions and a deeper understanding of how all of life is to be lived for the glory of God. This month we will focus on some of these things, particularly the nature of the church and her duty, and the wholehearted worship and service to which Christians are called.
October 1 – What is the gospel?
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. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” – Romans 1:16-17
Scripture reading: Romans 1:1-17
The Scriptures (the Bible) are able to make us wise unto salvation. The Scriptures are inspired by God (2Timothy 3:15-16). The Apostle Paul was not ashamed of the gospel, but most excited to proclaim it since it provided the only way to be at peace with God.
At the time of the Protestant Reformation, which many will celebrate later this month, many rediscovered in the Bible that Salvation is not something we obtain by our works, but is a gift of God, obtained for us by the work of Jesus on the cross. While the wrath of God is being revealed from heaven by God (Romans 1:18), which is a scary thought since all of us have sinned and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23), in the Gospel the righteousness of God is revealed. Since we cannot save ourselves through doing good works, since we are all transgressors and since the righteous shall live by faith, God himself provided righteousness for us in the person and work of Jesus. In love, He sent Jesus to live a perfect life for us and to make the atoning sacrifice for our sins, so that we would be restored to fellowship with God.
The Bible reveals the only way of salvation, namely, that in Jesus, God saves sinners, so that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13). The Bible fully contains whatever we need to believe for salvation. No other revelation is necessary.
Suggestions for prayer
Thank God for the Bible. Thank God that Jesus has done everything necessary for our salvation. Pray for faith to rest in this truth.
Rev. Calvin Tuininga is the Pastor Emeritus of the Covenant United Reformed Church in Pantego, North Carolina. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.