Sorry to rain (and it is raining) on your Halloween plans, but today is Reformation Day. In 1517, Wittenberg University professor Martin Luther issued a call to debate 95 points of concern. On New Year’s Eve, 1532 he preached, “The Law is nothing but God’s word and command telling us what we are to do and not do and demands our obedience and service. In 1518, he wrote explaining his 95 theses, “The Law is the word of wrath, the word of sadness, the word of pain, the word of unrest, the word of a disordered condition.”
In contrast, he wrote in 1521, “What is the Gospel? It is that “Christ gave his body and shed his blood, for us for the forgiveness of sins. In 1522 he added, “The Gospel is “Good message, good tidings, good news, good report. The gospel means nothing but a preaching and proclaiming of the grace of God through Jesus Christ. It tells how Christ has taken our place, made satisfaction for our sins, has canceled them. Of this we sing, thank God, praise him and are happy forever if we only believe and remain steadfast in this faith.”
Personally, one of the most challenging matters was to preach God’s Word, the Law, in such a way that listeners applied to their life and to preach God’s Word, the Gospel, in such a way that the listener applied to their life. And to do so in a way that they went home with something to chew on.