Standing before the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, a humble monk boldly protests the arrogant usurpations of the man of sin and declares: “Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason—for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves—I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted, and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. Here I stand. I can do no other. May God help me. Amen.”
We have joyous cause to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation launched by this monk, Martin Luther, and the 95 theses he penned in Wittenberg. His life is a testimony of one who went forth in faith to bring true liberty and courageous victory through the God of the Bible. In many ways, Luther was a frontier missionary. Consider:
• Luther stood for truth in a culture that was steeped in idolatry and the Babylonian notion that man can save himself through his own efforts.
• Luther educated his people in the ways of God by giving them the Bible and sharing the present truth of his day, that it is by grace through faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that we are saved.
• Luther created and composed much of the music for his church and his people, introducing heart worship into services that had degenerated into formalism and empty ceremonies.
• Luther stood in opposition to the powers of the times until they—at least some of them—saw the light for themselves and took his side in the battle for truth.
In many ways, this is what frontier missionaries do among the unreached. Missionaries ask God to bring about a re-formation in the cultures where they serve through the transforming power of His Word. We are looking for those who will humbly go to serve and boldly declare the everlasting gospel among people groups still held captive by Babylonian delusions.
Will you respond today? “Here I stand. I can do no other. I must go. God help me. Amen.”