500 years ago today, Martin Luther nailed his 95 thesis to the door of the castle church at Wittenburg in Saxony, Germany and sparked years of turmoil and angst in Christianity. Behind it all actually, God was at work, and although we have looked bank at reformers like Zwingli, Calvin, Luther, Melancthon and others, the truth is that God was and still is the Chief Reformer.
Christ who is "the same yesterday, today and forever," (Hebrews 13:8) is also the same God who declared He was going "to do a new thing." (Isaiah 43:19) The fact remains that God is always reforming His people, and that is why He does not change.
Christ is still the reformer today, and He is changing His Church.
If we were to compose 95 thesis today for the Body of Christ today, what points would we make that would indicate where change was needed, and what God would desire to do? Here are some of the points that could be made.
- Christians have gotten used to being divided into many groups. but it's not the Christian life that Jesus taught His disciples..
- The Scriptures which sparked the reformation sometimes actually keep believers apart.
- The Body of Christ needs to find real apostles, not those with the title of Apostle and the same old style institutional leadership we already have. Apostles are relational and operate differently to much of what we have been used to.
- There is only one church in a city as Christ sees is, and likewise one eldership per city. There is much to be unlearned, and re-changed for this to be reality.
- The Holy Spirit desires to give a new Pentecost to His Church, and by this we mean that He gives the spirit of understanding to congregations of believers so that they will have one heart and mind to serve God. They will become community.
These are just some of the things God is doing today and enlightening His people and in His work to change the world. In the same way that Luther and others could not have perceived the huge implications of the changes in their day, so we also cannot see the magnitude of what God is up to.