Reformation to Transformation

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Some events in history have had a profound, lasting impact upon God’s people throughout the generations. This is particularly true of the stand taken against papal authority and the medieval Roman Catholic Church by the German reformer Martin Luther.

On 31st October 1517 Luther posted on the door of the Castle Church of Wittenberg his ‘Ninety-Five Theses’ which were a protest against the selling of indulgences and associated errors such as the treasury of merits, the invocation of saints, and the power of the papacy.

Here I stand, I can do no other.
Luther’s conviction

Under God, Luther provided ‘the spark’ for what we call “The Reformation” exactly 500 years ago. A great spiritual renewal began, firstly in Luther himself as he discovered the glorious Gospel through his study of the Scriptures, then spreading and transforming the lives of countless others. When ordered to renounce truths such as justification by faith alone through God’s grace, the sufficiency and supreme authority of Scripture, and the priesthood of all believers, Luther refused, declaring,  “Here I stand, I can do no other.” 

Five hundred years later our brothers and sisters in Eastern Europe are taking their own stand in this anniversary year of the Reformation. Thousands of evangelistic events have been planned in the many countries in which SGA serves. Here are some of the highlights.

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Poland

Tomasz Chylka reports plans for an evangelistic concert with a Gospel message in Tychy city, street evangelism in Pszczyna, and a Bible exhibition in the Museum of the Castle also in Pszczyna. Pamphlets and a small book about the Reformation have been prepared for distribution.

Ukraine

The evangelical churches have been given wonderful freedom to celebrate the Reformation by the country’s President, Petro Poroshenko. He honoured them on national television for their efforts in serving those affected by the war in the east of Ukraine. Now the churches have 5,000 events planned across the country.

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Hungary

Mark Sipos from Szeged reports that they will use the Reformation celebrations to share personal testimony and reach out with the good news to non-Christian university students, and to friends, relatives and neighbours. Dr. Kálmán Mészáros, a pastor and Church Historian, will give an evangelistic lecture at the University of Szeged.

Romania

Onisim Mladin from Arad is planning a number of events and celebrations. He hopes to preach through the five ‘Sola’ watchwords of the Reformation: Sola Scriptura: Scripture alone, Sola Fide: Faith alone, Sola Gratia: Grace alone, Solus Christus: Christ alone, Soli Deo Gloria: God’s glory alone.

We see the Reformation as important because the Lord impacted the world through it. We are planning some local events in churches and some bigger events in partnership with other evangelical churches, to thank God for what He did, and we trust will do in the coming days.
Pastor Peter Vidu of the Emanuel Church in Oradea

Pray for the thousands of Reformation events taking place at this time. May “Reformation” become “Transformation” in the lives of many people across Eastern Europe.