“Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?” (Psalm 85:6)
In autumn, 1517, the sound of a hammer was heard throughout the world and it did not come from a construction site. It originated in the heart and soul of a Roman Catholic priest who had had enough of the corruption and false teaching streaming out of Rome — Martin Luther. Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany, and set in motion a movement that rocked Europe. Though many other factors joined to launch the Protestant Reformation, God used a revival in Luther’s heart to start a revival of Christianity in his time.
Our Scripture today from Psalm 85 calls for a revival that begins with the Holy Spirit working in individual hearts, bringing a refreshing return to God with passion and zeal. Revival is not a random burst of energy and emotion but is based on truth found in the Bible. For Luther and other Reformers of the 16th century, the revival that came to be called the Protestant Reformation was based on five enduring principles.
True Christian faith is based on Scripture alone, on salvation in Christ alone, by grace alone and through faith alone — and all of this is for glory to God alone. These key points summarize the principles of the Reformation.
Are these five lasting principles at work in our lives? As we ponder these teachings that were rediscovered long ago, may their truth work in our hearts to strengthen and revive us, making us agents of revival wherever God has placed us.
Thank you, Lord, for the way you shape and discipline your church. As we reflect on your salvation this month, we pray with the psalmist: “Revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you.” In Jesus’ name, Amen.