Celebrating our Theological Underwear (or why the Protestant Reformation still matters 500 years lat

Rankin Wilbourne

October 29, 2017

Today is known as Reformation Sunday where we remember that in 1517 a young monk named Martin Luther turned the world upside down when he posted 95 theses on a church door in Wittenberg, Germany, decrying that God’s church had lost her way, had abandoned her primary authority (Scripture alone), had forgotten the gospel (Grace alone by Faith alone in Christ alone) and the reason for the church's existence (God’s glory alone). In 1521, Luther was summoned by the emperor to the Diet of Worms to renounce his views. Below is the prayer he prayed the night before his statement.

"O God, Almighty God everlasting! . . . How small is my faith in Thee! . . . Oh! The weakness of the flesh, and the power of Satan! If I am to depend upon any strength of this world – all is over . . . The knell is struck . . . Sentence is gone forth . . . O God! O God! O thou, my God! Help me against the wisdom of this world. Do this, I beseech thee . . . thy own mighty power . . . The work is not mine, but Thine. I have no business here . . . I have nothing to contend for with these great men of the world! I would gladly pass my days in happiness and peace. But the cause is Thine . . . and it is righteous and everlasting! O Lord! Help me! O faithful and unchangeable God! I lean not upon man. It were vain! Whatever is of man is tottering, whatever proceeds from him must fail. My God! My God! Dost thou not hear? My God! Art thou no longer living? . . . Thou dost but hide Thyself. Thou hast chosen me for this work. I know it! . . . Therefore, O God, accomplish thine own will! Forsake me not, for the sake of thy well-beloved Son, Jesus Christ, my defense.

Lord – where art thou . . . Behold me prepared to lay down my life for thy truth . . . for the cause is holy. It is thine own! . . . I will not let thee go! No, nor yet for all eternity! Though the world should be thronged with devils – and this body, which is the work of thine hands, should be cast forth, trodden under foot, cut in pieces . . . my soul is thine. Yes, I have thine own word to assure me of it. My soul belongs to thee, and will abide with thee forever! Amen! O God send help! . . . Amen!"