1517 is a year but not just a year. Most historians tie this year to the beginning of a period of time known as the Reformation. Because of the significant divide between the church in his day and what was plainly stated in the Bible, a young college professor named Martin Luther penned and posted some pointed questions for debate, thinking the issues so clear that the Pope, when he was made aware, wouldn’t be able to help but see and correct the horrible abuses perpetrated against his flock.
The Pope did not listen, but others did.
Luther, through his study of Scripture—particularly the writings of St. Paul—discovered that salvation was not to be had by any work or deed, but by trusting in the finished work of Jesus. It was the grace of God through Christ’s life, death and resurrection alone that could reconcile us to our Creator. Jesus had suffered everything for Luther and now Luther was free. He was free to enjoy and explore God’s creation; he was free to study how God revealed Himself in nature and in Scripture; he was free to serve God in the person of his neighbor; and he was free to worship and enjoy Him in all of these things.
All of Luther’s preaching and teaching, fellowship and family life were aimed at exposing this glorious truth.
It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery (Gal 5:1).