There seems to have been a resurgence in the last few years of Christian materials marketing themselves as “gospel-centered.”

This has been a great thing in the life of the church, but the irony of course is, what Christian book, song, or other material should not be “gospel-centered”?

When the question is phrased like that, it’s almost humorous. Yet, churches and ministries throughout the years have been centered on many other things aside from the Gospel. Financially-centered, emotionally-centered, event-centered, and, perhaps most often, self-centered.

When the Bride of Christ begins to drift toward other sources of satisfaction or justification, there must be a reformation.

As was said earlier, we’ve seen a resurgence of theological interest come through both the “Young, Restless, Reformed” movement, and most recently, the “Gospel-Centered” movement. Neither movement has been perfect. Where men are involved, nothing can be. But the good far outweighs the bad, since both have been marked with the renewed Gospel literacy inside the church.

However, this is far from the first reformation to sweep the Christian world.

A noticeable reformation took place 499 years ago today in Wittenberg, Germany, a monk named Martin Luther – heard of him? – nailed the 95 Theses to the door of the Catholic church. The content of the 95 Theses being a list of doctrinal issues within the Church. As Luther had grown in his study of the Word, he was seeing many errors in the church, specifically regarding the Catholic doctrines related to soteriology.

Luther realized that salvation could not be attained by indulgences, hard work, or discipline, and came to the Biblical conclusion that salvation is given by faith alone. This went in direct opposition to the Catholic church.

After an intense study of Romans – which drew him to knowledge of the truth, Luther wrote, “My situation was that, although an impeccable monk, I stood before God as a sinner troubled in conscience, and I had no confidence that my merit would assuage him. Night and day I pondered until I saw the connection between the justice of God and the statement ‘the just shall live by faith.’ Then I grasped that the justice of God is that righteousness by which through grace and sheer mercy God justifies us through faith. Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise. The whole of Scripture took on a new meaning…This passage of Paul became to me a gate to heaven.”

The story of Martin Luther inspires us as believers nearly 500 years later. Even when it seems like Biblical truth is being covered in darkness, it only takes one man – fueled by the knowledge and power of  sovereign God – to begin a ripple effect which can change everything.

Luther brought the church once more to a Gospel-Centered understanding of salvation, the church, and life itself. Throughout the years many other brave men have helped to reaffirm important doctrine to a biblically illiterate world, drawing the church back to it’s first love, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

“In every generation the Gospel must be published anew with the same boldness and the same clarity and the same urgency that came forth in the 16th Century reformation.” – R.C. Sproul

Eric Author ImageEric is a blogger, videographer, designer, and full-time missionary with Rooftop Missions. While in the US, he works to raise support to help fund pastors and orphanages in closed countries. When he is traveling internationally, he provides leadership training for national pastors, as well as documenting the trips through photography and video.

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