Reformation Day Celebration Service 2021 email banner


31 October is the birthday of all Evangelical and Bible-believing churches. On 31 October 1517, Dr. Martin Luther launched the Protestant Reformation with his bold stand at the Castle Church in Wittenberg.


Freedom and Productivity

Western civilisation has been blessed with the greatest freedoms, productivity and prosperity ever known in history. The liberty, standards of justice and creativity enjoyed in Western civilisation is a direct result of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century.


First Things First

Our Lord Jesus Christ taught: "But seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness and all these things shall be added to you." Matthew 6:33

Peace with God

It was Martin Luther's earnest quest for peace with God and his intensive study of the Scriptures, which led him to challenge indulgences and the idea that you could purchase salvation, the unethical fund-raising tactics of the papacy that launched the Protestant Reformation. Luther's love for the Word of God and his dedication to truth led him to challenge the entire ecclesiastical and political authority of the Roman Catholic church and the Holy Roman Empire.


Captive to the Word of God

"Unless I am convinced by Scripture, or by clear reasoning, that I am in error - for popes and councils have often erred and contradicted themselves - I cannot recant, for I am subject to the Scriptures I have quoted; my conscience is captive to the Word of God. It is unsafe and dangerous to do anything against one's conscience. Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise. So help me God. Amen." Martin Luther


Freedom of Conscience

In this incredibly courageous stand against the assembled political and religious might of Europe, Professor Martin Luther argued for freedom of conscience based upon the authority of Scripture. Until that time, the prevailing practice was authoritarianism, both in church and state. All religions and cultures supported authoritarianism. However, Professor Martin Luther and the Reformers maintained that, because of the depravity of man, no human authority could be trusted as absolute. He rejected ecclesiastical totalitarianism and championed the principle of Sola Scriptura - the Bible alone is our ultimate authority.


Education for All

By translating the Bible from the original Greek and Hebrew into the common tongue and making it widely available to both nobles and peasants, Luther championed universal education and literacy, the Priesthood of all Believers, freedom of conscience and religious liberty.


Representative Governments

The Protestant doctrine of the Priesthood of all Believers became the foundation for modern constitutional monarchies and representative governments. The equality of all men before God and under the Law undermined the absolutism of monarchs and popes who had set themselves above the Law.


Constitutional Authority

Instead of the prevailing "Rex Lex" (the king is the law),the Reformers championed "Lex Rex" (the Law is king!) No one is above God's Law. Jesus Christ is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Everyone is under God's Law. Sola Scriptura eroded the foundations of ecclesiastical and political totalitarianism. The Protestant emphasis on the Priesthood of all Believers and the supreme authority of Scripture led to the concept of representative governments with constitutional authority as the supreme law of the land.


Religious Liberty

By emphasising the Biblical doctrine of Faith as a gift of God, Luther undermined the Catholic Inquisition and provided the Theological foundations for religious liberty and freedom of conscience.


Freedom of Speech

The social implications of this spiritual Reformation were enormous. The doctrine of Sola Scriptura led to constitutionalism. The Priesthood of all Believers led to the concept of representative republics and constitutional forms of government. Religious liberty and freedom of conscience led to freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of association and all the other out-workings of political and social freedom.


Ideas have Consequences

There is no doubt that the Reformation in Europe during the 16th century has to be seen as one of the most important epochs in the history of the world. The Reformation gave us the Bible - now freely available in our own languages.


The Banned Bible

Few people today realise that the first Bibles printed into English had to be printed in Germany and smuggled into England in bales of cotton from the Netherlands. The Bible translator, William Tyndale, was burned at the stake for the crime of translating the Bible into English. Seven mothers and fathers were burned alive at Coventry for teaching their own children The Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer and the Apostles Creed - in English.


Courage and Sacrifice

The sacrifices made by the Reformers and the far-reaching impact of their courageous application of the Word of God to every area of life, needs to be rediscovered. The Christian Church has made more positive changes on earth than any other force or movement in History.


Blessing the Nations

Most of the languages of the world were first codified and put into writing by Christian missionaries. More schools and universities have been started by Christians than any other religion, nation or group. Christian Reformers and missionaries succeeded in bringing about the abolition of slavery, cannibalism, child sacrifice and widow burning. Those countries which enjoy the most civil liberties are those lands where the Gospel of Christ penetrated the most.


Transforming Nations

Biblical discipleship is life-changing, history making and nation transforming. If it does not change your life and the lives of those around you, then it is not the Biblical Gospel.


Checks and Balances

The Reformers emphasised God's Sovereignty, that Scripture alone is our final authority that Christ alone is the Head of the Church and that justification is by God's Grace alone, on the basis of the finished work of Christ, received by Faith alone. The Reformers' teaching on the depravity of man, Covenant and church government have influenced positive political and social developments in liberty throughout the Western world and beyond, establishing checks and balances, the separation of powers and constitutional authority.


Faith and Freedom

All of us are beneficiaries of this tremendous movement for Faith and Freedom. If you love liberty, you need to re-examine the history and principles of the Reformation. Visit www.ReformationSA.org for inspirational character studies, articles, audios and videos on the doctrines and events, which God has used to transform nations and bring about the greatest spiritual Revivals ever known.


Does your church, or school, plan to celebrate the Reformation on 31 October? If you are not able to attend the service, you can invite Reformation speakers to address your school, or church. Please join the event on Reformation500 Facebook page and share it on social media. "Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?" Psalm 85:6


Resources for Reformation

Our Mission has been producing books and audio-visual materials to empower churches dedicated to working for Reformation and praying for Revival. These strategic resources include: The Greatest Century of Reformation; The Greatest Century of Missions, The Power of Prayer Handbook; Reforming Our Families; Biblical Principles for Africa; Practical Discipleship; Discipleship Training Manual; The Coalition on Revival Reformation 500 FIRE Manual; Victorious Christians – Who Changed the World, War Against God, Church History Survey boxset, Church History Overview MP3, Reformation 500 MP3, Data and DVD boxset and the Church History Manual. Many of these are also available as E-books, click here to view. "Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…" Romans 12:2


Great Films Available

You can also organise for inspiring Reformation films, such as Luther, Martin Luther, William Tyndale - God's Outlaw and the Eurochor in Cape Town, to be shown at your cell group, youth group, school, or college.


Inspiration and Involvement

If you want to transform your community and if you are praying for Revival, then contact The Reformation Society for resources you can use to inspire your family, school and congregation with examples of excellence. Visit www.ReformationSA.org website and Reformation500 Facebook page for more inspiring testimonies and examples of excellence.

“If My people who are called by My Name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14


Dr. Peter Hammond

Reformation Society
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Tel: 021-689-4480
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




See also:

Reformation Art and Essay Competition

The Five Solas of the Reformation

95 Theses for Reformation Today

Why Celebrate the Reformation?

Reformation and Desecration?

Are You Praying for Revival?

The Forbidden Bible

The Reformation Roots of Western Civilisation

Martin Luther – Captive to the Word of God

How to Start a Reformation Group

Our website is protected by DMC Firewall!