SOLA SCRIPTURA – The Bible
What is the Reformation all about? Some have suggested that it was primarily a political movement. Others have suggested that it was primarily an intellectual movement. Undoubtedly the Protestant Reformation was both a political movement and an intellectual movement. However, it was much more it was primarily a spiritual movement. It was a movement that brought the bible back to central place in the Christian church. Just about all church historians are agreed that the Protestant Reformation really started when Martin Luther pinned his 95 theses to the door of the Church in Wittenberg.
Why did he do this? He was protesting against the Roman Catholic practice of selling of indulgences. The pope at the time was very concerned to build up church funds and he was doing this by means of selling indulgences. Why were people interested in buying indulgences? If they gave money to the Roman Church they could get one of their relatives out of Purgatory. Martin Luther was horrified at this practice and so wrote his 95 theses hoping that the authorities in the Roman Church would stop this wicked practice. Instead Martin Luther was told to retract his teaching. As time went by Martin Luther continued to study the Bible intently since he was a professor in the Wittenberg University teaching the Bible. Increasingly Martin Luther came to see that the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church was inconsistent with the teaching of the Bible. He did not intend to break away from the Roman Church but he was forced out of the Roman Church because he was not willing to accept the unbiblical teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Martin Luther was utterly committed to the final authority of the word of God.