Series: “What's the Big Idea?"

Sunday, November 5th, 2017: Luther Nailed It” • Pastor David R. Stokes


Read: Isaiah 40:6-8


READ: Devotional


Five Hundred years ago this past week, on October 31, 1517, a Catholic priest nailed a document to the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany. His name was Martin Luther. If he lived today, he might have used Twitter to get his message out. But then, that would have involved 170 separate Tweets. His bold act that day is commonly held to be the beginning of The Protestant Reformation. You may have heard about it. It was in all the Gutenberg papers.

That day, Luther had no thought of split the church—or starting a new one.  All that came later. What he wanted to do was “reform” the Christian religion—or at least what passed for it at the time. But he, in fact, unleashed something powerful. Something that shook the world.

It still does.

Luther’s ideas were quite radical back then. Eventually, five rallying “cries” began to be heard. Frankly, if you want a crisp and concise creed, or definition of what the Christian faith is all about, look no further than these BIG IDEAS:


  • Sola Scriptura – Scripture Alone

  • Sola Fide – Faith Alone

  • Sola Gratis –  Grace Alone

  • Solus Christus – Christ Alone

  • Soli Deo Gloria – To the Glory of God Alone


The first one is the foundation of all the rest—the idea of the authority of scripture. It is INSPIRED and SUFFICIENT—the final authority in all issues of faith and practice.



  • What are some ways the reformation continues to impact our world today?

  • How do we deal with Luther’s flaws?

  • How often does the church need to be reformed?



* Book Recommendation: “A General Introduction to the Bible,” by Geisler & Nix