This month marks the five hundredth anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany—an event commonly cited as the flash point of the Protestant Reformation. Believers around the world are celebrating the legacies of Luther and the other Reformers, who worked to recover the true gospel from the dogma and tradition of the Roman Catholic Church.
But how had the gospel of Christ been obscured for so long? How did the Roman Catholic Church gain and maintain such spiritual dominance over people? And how did the light of God’s truth finally break through such pervasive darkness?
We put those questions to John MacArthur. Here’s what he had to say:
We rightly credit men like Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, and Knox for their roles in recovering and proclaiming the truth of God’s Word. But the power of the Catholic Church was stifled by Scripture itself, as God’s people came face-to-face with the truth of His Word. The pope and the priesthood, along with Catholic dogma and tradition, were exposed as untrustworthy and unbiblical intermediaries between God and man. In the light of God’s Word, their satanic lies were laid bare.
Today, we worship and serve in the long line of faithful believers who held to the authority, inerrancy, and sufficiency of Scripture. This line includes the heroes of church history who helped recover the gospel of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. If not for the work of those faithful servants, we might still be living under the dark dominion of Catholic lies today.