What does Luther’s work mean for us and why should we be remembering it 500 years later? The Church of Ireland is a church, which has formed its doctrine on the basis of the Reformation, while holding onto our catholic heritage. We are a catholic Church in that we:
- Belong to a world wide Church
- Recognise the Biblical teaching for the ordering of the Church in Bishop’s, Priests/ Presbyters, and Deacons.
- We practise sacramental rites of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion as recorded in the Gospels and commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ.
- We hold fast to the three historic creeds (Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, Athanasius’ Creed)
We are a Reformed Church in that we:
- Believe that Salvation comes direct from God
- Scripture alone contains all things necessary for Salvation
- Believe in Faith alone, by Grace alone, in Christ alone.
- We are not saved by any works of our own, but by forgiveness that comes, not through any member of the Church, but direct from God.
- That the head of the Church is the Lord Jesus Christ
In the book of Ephesians chapter 2 verses 8+9 we read “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”
In remembering this 500th Anniversary we are giving thanks to God for the Reformation and reminding ourselves what it was all about. Also we should ask ourselves the question - “What do I place my faith in and what am I relying on to take me to Heaven?” For me the hymn writers Stuart Townend and Keith Getty put it right “In Christ Alone, my hope is found…”