By Dr. Norman Nagel, professor emeritus, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis


1. Why is the Reformation important for us today?

A: A Christian cannot live a single day without the forgiveness of sins.

2. Is there reason still to be Lutheran?

A: The Lutheran tradition points only to Christ for our salvation, free and complete.

3. What hallmarks should we keep in mind when celebrating the Lutheran Reformation?

A: We are nothing but given to, that is, by grace and by faith. Grace alone, faith alone, Scripture alone — all mean by Christ alone. There is no other Christ than the one Scripture gives us, which is the instrument of the Holy Spirit for bestowing the gifts of life and salvation. Jesus said, “The words that I have spoken to you are Spirit and they are life” (John 6:63 ESV). That centers everything in Jesus, in and from Jesus. At the heart of our celebration is extolling Jesus — proclaiming and praising Him, for which our tradition supplies us with bountiful resources in liturgy and hymns. “One generation shall commend Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts” (Psalm 145:4 ESV).

4. What cautions should be observed in celebrating the anniversary of the Reformation?

A: In celebrating the Reformation we should be cautious not speak scornfully of any other Christians who look only to Christ for their salvation and not to themselves.

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