Messiah Lutheran Church -- Charlotte, NC
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8300 Providence Rd. just south of the Arboretum and Hwy 51 (Pineville-Matthews Rd).  Map.

October 2016 Message PDF Print E-mail

The Lutheran Reformation

by Pastor Ron Wiese





Martin Luther did not want a denomination named for him. In 1522, Luther wrote this: “I ask that men make no reference to my name and call themselves, not Lutherans but Christians. What is Luther? After all, the doctrine is not mine, nor have I been crucified for anyone. St. Paul in I Corinthians 3 would not allow Christians to call themselves Pauline or Petrine, but Christian. How then should I, a poor evil-smelling maggot sack have men give to the children of Christ my worthless name? Not so, dear friends. Let us cast out party names and be called Christians after Him whose doctrine we have.” It was the Roman Catholic Church who gave the name “Lutheran” to the people who accepted and championed the reforms Luther proposed.

In 1545, a year before his death, Luther wrote: “Is it not provoking that the Word of the Lord Christ, nay, of all the holy prophets and fathers from the beginning of the world, should be called a “new faith” by those who call themselves Christians? For we certainly neither preach nor desire to preach anything that differs from what you yourself read in the writings of the prophets and the apostles….And this doctrine of the Gospel is to be called nothing but a novelty? Why? Because men neither knew it nor preached it twenty or thirty years ago.  

They do not want to know…that this is the doctrine and the faith which for fifteen hundred years since the birth of Christ, nay, longer, for five thousand years, from the beginning of the world, was preached by the father and the prophets and is clearly revealed in Holy Scriptures.” (Quotations are from What Luther Says, compiled by Ewald M. Plass, CPH, c. 1959)

Luther never wanted a separate church or denomination. What he wanted was to reform the “One, Holy, Christian and Apostolic Church,” and return it to its primary teaching: “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

So what do Lutherans believe? We see ourselves as part of the one Holy Christian and Apostolic Church that preaches the Word of God in its truth and purity, and administer the Sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion according to that Word of God. We hold the Bible to be God’s true and inerrant Word, and the sole rule and norm of faith and life. We are a “Confessional Church,” that we accept the Lutheran Confessions as contained in the Book of Concord as a correct and sound explanation of Christian doctrine, and is in full accord with the Bible. We see the central teaching of the Bible to be salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-10). And we see the purpose of the Church is to share God's truth and love in Jesus with everyone ("all nations" - Matthew 28:19-20).

During the month of October, the Sunday morning Adult Class led by Pastor Allen Trapp will share more about Martin Luther and his reformation of the Church. This October 30th, we will celebrate Luther's efforts to reform the Church that began on October 31, 1517. That's when Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. As we do so, we pray: "Lord, revive your Church, beginning with me!"







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Sample ImagePastor Steve was born and raised in Oregon. After graduating from Willamette University with degrees in German and International Studies, he worked in various vocations that taught him how to work in teams with diverse people.  As a project manager in the computer tech industry in the 90’s, he began to feel God’s call to become a pastor. In 2003, he took a huge leap of faith, selling his business and two homes to drive to Saint Louis for the first time and begin Seminary training.



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