Triad Pastor Speaks to Students During “Reformation Day Chapel”
PASTOR ALEX DIPRIMA EXPLAINS TO STUDENTS MARTIN LUTHER’S IMPACT ON CHRISTIANITY AS WE KNOW IT TODAY AS PART OF WESLEYAN’S REFORMATION DAY CHAPEL.
Each day, Christians in every corner of the world enjoy the benefits of the stand taken by Martin Luther for God’s truth when he nailed the “95 Theses” to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517, marking the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. However, in today’s modern age, many Christians are not aware of how God used Luther’s actions to return believers to the essential teachings of the Bible, and most importantly the Gospel of Christ.
Recognizing this, Wesleyan’s administration was blessed to be able to offer “Reformation Day Chapel” celebrating this day, October 31, more than 500 years later. Our keynote speaker was Pastor Alex DiPrima of Emmanuel Church of Winston-Salem, who beautifully shared Martin Luther’s life story with our students and faculty.
Pastor DiPrima explained that because of a lightning storm in which Luther believed he would lose his life, he promised God that he would leave the law profession to become a monk if he would save his life—which He did. With that decision came a journey of faith that led Luther to unravel the falsehoods and corruption that were infiltrating the Roman Church during that period.
Because the Bible was written in Latin, the church leaders of the 16th Century had the responsibility—and power—of interpreting the Word of God to Christians. One of the most disturbing revelations to Luther, Pastor DiPrima shared, was that the Church had “lost the Gospel” and were declaring to believers that “works” must accompany faith and went so far as selling indulgences, which were essentially tickets that ensured one’s salvation.
With a fervent passion for the Word of God and the good news of Jesus Christ as the sole mediator and reconciler to God, Luther stood for God’s truth as revealed in scripture, against the leaders of the church. Pastor DiPrima explained, “At that time, it was a crime to disagree with the church. Luther knew that by doing so, they would likely put him in prison, or possibly even put him to death.” Pastor DiPrima then challenged the students to think about how much courage it took for him to stand for God’s Word, and asked them if they could do the same among their friends and cultural pressures.
Thanks be to God, Luther’s actions returned Christians to the essential truths and teachings of the Bible. Through the Reformers’ efforts, the most important Biblical truth—that we are saved not by works, but by the grace of Jesus Christ alone—was re-established in the Church and birthed the Protestant Reformation and Christianity today.
We praise God for the opportunity today to reflect on our core beliefs today and to see vividly what is possible when one believer is courageous enough to stand for God’s truth.
Happy Reformation Day Wesleyan!