How difficult a concept can a child in school understand? From elementary to HS, during the week of camp, the kids were exposed to this idea that the Reformation is still relevant because it is still all about Jesus. Through it, the kids learned "Sola Fide; Sola Gratia; Sola Scriptura." Faith alone. Grace alone. Scripture alone.
Did they understand it? I don't know, we didn't take an exit test to see if they had mastered the simplicity and complexity of Luther's reforms he taught, but I'd bet they understood it as well as any other child of God, 0 - 99 years old.
Sola Fide. Faith alone. That radical notion that faith comes from God and is written on our hearts by God, not an act of man but an act of God's Spirit. Luther wrestled with this as he sought to satisfy an "angry God," angry with him for the sin he committed. It was in Romans 1 that Luther gained insight to faith alone. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek (the rest of us). For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, 'The righteous shall live by faith.'" (16-17) Paul cites Habakkuk to whom Luther turned for greater insight into this passage. Faith is a gift that comes from faith (Hebrews 11 - "...the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction (certainty) of things not seen.") Our faith in what is hoped for is the source of our faith given to us by God which creates the righteousness (justification) needed for salvation.
What made this radical? The simplicity of knowing that it isn't acts or indulgences that right wrongs, but the faith given to me by God threatened the institutions of the day. To a degree, works righteousness still hangs in the air around us confusing the believer about not just the source of faith, but also the works needed to "right wrongs." The kids listed many as they had questions of the pastors about certain acts, the "forgiveableness" of them, and God's love and mercy in the sight of judgement for our sins. Faith alone, they would hear.
The Reformation is still ongoing. The Reformation is still relevant because, in the end, it is all about Jesus. We pray for that simple truth to stay with us for our generation and generations to come.
Hope Men's Ministry