What Was at Stake in the Reformation?

from Oct 01, 2018 Category: Ligonier Resources

What was at stake in the Reformation was nothing less than the gospel of Jesus Christ. In this brief clip, R.C. Sproul explains the radically different view of salvation held by the Roman Catholic Church.

This Reformation Month, watch a short video every day on the history and insights of the Protestant Reformation. And don’t forget that for a donation of any amount this month only, you can also receive a copy of Luther: The Life and Legacy of the German Reformer, a documentary featuring interviews with R.C. Sproul and several Ligonier Teaching Fellows, on DVD. Offer ends 10/31/18.


The Reformers were saying that we are justified by faith and by faith alone—that faith is the sole instrumental cause for our justification meaning that the way we receive all the benefits of Jesus work is through putting our trust in Him and in Him alone. Now in contrast to that, the Roman communion taught as they did at Trent, that faith is a necessary condition for salvation, but you can have that true faith and still not be justified. So you have radically different views of salvation, and those two views cannot be reconciled. One of them is the gospel. One of them is not. And so what was at stake in the Reformation was the gospel of Jesus Christ. And though Rome made many fine affirmations of traditional truths of the Christian faith, by anathematizing the gospel, in my mind, they stopped being a legitimate church.