Fear of God Devotional: Authority: A Driving Force Behind the Reformation

What was the driving force behind the Reformation?

Joel Beeke explains in this video that the Reformation began through Martin Luther’s opposition to the selling of indulgences to release people’s souls from purgatory. Thus, it was the abuses of the Roman Catholic Church and the Papacy that initially drew the Reformers to confront these long-held practices.  

Ultimately, one of the main driving forces behind the Reformation was the issue of authority. Is Scripture sufficient for everything or does the Pope wield equal authority to Scripture? Both of them could not be the ultimate authority, for Scripture clearly contradicted the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. 

Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NKJV) – “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.”