<p>One man, Martin Luther, stood alone against an empire. His motivation was spiritual, but the outcome of his conviction was spiritual and political, leaving a global legacy 500 years later and celebrated this October 31st.</p><p>Unbeknownst to even himself, Luther completely upended the current religious system. He initially sought to clarify church doctrine and reform it from within. Despite attempts on his life and retaliation and persecution, his persistence led to one of the most significant events in history that quite literally changed political and religious institutions forever.<p>Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/robertmandel
Reformation day is on October 31, which is the day in 1517 when Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses, outlining what he saw as the abuses of the Catholic Church, to the church door in Wittenburg, Germany. This act sparked what has come to be known as the Protestant Reformation--a time of great turmoil in Europe, but also amazing growth and revival. Through the Reformation, emphasis was placed back on Scripture and on having a personal relationship with Christ. Another important doctrine to emerge from this time period was that salvation was by God's grace, through Christ alone, without the need for good works. The reformers had a massive impact on society, which we still feel today. We commemorate their work and the importance they placed on faith, Scripture, and knowing Jesus through 10 moving quotes.<p><p>Photo courtesy: Unsplash/Aaron Burden
<p>When it comes to spiritual warfare, we want to avoid extremes. We don’t want to blame everything on the devil and his cohorts, because sometimes the battle is within our own hearts (Rom 6). But we don’t want to ignore or make light of the real battle against “spiritual powers” of darkness either (Eph 6:12). <p>The key is finding out exactly what the Scriptures teach, and then laying hold of the Scriptures that will help us win our battles. <p>Some people foolishly use the name of the Lord like a magic charm or incantation. It might surprise them to know we’re never taught in Scripture to rebuke or cast out Satan or demons. That is the Lord’s work (Matt 8:28-34). Even the archangel Michael refrained from rebuking the enemy. He said, “The Lord rebuke you” (Jude 9). <p>Remember, even speaking to Satan got Eve in trouble (Gen 3:1-5). We are simply exhorted to resist or stand firmly against the enemy and he will flee (Jas 4:7). <p>Spiritual warfare involves conflict with our sinful world (1 John 2:15-17), our sinful flesh (Gal 5:15-16), and our enemy, the devil (2 Thes 2:4). Here are some Scriptures that can help us be valiant and victorious. <p>Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/Viktor_Gladkov
<p>I need to make a confession right up front. I’ve never smoked marijuana. I’ve never been drunk with alcohol. In fact, I’ve never used an illicit drug of any sort. I mention this because I’m quite sure that some will object to what I say in this article by insisting that I have no right to speak about an experience in which I’ve never personally indulged. I think that’s ridiculous. Whether or not I’ve ever been “high” (and again, no, I haven’t), is irrelevant to the question of whether or not Christians should use marijuana for recreational purposes. That being said, let’s get started.</p><p><em>Image courtesy</em>: ©Thinkstock/OpenRangeStock</p>
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