We come to know God's Word through the gift of the Scriptures contained in the Bible. It is the primary source document of the faith. Luther translated the Bible into German so more people could read it for themselves. The reformers argued that the Bible should be read so that people can search for Christ. In the scripture we find both Law and Gospel. We learn about where we need God in our life and how we might amend our ways. We then come to know the love and grace of God to help bring us to a place of healing and reconciliation. Scripture helps us discern between what is God's Word and what is our witness (or opinion). While our witness is vital and many Christians should give witness to God more than they do, it is of secondary importance to the Word of God which brings life. Scripture is an objective source to gauge our life of faith. So the lesson of the Reformation is to take Scripture seriously, read it daily, pay attention to the context of section you are reading, and don't use little snippets of it to merely prove your argument. The Word is not Bible trivia; it is life and death. Read it and live.
Our well being will not be determined by what we do, but by whom we trust. Disciples of Jesus Christ really don't believe in self-help, they believe in the God of grace who provides help. Our customs, practices, responsibilities, and actions find their true value only when they open our eyes to faith. Our trust that God's promises are truly for us, is the only outcome that Grace requires. While we may want this thing or that thing to happen in our lives, or we might want to change the world, in the end what will matter will be who we are walking with in trust. We do not find our center in an identity, organization, religion, country, political party, clique, club, or the achievements we place on our resume, but in the loving arms of God. Salvation is more than mere self-esteem; it is a trusting relationship with God and neighbor. Therefore the Reformation teaches us to tend to our faith life, to move forward in trust, and to look for God's work in the world.
These four, Scripture, Faith, Grace and Christ are the sources of our common Christian life. The history of the faithful is a story of a dance between wandering away from the sources and through the work of the Spirit, finding our way back to them. My prayer for you is that your ideas find their true source in the Word of God, that your life is lived while drinking from the source of Faith, that your dignity and worth is watered from the source of Grace, and that you find God through Jesus Christ.
Keep the Faith.