Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

He was born in Switzerland as Philip Schwartzerd on this day in 1497. (His family name literally means “black earth.”) Orphaned when just ten, he was raised by his grand uncle, famed scholar Johann Reuchlin. When only 12, he graduated from the University of Heidelberg, and soon began teaching. Impressed by his intellect, Reuchlin insisted that Philip be called by the Greek form of “black earth.” He became Philip ” Melanchthon.”

When just 21, he was appointed the professor of Greek at the University of Wittenburg, over the objections of Martin Luther. But Luther became impressed with Melanchthon’s ideas, and the two became friends. And both became committed to reformation within the church. Luther once said, “I am rough, boisterous, stormy, and altogether warlike … but Master Philip comes along softly and gently sowing and watering with joy.”

Luther became a more public lightning rod but Melanchthon provided much of the scholarly support for the reformation movement, as a teacher and writer. He published a study of Paul’s writings that became foundational for Protestant thought.

He urged Believers to realize that the Bible declares that salvation must be by faith rather than by works. Yet he was compassionate toward those with whom he disagreed, developing the “Augsburg Confession” as an attempt to bring healing. While failing this lofty goal, he once said, “If I could purchase union by my own death, I would gladly sacrifice my life.”

Like Luther, Melancthon is remembered for emphasizing faith, a Biblical principle still central to our Christian lives.

Remember that you are to walk by faith, not sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). That you are saved by faith, not by anything you do. In fact, the Bible says, “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God” (Ephesians 2:8).

Trust Him. Walk by faith!