Changed Lives Through Christ - Blog 

   This Week...                                   FAITH ALONE                         5/19/2019
                                                       Martin Luther
       So much could be said about Martin Luther. He was a one man revolution in the Roman Church in the 1500s. He was a
confronter of corrupt religious leaders and a reformer of religious thought. And he was a man after God’s own heart for he loved the truth of Scripture.
       As a young man, Luther entered law school but after four years of study, he decided it wasn’t for him. So he left to join a monastery hoping to get closer to God and better understand his faith. But he was plagued by many questions and his soul was in constant anguish as he searched for answers.
       Furthermore, he tried hard to seek out his Lord as a loving heavenly Father. But instead, he saw an angry judge at every turn. His sins were ever before him and he could find no peace.
       In spite of his troubles, he was elevated to the office of Priest. After a missions assignment in Rome he returned a changed man. Through intense study of the Word, he discovered the grace of God realizing God forgives our sins completely without need of further judgment. In discussing the matter with the Vicar, he was asked how he had come to this conclusion. Luther replied that he had read it for himself and believed lay people should be able to do the same.
       The Vicar insisted that it would be dangerous for the Word of God to fall into the hands of common man because many possible false interpretations could come of it. Therefore, the Bible needed to remain in Latin and out of the hands of the people.
       In 1511, Luther came on board as professor and Parish Priest of Wittenberg University. At the same time, he continued to be a student of the Bible as he wrestled over matters of faith. While reading Paul’s letter to the Romans, he said it was as if heaven’s gates opened to him. Chapter one, verse seventeen said, “For in it [the Gospel] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith,’” (NKJV). Luther finally understood that one is made righteous in God’s sight through his faith, and not through what he does.
       In those days Christianity was governed by strict obedience to rigid regulations and passionless, dry ordinances. When rules were broken, penances were issued and indulgences had to be paid. The monies went toward the lavish beatification of the church and its corrupt leaders.
      Furthermore; the church offered “forgiveness of sins” without the need for confession. People could simply pay indulgences. The funds, in turn, were used to build St. Peter’s Basilica. Luther argued that you can not buy God’s mercy! This is damnation, not salvation.
       Luther protested this “works based” religion and fought to embrace a “faith based” Christianity. He said a believer “only needed Jesus Christ.” Faith alone. That was the turning point in Luther’s life, and in the life of the church. It was the single spark that caused an eventual paradigm shift in the way people practiced Christianity.

Martin Luther: 1954 (106 minutes)
The dramatic black and white classic film of Martin Luther's life
made in the 1950's, remade in High Definition. This film was originally released
in theaters worldwide and nominated for an Academy Award.
A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work
in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reforming efforts.

(Click Image to Purchase)

       In 1517, Luther announced his 95 theses by nailing them to the church door. It became one of the church’s most widely read documents in history. The writings were translated into the common language of the people and within months all Christendom was on fire.
       Four years later, Luther ended up in the high courts. When asked to recant his writings, he refused. He was condemned and declared an outlaw. He had to run for his life so he took refuge at Wartburg Castle. During that ten month period he studied Greek and translated the New Testament--for the first time--into German. This put the Bible into the hands of the common people. It was finally printed in 1522.
       The Roman Church insisted that all Christians should unify, but the Protestants could not surrender their consciences and held fast to the truths they had come to understand. In the end, both groups agreed to disagree, and go their separate ways. Because of Luther’s teachings and example, many monks and nuns left their sheltered lives in the monasteries to go out and serve God and man in the community.
       This is how the Protestant Church was born. One man, Martin Luther, made a difference, and did not back down from his beliefs. And because of that, he changed the world.


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