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Man, this was such a heartening read. If you can stumble across it somewhere like I did Mar 28, Rick Davis rated it it was amazing Shelves: A collection of pastoral meditations on Easter from Martin Luther's sermons. A great selection for family devotions. Reginald Harris rated it it was amazing Feb 19, John Hercules marked it as to-read Nov 02, Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers.

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He became convinced that the church was corrupt in its ways and had lost sight of what he saw as several of the central truths of Christianity. He began to teach that salvation or redemption is a gift of God's grace , attainable only through faith in Jesus as the Messiah. Luther came to understand justification as entirely the work of God. This teaching by Luther was clearly expressed in his publication On the Bondage of the Will , which was written in response to On Free Will by Desiderius Erasmus Luther based his position on predestination on St.

Paul's epistle to the Ephesians 2: Against the teaching of his day that the righteous acts of believers are performed in cooperation with God, Luther wrote that Christians receive such righteousness entirely from outside themselves; that righteousness not only comes from Christ but actually is the righteousness of Christ, imputed to Christians rather than infused into them through faith. The first and chief article is this: Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, died for our sins and was raised again for our justification Romans 3: He alone is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world John 1: All have sinned and are justified freely, without their own works and merits, by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, in His blood Romans 3: This is necessary to believe.

This cannot be otherwise acquired or grasped by any work, law or merit. Therefore, it is clear and certain that this faith alone justifies us Nothing of this article can be yielded or surrendered, even though heaven and earth and everything else falls Mark Luther's rediscovery of "Christ and His salvation" was the first of two points that became the foundation for the Reformation. His railing against the sale of indulgences was based on it. He had the theses checked for heresy and in December forwarded them to Rome. As Luther later noted, "the pope had a finger in the pie as well, because one half was to go to the building of St Peter's Church in Rome".

Pope Leo X was used to reformers and heretics, [53] and he responded slowly, "with great care as is proper. First, the Dominican theologian Sylvester Mazzolini drafted a heresy case against Luther, whom Leo then summoned to Rome. There, over a three-day period in October , Luther defended himself under questioning by papal legate Cardinal Cajetan. The Pope's right to issue indulgences was at the centre of the dispute between the two men.

More than writing his theses, Luther's confrontation with the church cast him as an enemy of the pope. In January , at Altenburg in Saxony, the papal nuncio Karl von Miltitz adopted a more conciliatory approach. Luther made certain concessions to the Saxon, who was a relative of the Elector, and promised to remain silent if his opponents did. Luther's boldest assertion in the debate was that Matthew From that moment, he devoted himself to Luther's defeat. On 15 June , the Pope warned Luther with the papal bull edict Exsurge Domine that he risked excommunication unless he recanted 41 sentences drawn from his writings, including the Ninety-five Theses , within 60 days.

That autumn, Johann Eck proclaimed the bull in Meissen and other towns. Karl von Miltitz , a papal nuncio , attempted to broker a solution, but Luther, who had sent the Pope a copy of On the Freedom of a Christian in October, publicly set fire to the bull and decretals at Wittenberg on 10 December , [65] an act he defended in Why the Pope and his Recent Book are Burned and Assertions Concerning All Articles. The enforcement of the ban on the Ninety-five Theses fell to the secular authorities. On 18 April , Luther appeared as ordered before the Diet of Worms. This was a general assembly of the estates of the Holy Roman Empire that took place in Worms , a town on the Rhine.

Johann Eck , speaking on behalf of the Empire as assistant of the Archbishop of Trier , presented Luther with copies of his writings laid out on a table and asked him if the books were his, and whether he stood by their contents. Luther confirmed he was their author, but requested time to think about the answer to the second question. He prayed, consulted friends, and gave his response the next day:.

Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves , I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience.

May God help me. At the end of this speech, Luther raised his arm "in the traditional salute of a knight winning a bout. The Bible itself is the arsenal whence each innovator has drawn his deceptive arguments.

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It was with Biblical texts that Pelagius and Arius maintained their doctrines. Arius, for instance, found the negation of the eternity of the Word—an eternity which you admit, in this verse of the New Testament— Joseph knew not his wife till she had brought forth her first-born son ; and he said, in the same way that you say, that this passage enchained him. When the fathers of the Council of Constance condemned this proposition of John Huss — The church of Jesus Christ is only the community of the elect , they condemned an error; for the church, like a good mother, embraces within her arms all who bear the name of Christian, all who are called to enjoy the celestial beatitude.

Luther refused to recant his writings. He is sometimes also quoted as saying: I can do no other". Recent scholars consider the evidence for these words to be unreliable, since they were inserted before "May God help me" only in later versions of the speech and not recorded in witness accounts of the proceedings. Over the next five days, private conferences were held to determine Luther's fate. The Emperor presented the final draft of the Edict of Worms on 25 May , declaring Luther an outlaw , banning his literature, and requiring his arrest: It permitted anyone to kill Luther without legal consequence.

Luther's disappearance during his return to Wittenberg was planned. Frederick III had him intercepted on his way home in the forest near Wittenberg by masked horsemen impersonating highway robbers. They escorted Luther to the security of the Wartburg Castle at Eisenach. These included a renewed attack on Archbishop Albrecht of Mainz , whom he shamed into halting the sale of indulgences in his episcopates, [74] and a "Refutation of the Argument of Latomus," in which he expounded the principle of justification to Jacobus Latomus , an orthodox theologian from Louvain.

Experiencing the Passion and Power of Easter

In this work, one of his most emphatic statements on faith, he argued that every good work designed to attract God's favor is a sin. On 1 August , Luther wrote to Melanchthon on the same theme: We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides. In the summer of , Luther widened his target from individual pieties like indulgences and pilgrimages to doctrines at the heart of Church practice.

In On the Abrogation of the Private Mass , he condemned as idolatry the idea that the mass is a sacrifice, asserting instead that it is a gift, to be received with thanksgiving by the whole congregation. He assured monks and nuns that they could break their vows without sin, because vows were an illegitimate and vain attempt to win salvation.


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In Luther dealt largely with prophecy, in which he broadened the foundations of the Reformation, placing them on prophetic faith. His main interest was centered on the prophecy of the Little Horn in Daniel 8: The antichrist of 2 Thessalonians 2 was identified as the power of the Papacy. So too was the Little Horn of Daniel 7, coming up among the divisions of Rome, explicitly applied.

Luther made his pronouncements from Wartburg in the context of rapid developments at Wittenberg, of which he was kept fully informed. Andreas Karlstadt , supported by the ex-Augustinian Gabriel Zwilling , embarked on a radical programme of reform there in June , exceeding anything envisaged by Luther. The reforms provoked disturbances, including a revolt by the Augustinian friars against their prior, the smashing of statues and images in churches, and denunciations of the magistracy. Luther secretly returned to Wittenberg on 6 March He wrote to the Elector: In these sermons, he hammered home the primacy of core Christian values such as love, patience, charity, and freedom, and reminded the citizens to trust God's word rather than violence to bring about necessary change.

Do you know what the Devil thinks when he sees men use violence to propagate the gospel? He sits with folded arms behind the fire of hell, and says with malignant looks and frightful grin: Let them go on; I shall reap the benefit.

The Lamb on the Altar: "Martin Luther's Easter Book" ed. Roland H. Bainton

I delight in it. The effect of Luther's intervention was immediate. After the sixth sermon, the Wittenberg jurist Jerome Schurf wrote to the elector: Martin's return spread among us! His words, through divine mercy, are bringing back every day misguided people into the way of the truth. Luther next set about reversing or modifying the new church practices. By working alongside the authorities to restore public order, he signalled his reinvention as a conservative force within the Reformation.

Despite his victory in Wittenberg, Luther was unable to stifle radicalism further afield.

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There had been revolts by the peasantry on a smaller scale since the 15th century. Luther sympathised with some of the peasants' grievances, as he showed in his response to the Twelve Articles in May , but he reminded the aggrieved to obey the temporal authorities. In Against the Murderous, Thieving Hordes of Peasants , written on his return to Wittenberg, he gave his interpretation of the Gospel teaching on wealth, condemned the violence as the devil's work, and called for the nobles to put down the rebels like mad dogs:.

Therefore let everyone who can, smite, slay, and stab, secretly or openly, remembering that nothing can be more poisonous, hurtful, or devilish than a rebel For baptism does not make men free in body and property, but in soul; and the gospel does not make goods common, except in the case of those who, of their own free will , do what the apostles and disciples did in Acts 4 [: They did not demand, as do our insane peasants in their raging, that the goods of others—of Pilate and Herod—should be common, but only their own goods.

Our peasants, however, want to make the goods of other men common, and keep their own for themselves. Fine Christians they are! I think there is not a devil left in hell; they have all gone into the peasants. Their raving has gone beyond all measure. Luther justified his opposition to the rebels on three grounds. First, in choosing violence over lawful submission to the secular government, they were ignoring Christ's counsel to "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's"; St. Paul had written in his epistle to the Romans This reference from the Bible forms the foundation for the doctrine known as the divine right of kings , or, in the German case, the divine right of the princes.

Second, the violent actions of rebelling, robbing, and plundering placed the peasants "outside the law of God and Empire", so they deserved "death in body and soul, if only as highwaymen and murderers. Without Luther's backing for the uprising, many rebels laid down their weapons; others felt betrayed. Martin Luther married Katharina von Bora , one of 12 nuns he had helped escape from the Nimbschen Cistercian convent in April , when he arranged for them to be smuggled out in herring barrels. Some priests and former members of religious orders had already married, including Andreas Karlstadt and Justus Jonas , but Luther's wedding set the seal of approval on clerical marriage.

Not that I am insensible to my flesh or sex for I am neither wood nor stone ; but my mind is averse to wedlock because I daily expect the death of a heretic. Luther and his wife moved into a former monastery, " The Black Cloister ," a wedding present from the new elector John the Steadfast — They embarked on what appears to have been a happy and successful marriage, though money was often short. By , Luther found himself increasingly occupied in organising a new church. His Biblical ideal of congregations choosing their own ministers had proved unworkable.

If he were forced to choose, he would take his stand with the masses, and this was the direction in which he moved. From to , he established a supervisory church body, laid down a new form of worship service , and wrote a clear summary of the new faith in the form of two catechisms. Luther's thought is revolutionary to the extent that it is a theology of the cross, the negation of every affirmation: To avoid confusing or upsetting the people, Luther avoided extreme change.

He also did not wish to replace one controlling system with another. He concentrated on the church in the Electorate of Saxony , acting only as an adviser to churches in new territories, many of which followed his Saxon model. He worked closely with the new elector, John the Steadfast , to whom he turned for secular leadership and funds on behalf of a church largely shorn of its assets and income after the break with Rome. The elector authorised a visitation of the church, a power formerly exercised by bishops.

The Story of Martin Luther (Playmobil Animation)

For example, the Instructions for the Visitors of Parish Pastors in Electoral Saxony , drafted by Melanchthon with Luther's approval, stressed the role of repentance in the forgiveness of sins, despite Luther's position that faith alone ensures justification. In response to demands for a German liturgy , Luther wrote a German Mass , which he published in early Some reformers, including followers of Huldrych Zwingli , considered Luther's service too papistic, and modern scholars note the conservatism of his alternative to the Catholic mass.

Luther and his colleagues introduced the new order of worship during their visitation of the Electorate of Saxony , which began in Luther devised the catechism as a method of imparting the basics of Christianity to the congregations. In , he wrote the Large Catechism , a manual for pastors and teachers, as well as a synopsis, the Small Catechism , to be memorised by the people themselves. The catechism is one of Luther's most personal works. For I acknowledge none of them to be really a book of mine, except perhaps the Bondage of the Will and the Catechism. Luther's Small Catechism proved especially effective in helping parents teach their children; likewise the Larger Catechism was effective for pastors.

He rewrote each article of the Creed to express the character of the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit. Luther's goal was to enable the catechumens to see themselves as a personal object of the work of the three persons of the Trinity, each of which works in the catechumen's life. That is, Luther depicted the Trinity not as a doctrine to be learned, but as persons to be known. The Father creates, the Son redeems, and the Spirit sanctifies, a divine unity with separate personalities. Salvation originates with the Father and draws the believer to the Father. Luther's treatment of the Apostles' Creed must be understood in the context of the Decalogue the Ten Commandments and the Lord's Prayer , which are also part of the Lutheran catechetical teaching.

Luther had published his German translation of the New Testament in , and he and his collaborators completed the translation of the Old Testament in , when the whole Bible was published. He continued to work on refining the translation until the end of his life. Paul urgently require and demand it. For in that very passage he is dealing with the main point of Christian doctrine, namely, that we are justified by faith in Christ without any works of the Law.

Luther's translation used the variant of German spoken at the Saxon chancellery, intelligible to both northern and southern Germans. Published at a time of rising demand for German-language publications, Luther's version quickly became a popular and influential Bible translation. As such, it made a significant contribution to the evolution of the German language and literature. His tool of choice for this connection was the singing of German hymns in connection with worship, school, home, and the public arena.

Luther's hymns were frequently evoked by particular events in his life and the unfolding Reformation. This behavior started with his learning of the execution of Johann Esch and Heinrich Voes , the first individuals to be martyred by the Roman Catholic Church for Lutheran views, prompting Luther to write the hymn " Ein neues Lied wir heben an " "A new song we raise" , which is generally known in English by John C. Messenger's translation by the title and first line "Flung to the Heedless Winds" and sung to the tune Ibstone composed in by Maria C.

Luther's hymn, adapted and expanded from an earlier German creedal hymn, gained widespread use in vernacular Lutheran liturgies as early as Sixteenth-century Lutheran hymnals also included "Wir glauben all" among the catechetical hymns, although 18th-century hymnals tended to label the hymn as Trinitarian rather than catechetical, and 20th-century Lutherans rarely used the hymn because of the perceived difficulty of its tune.

Luther's hymnic version of the Lord's Prayer , " Vater unser im Himmelreich ", corresponds exactly to Luther's explanation of the prayer in the Small Catechism , with one stanza for each of the seven prayer petitions, plus opening and closing stanzas. The hymn functioned both as a liturgical setting of the Lord's Prayer and as a means of examining candidates on specific catechism questions. The extant manuscript shows multiple revisions, demonstrating Luther's concern to clarify and strengthen the text and to provide an appropriately prayerful tune.

Other 16th- and 20th-century versifications of the Lord's Prayer have adopted Luther's tune, although modern texts are considerably shorter. Luther wrote " Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir " "From depths of woe I cry to You" in as a hymnic version of Psalm and sent it as a sample to encourage his colleagues to write psalm-hymns for use in German worship. In a collaboration with Paul Speratus , this and seven other hymns were published in the Achtliederbuch , the first Lutheran hymnal.

In Luther developed his original four-stanza psalm paraphrase into a five-stanza Reformation hymn that developed the theme of "grace alone" more fully. Because it expressed essential Reformation doctrine, this expanded version of "Aus tiefer Not" was designated as a regular component of several regional Lutheran liturgies and was widely used at funerals, including Luther's own.

Along with Erhart Hegenwalt's hymnic version of Psalm 51 , Luther's expanded hymn was also adopted for use with the fifth part of Luther's catechism, concerning confession. He wrote two hymns on the Ten Commandments , " Dies sind die heilgen Zehn Gebot " and "Mensch, willst du leben seliglich". He wrote for Pentecost " Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist ", and adopted for Easter " Christ ist erstanden " Christ is risen , based on Victimae paschali laudes. He paraphrased the Te Deum as " Herr Gott, dich loben wir " with a simplified form of the melody.

It became known as the German Te Deum. Luther's hymn " Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam " "To Jordan came the Christ our Lord" reflects the structure and substance of his questions and answers concerning baptism in the Small Catechism. Luther adopted a preexisting Johann Walter tune associated with a hymnic setting of Psalm 67 's prayer for grace; Wolf Heintz's four-part setting of the hymn was used to introduce the Lutheran Reformation in Halle in Preachers and composers of the 18th century, including J.

Bach , used this rich hymn as a subject for their own work, although its objective baptismal theology was displaced by more subjective hymns under the influence of lateth-century Lutheran pietism. Luther's hymns were included in early Lutheran hymnals and spread the ideas of the Reformation. He supplied four of eight songs of the First Lutheran hymnal Achtliederbuch , 18 of 26 songs of the Erfurt Enchiridion , and 24 of the 32 songs in the first choral hymnal with settings by Johann Walter , Eyn geystlich Gesangk Buchleyn , all published in Luther's hymns inspired composers to write music.

In contrast to the views of John Calvin [] and Philipp Melanchthon , [] throughout his life Luther maintained that it was not false doctrine to believe that a Christian's soul sleeps after it is separated from the body in death. In his Smalcald Articles , he described the saints as currently residing "in their graves and in heaven. The Lutheran theologian Franz Pieper observed that Luther's teaching about the state of the Christian's soul after death differed from the later Lutheran theologians such as Johann Gerhard.

Luther's Commentary on Genesis contains a passage which concludes that "the soul does not sleep anima non sic dormit , but wakes sed vigilat and experiences visions". In October , Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse , convoked an assembly of German and Swiss theologians at the Marburg Colloquy , to establish doctrinal unity in the emerging Protestant states.

The theologians, including Zwingli , Melanchthon , Martin Bucer , and Johannes Oecolampadius , differed on the significance of the words spoken by Jesus at the Last Supper: Zwingli, for example, denied Jesus' ability to be in more than one place at a time. Luther stressed the omnipresence of Jesus' human nature. Citing Jesus' words "The flesh profiteth nothing" John 6.