The Reformers: Martin Luther

It makes sense to begin these few posts about the Reformers with the most well-known: Martin Luther. But before that, I’d like to say that my intention here is not to revere these men. They were all men. Sinners, just like the rest of us. But I think it is important to remember them and the impact they had on Christianity by God’s grace.

Martin Luther was a monk, much to the disappointment of his family. He was also a man deeply burdened by his sins who wanted to be forgiven. He felt he couldn’t measure up and it in the Bible that Luther found solace and hope in understanding the gospel.

John Piper wrote (or spoke?) this several years ago on the importance of the Scriptures themselves to the Reformation and Luther: “One of the great rediscoveries of the Reformation -especially of Martin Luther- was that the Word of God comes to us in a form of a Book. In other words Luther grasped this powerful fact: God preserves the experience of salvation and holiness from generation to generation by means of a Book of revelation, not a bishop in Rome, and not the ecstasies of Thomas Muenzer and the Zwickau prophets (see note 1). The Word of God comes to us in a Book. That rediscovery shaped Luther and the Reformation.”

But that did not negate the role of the Holy Spirit. Piper continued, “Luther knew that some would stumble over the sheer conservatism of this simple, unchangeable fact. God’s Word is fixed in a book. He knew then, as we know today, that many say this assertion nullifies or minimizes the crucial role of the Holy Spirit in giving life and light. Luther would, I think, say, ‘Yes, that might happen.’ One might argue that emphasizing the brightness of the sun nullifies the surgeon who takes away blindness. But most people would not agree with that. Certainly not Luther.”

You can find more of Piper’s lecture about the lessons from Martin Luther’s life here.

In my search for helpful information about Martin Luther I also came across this first person account of how learning about Martin Luther’s discovery of the grace of the gospel healed Rebecca Florence Miller’s “tortured soul.” 

This entry was posted in Christian Life, Church Movements, The Word and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Reformers: Martin Luther

  1. Very important to remember them, even more important to stand on their shoulders in our own generation.

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