AuthorMartin Luther

Martin Luther (1483–1546) was a German professor of theology, composer, priest, monk, and a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation who came to reject several teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. He strongly disputed the Catholic view on indulgences. Luther proposed an academic discussion of the practice and efficacy of indulgences in his Ninety-five Theses of 1517. His refusal to renounce all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the Pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the Holy Roman Emperor. Luther taught that salvation and, consequently, eternal life are not earned by good deeds but are received only as the free gift of God's grace through the believer's faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin.

Sin, Death and Hell Belong to Christ

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The […] incomparable grace of faith is this, that it unites the soul to Christ, as the wife to the husband; by which mystery, as the Apostle teaches, Christ and the soul are made one flesh. Now if they are one flesh, and if a true marriage—nay, by far the most perfect of all marriages—is accomplished between them (for human marriages are but feeble types of this one great marriage), then it...

The True Way of Salvation

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With Paul we absolutely deny the possibility of self-merit. God never yet gave to any person grace and everlasting life as a reward for merit. The opinions of the papists are the intellectual pipe-dreams of idle pates, that serve no other purpose but to draw men away from the true worship of God. The papacy is founded upon hallucinations. The true way of salvation is this. First, a person must...

The Distinction between Law and Gospel

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But you ask how it can be the fact that faith alone justifies, and affords without works so great a treasure of good things, when so many works, ceremonies, and laws are prescribed to us in the Scriptures? I answer, before all things bear in mind what I have said: that faith alone without works justifies, sets free, and saves, as I shall show more clearly below. Meanwhile it is to be noted that...

Fruits of Faith as Gift.*

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“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ…”—Philippians 3:20 (ESV). With the believers in Christ, them who have their righteousness in Him, there should follow in this life on earth the fruits of upright living, in obedience to God. These fruits constitute the good works acceptable to God, which, being works of faith and wrought in Christ, will be...