Martin Luther

1483 - 1546

Luther was born in Eislebin, Germany on November 10, 1483 into a religiously conservative peasant family. His father was a minor, but by the time Martin was a teenager he had acquired several smelting furnaces and they had become part of the town's elite. Apparently the relationships in the family were rather cold. Luther attended the university in Erfurt where he showed much promise as a debater and public speaker. His father expected him to become a jurist, make a prosperous marriage, and support his parents in their old age. But that just was not to be.

In July of 1505 Luther was traveling down a parched road when suddenly a thunderstorm came up and a bolt of lightening struck him and knocked him to the ground. He was terrified and cried out to St. Anne, "If you help me, I will become a monk."

Well he lived to tell about it and later that year he entered the monastery of the Augustinian Hermits at Erfurt. His father was horrified.

Luther applied his brilliant mind to the study of theology and by 1509 was lecturing to new monks.

On a mission to Rome in 1510, he was appalled by the corruption, in particular the sale of indulgences—sins washed away by money rather than by the blood of Christ. Buyers were assured that "as soon as the coin the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs."

In 1511, Luther was appointed professor of theology and philosophy at the University at Wittenberg. While lecturing in 1512 on Paul's letter to the Romans, he came to a new understanding of the righteousness of God. Man can be justified only through faith, by the merit and work of Christ alone.

On October 31, 1517, he posted his treatise, Ninety-Five Theses, on the door of the Wittenberg Castle church, condemning indulgences, questioning the authority of the pope, and putting himself in direct opposition to the Catholic Church. He was excommunicated in 1520.

In 1525 Luther married Katharina von Bora, a nun who had left her convent. Their home was always open to visitors--a place of affection and godliness, unlike the home of his youth.

Martin Luther went to be with the Lord in 1546, having done the work of five men as they say...meaning Luther left behind a legacy in his translation of the Bible, a prayer book, the catechism, his style of preaching and even the many hymns that he wrote. In England, Bible translation was the work of Tyndale, the prayer book of Cranmer, the catechism of the Westminster divines, the sermon style came from Latimer and the hymnbook was the work of Watts.

The man who called upon a saint was later to repudiate saints. Vowing to become a monk, he would later to renounce monasticism. Loyal to the Catholic Church, he would shatter the structure of medieval Catholicism. A devoted servant of the pope, he would identify the popes with the antichrist. And he would go on to become the father of the Reformation.

This year, forget Halloween - celebrate Reformation Day instead! And what better way than by getting to know Martin Luther.

Background music: Our Father, Thou In Heaven Above. Lyrics by Martin Luther. Score by Luther, too, well--okay it's been jazzed up a little bit...

Here I Stand: A Life Of Martin Luther by Roland Herbert Bainton. The is the authoritative biography of Martin Luther. Bainton paints a vivid portrait of the man who changed the world through the Protestant Reformation, beginning in his childhood, through his spiritual struggles as a monk to his stand before the Diet of Worms and beyond. Luther's Ninety-Five Theses.If you have never read these before you should either get your own copy of the infamous Ninety-five Theses by clicking on the book cover or read the public domain version we have available online by clicking here . Luther nailed them to the door of the Castle church to spark debate but they lit the fire of the Protestant Reformation!

On Christian Liberty; This concise classic sums up the teachings of Luther giving insight into the grace of God and liberating faith in Jesus Christ. The essense of the Reformation distilled into a practical guide for biblical living! Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings; John Dillenberger (Editor). If you have never read Luther before, this would make a great introduction for you, covering various aspects of Luther's thought, his theology and the Reformation - this is a representative array from Luther's extensive writings - many with the fiery language Luther is famous for.

The Bondage Of The Will by Martin Luther. J. I. Packer and O. R. Johnston, the translators, set the historical scene. Then the debate begins. Luther (God's will) v. Erasmus (man's supposedly free will). Luther logically, yet passionately blows away the myth that man has a free will in his witty style, taking some shots at Erasmus as he goes. Luther thought this was his best work. Commentary On Galatians, Modern English Version by Martin Luther; D. Stuart Briscoe (Translator). This commentary and Luther's Commentary on Romans were both taken from his lectures to his students after he came to his new understanding of the gospel - that justification is by faith alone. You can also study this document online by clicking here .

Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings; This is a great one volume compilation of Luther's writings - the gold standard, the one used in seminaries and colleges. It offters not only all of Luther's most noted writings in the modern translations, but also includes excerpts from his sermons and letters, shedding light on his personal religious and theological development. Faith Alone: A Daily Devotional by Martin Luther, James C. Galvin, Editor. Freshly translated from the original German into today’s English, this book contains a treasury of devotionals taken from Luther’s writings and sermons (1513 to 1546), conveniently divided into daily readings to point readers to the Bible and a deeper understanding of faith.

Luther in Cyberspace

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Table Talk The Small Catechism The Larger Catechism The Sermons Of Martin Luther
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Other Authors

| MacArthur | Pink | Spurgeon | Packer | Bullinger |
| Stott | Lewis | Edersheim | Sproul | Bunyan |