Skip to main content

In Honor of Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation

By Angela Wittman

“Your Imperial Majesty and Your Lordships demand a simple answer. Here it is, plain and unvarnished. Unless I am convicted [convinced] of error by the testimony of Scripture or (since I put no trust in the unsupported authority of Pope or councils, since it is plain that they have often erred and often contradicted themselves) by manifest reasoning, I stand convicted [convinced] by the Scriptures to which I have appealed, and my conscience is taken captive by God's word, I cannot and will not recant anything, for to act against our conscience is neither safe for us, nor open to us.

"On this I take my stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen."
~ Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms, April 17, 1521.
(Source: Martin Luther: Excerpts from his account of the confrontation at the Diet of Worms)

Martin Luther's nailing of the 95 Theses to the All Saints Church door at Wittenberg on October 31, 1517 has long been said to be the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.

In honor of the Reformation, I think it is imperative that we take some time to reflect upon and honor Martin Luther's contribution to our Christian heritage.

Here is a brief biography and time line found at Protestant Reformation - Martin Luther facts:

Brief Biography

  • German Priest known as the Reformer

  • Biblical Scholar

  • Linguist

  • Son of a miner

  • Attended the University of Erfurt

  • Translated the Bible into the Vernacular German

  • Prolific writer

  • Works include commentaries, polemical and practical devotional works

  • Considered a heretic by the Catholic World


  • born November 10, 1483 Eisleben Saxony

  • In 1506, Joined Monastic Order of St. Augustine

  • In 1507, ordained priest

  • From 1508-1546, taught at the University of Wittenberg

  • In 1512, received doctorate in Theology

  • 1511, began preaching sermons in monastery

  • 1514, became preacher of Parish church

  • 1515, became Vicar over 11 other houses

  • 1515-1516, personal discovery of the doctrine of justification by faith alone

  • October 31, 1517, Nailed the 95 theses to the door of All Saints Church in Wittenberg

  • Died February 18, 1546

In the book A History of the Reformation in the 16th Century by Dr. C. Matthew McMahon we are told of the early years of Martin Luther as being rather harsh, but also as having parents who wanted their son educated and trained in godliness:
Martin Luther was born in 1483, the son of a poor woodcutter and miner. His parents (John and Margaret) named him Martin since he was born on November 10th, the eve of St. Martin’s Day. As soon as Martin was old enough, his parents desired to raise him up in the fear of the Lord and in the admonition of Christian virtue. This entailed beating him occasionally to the point of blood believing they were helping him, though later, we find this reflected in God as cruel and unloving to the cloister monk. His father had not been trained in school, and so desired this for his son, ultimately sending him off to become a lawyer.

At school Martin met with flogging as at home, but he also met with learning. He was taught the Catechism, the Creed, the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, hymns, and a Latin grammar. However, these did not help him to find the loving Christ, but seared the brand of a God of judgment upon his mind and heart. Since John Luther desired Martin to become a scholar, after his basic schooling he sent him to the Franciscan school at Magdeberg. He had to beg for his food, and sat timidly before his master-teachers each day for instruction. He was only fourteen years old.
(Source: History Of The Reformation Of The Sixteenth Century: Book 2, Chapter 1, Dr. C. Matthew McMahon)

While Martin Luther's father wanted him to become a lawyer, Martin eventually left law school and entered the Augustinian Monastery in Erfurt to become a monk instead. One can certainly see the providential hand of God throughout this heroic man's life.

Dr. McMahon goes on to write in chapter three:
As Luther entered the monastery there were adverse reactions from his friends and especially his father. His friends thought he was entering a “life” that was “partially dead” in its denial of so much, and that a genius such as Luther ought not to kill himself in this way so early on. His father was furious since he had spent so much hope on him having the schooling and making something of himself that he had not obtained in his own youth.

The monks received him with joy, but they put him to work in order to humble him. He was tried in many small things, and was cast under a sever apprenticeship of monkery. He would fast, beg for money and food with his order, read the Word for days on end, and began to learn the original languages while here. He continued to study Augustine, Biel and Peter d’Ailly. His food consisted mostly of herring and bread, and became one of the most dedicated and “pious monks” of Rome.

He was reminded by the monks to work righteously before God. But what righteous acts would his sinful heart offer up to God to be accepted? In response, he became dejected to the point that the other monks disliked his company. Luther’s “tender conscience” regarded the “slightest fault as a great sin.” The music of his friends sometimes pulled him slowly out of his depressed fits, but it was not enough to clear his conscience completely from the faults he saw looming over him and before the face of God.

We are told in chapter five that when Martin Luther was sent to the University of Wittenberg, "it ultimately was the breeding ground for the Reformation through Luther’s preaching, teaching and writing." And it eventually led to his nailing the Ninety-Five Theses to the church door and the subsequent confrontation with the Catholic Church over the sale of indulgences.

The story of Martin Luther's conversion to Christ is fascinating and his boldness in confronting the error of his day can only be attributed to the Holy Spirit of God.

During this season of celebrating and remembering the Reformation, I pray you'll be blessed by learning more about Martin Luther and the Mighty God he served.

Additional Resources:

Originally published 10/30/2011


Post a Comment

Please feel free to comment, but profanity, anti-Christian or argumentative comments will not be published. Thank you, ed.

Featured Posts

How abandoning Sola Scriptura shipwrecks your faith

By Amy Spreeman - Posted at Berean Research:

What is the difference between the spiritual transformation that happens through the Holy Spirit, and the Spiritual Formation movement that swept through our churches a few years ago?

The difference is night and day. I remember talking about this with the late Ken Silva in 2012. He helped me understand that the Spiritual Formation movement provided the platform and a channel through which mystical practices began entering many different evangelical and traditional denominations.

Unfortunately, this type of experience has moved many believers into an unbiblical, mystical form of Christianity. It’s based on the premise that if we do certain meditative practices and ancient rituals, we can be more like Jesus and find God within ourselves.
Continue reading...

See also:
What is the spiritual formation movement? - Got Questions?What Is Spiritual Formation and Why Does It Matter? - GTYJohn MacArthur on Spiritual Formation and Biblical Sanctification - …

Ontario, Canada: 'Judge Rules in Favor of Christian Couple Who Lost Foster Children for Refusing to Lie About Easter Bunny'

By Heather Clark - Posted at Christian News Network:

ONTARIO — A Superior Court judge in Canada has ruled in favor of a Christian couple who lost their foster children, and were prevented from caring for other children, after refusing to lie by claiming that the Easter Bunny was delivering candy to their home.

Derek and Frances Baars are Reformed Presbyterians and began fostering two girls, ages three and five, in December 2015. However, shortly after the girls were placed in their home, concerns were raised by the Children’s Aid Society that the couple was not going to play Santa Claus and Easter Bunny with the children.

The Baars, who according to legal documents, do not celebrate Christmas or Easter at all, said that they were willing to buy the girls gifts and give them candy if the biological parents expected them to do so, but would not tell the children that the goodies were from Santa or the Easter Bunny.

Notes had been written in the home study in regard to the couple’s religiou…

Big Brother Is Coming for Your Kids, and He’s Wearing a Dress

By Laurie Higgins - Posted at Americans For Truth About Homosexuality:

You want to know where the “trans” insanity is taking us—I mean, besides co-ed private spaces everywhere, which means no private spaces anywhere?

Look no further than Regulation 225, a proposed amendment to the Delaware school code, which, if passed, will allow students of any age to “self-identify” their “gender or race” at school without their parents’ knowledge if students say their parents would not be “supportive.” Don’t believe me? Read it yourself in Section 7.4 and Sec. 7.4.1:

All students enrolled in a Delaware public school may self-identify gender or race…. A school may request permission from the parent or legal guardian of a minor student before a self-identified gender or race is accepted; provided, however, that prior to requesting the permission from a parent or legal guardian, the school should consult and work closely with the student to assess the degree to which, if any, the parent or legal guardia…

Judgement: The Doctrine Lost to the Modern Pulpit

By Howard Davies - Posted at The Banner of Truth:

In John Bunyan’s book The Pilgrim’s Progress, the story begins with Christian discovering news which causes him great alarm. Clothed in rags and with a burden upon his back, he is distressed to learn from a book he has been reading that the city he lives in is soon to be destroyed by fire from heaven. He tells his wife and children of their terrible danger. They must immediately try to escape.

But the response of his family is to think he has gone mad! As night is coming on they hasten to put him to bed in the hope that he might recover his senses by morning. However, the next day find him even more troubled. He wanders alone in the fields, sighing and reading from the book in his hands. Occasionally he is heard to cry out: ‘What must I do to be saved?’

In days of great spiritual darkness those called by God to preach the gospel have a sobering task. Our present world is still as Bunyan saw it. It is the City of Destruction. Mankind li…

Bible Burning in Southern India Shows Depth of Hostility Toward Christians

Posted at Morning Star News:

Report denotes leap in anti-Christian attacks in 2017.
HYDERABAD, India (Morning Star News) – Hindu extremists in southern India issued harsh threats to Christians distributing Bibles before snatching their car keys, taking Bibles out of their vehicle and setting the Scripture on fire, sources said.
Christians associated with Gideons International, all senior citizens, told Morning Star News that their advanced age did not temper the vitriol they received in Singotam village, Nagar Kurnool District, in Telangana state on Jan. 21.
“From now on, if any of you distribute Bibles, we will attack you brutally [till your genitalia are damaged],” one of the Hindus warned the Christians, according to a video the extremists took of the attack. “How dare you promote Christianity?”
Continue reading...