The Legacy Of Martin Luther

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Introduction

Martin Luther grew up in a home with very strict parents. As a result, Luther’s childhood was plagued with anxiety at home and at school. Because his father planned for him to become a lawyer, shortly after receiving a Master of Arts degree from Erfurt University he returned to the university to study law. Consequently, after a life threatening experience in a storm, Luther left the university and joined a monastery. In 1505, Luther became an Augustinian monk and subsequently became a priest in 1507. According to John Dillenberger, “Luther was extremely sensitive to the problem of how to become worthy to receive the grace of God rather than the damning consequences of His righteousness”.
Initially, Luther was at
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However, through studying and, meditating he gained a new understanding of the phrase. Dillenberger noted that because of Luther’s new understanding “his eyes were opened to the center of the Gospel”. Luther’s new understanding gave him peace and helped him understand his worth to God.
Luther’s View of God’s Righteousness
Prior to his new understanding of God’s righteousness Luther hated God because he did not know the love of God, he only knew the judging angry God. Luther did not understand how an angry God could be righteous. Consequently, Luther had been taught that, “God is righteous and punishes the unrighteous sinner”. As a result, he believed there was no way for sinners to be justified by God. Luther felt crushed by the Mosaic Law and threatened with God’s righteousness and wrath by the gospel. However, through his studies and meditations Luther came to understand the true meaning of the phrase “righteousness of God”. He described his new understanding to be “the righteousness of God is that by which the righteous lives by a gift of God, namely by faith.” In other words, the righteousness of God is a gift from God to those who live by faith. Accordingly, Luther felt born again. He found a new relationship with God and the Scriptures. In the light of his new views, Luther was conflicted by the Roman Catholic Church teachings on penance and righteousness. As a result, Luther developed his own doctrine of justification based on
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