Faith and Salvation

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Faith and Salvation

Far from wanting to be a public revolutionary figure, Martin Luther's actions were primarily dictated by a very personal preoccupation with matters of faith and salvation. Luther devoted his life completely to God and to making sure that he and those around him were worthy of passage to Heaven in the afterlife. Luther became a monk, which he felt would carry him down the path to salvation. He believed the Catholic faith to be corrupt and evil, and vowed to renounce it in order to save himself and his followers from everlasting doom. Lastly, he started his own pure faith, which drew only on the word of God, and denounced his newly reformed churches from allowing their leaders to gain too much power, for he believed that power corrupts. He never meant for his actions to lead to a worldwide split in the Christian faith, but he believed in the word of God above all else, and wanted to spread it everywhere.

Martin Luther (1483-1546) grew up in fear of the church, like many others at the time. From an early age, he was taught that "only the righteous could expect to save their souls and win a place in paradise" (Ricker 49). He was born to a very poor family, but his father was a very hard worker. He eventually saved up enough money to get the family out of poverty, and somewhat into the middle class. This allowed him to send Luther to school, and later to law school. All his father's dreams about Martin becoming a lawyer were about to come true when one day "the sky blackened, claps of thunder echoed all around and flashes of lightning seemed to set the heavens afire" (Ricker 47). Luther thought this to be a warning from...