Throughout history, God has chosen unlikely and unsuspecting people to do his work. Martin Luther is one such hero: God has used him to restore Biblical Christianity to Europe at a time when the Church is in a very bad condition. His teachings have changed the world, but that has not been his original intention! Through simply reading the Bible and applying what it says, Luther has turned the world upside down.
At the age of 22, Luther was a frightened young man. He had one fear, and it dominated his entire life. Luther feared God. This was not simply a reverent fear of a Holy God; it was a desperate, miserable, unrelenting terror: he was petrified of God. Luther lived at a time when the Roman Catholic Church dominated Europe and taught very little on the concept of God as love, and a lot on how angry God was with mankind, and how difficult it was to please Him.
Luther had tried everything to make God happy, and nothing seemed to work. He served as a monk, he prayed, he fasted, he abstained from every kind of pleasure, he physically beat himself to get rid of every trace of sin, but he never experienced the peace he was trying to find. What was he doing wrong?
Years passed, and no solution came. Luther worked at the University of Wittenberg as doctor of philosophy and professor of biblical studies. It was here that his great revelation came. When he studied the apostle Paul's letter to the Romans, Luther finally discovered how to please God: "For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: 'The righteous will live by faith.' " (Romans 1:17) This...