Martin Luther

Essay by btrz_High School, 11th grade April 2014

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Martin Luther was born at Eiselben in 1483 to Hans and Margaretha Luder. He is one of the most influential people during the 1500 who challenged the authority of the Catholic Church by directly challenging its teaching. He created a movement away from the corrupted strictness of Catholic teaching and from the idea that communion with God required the negotiation of the papacy and the religious structure of a Church. With the posting of the 95 theses was that he disagreed with the selling of indulgences certificates 'guaranteeing' a certain amount of time off 'purgatory' for a deceased person which were sold to the poor. He translated the Bible into German that was only written in Latin. This was the first time anyone tried to make the words of the Bible available for anyone to read in their own native language. Luther struggled with the Roman Catholic Church's demands that one could only earn favour with God through good works.

Through his in-depth study of the Scriptures, he reached the realisation that salvation is a gift of God's grace, received by faith alone and by trust in Christ's death on the cross as the only means to that salvation. Salvation is not from good works, but a free gift of God, received only by grace through faith in Jesus as redeemer from sin. His theology challenged the authority of the pope of the Roman Catholic Church by teaching that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge and opposed sacerdotalism by considering all baptized Christians to be a holy priesthood. Luther's action brought about religious freedom and social change.