The Original Ranting Reformer

The painting above is of Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms in 1521, where he was summoned by the Emperor to recant of his teachings, which were antithetical to that of the Roman Catholic Church. Luther refused, holding firm to his convictions for the gospel of Jesus Christ. When asked for the final time to recant of his teachings, he replied . . .

“Unless I am convicted of error … by the Scriptures to which I have appealed, and my conscience is taken captive by God’s Word, I cannot and will not recant of anything, for to act against our conscience is neither safe for us, nor open to us. Here I stand. I can do no other. May God help me! Amen.”

Luther, as all the Reformers, ardently held firm to the Bible’s express teaching that salvation is through faith alone, by grace alone, and in Christ alone. And it is the Word of God, not the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, we are to hold up as our only infallible spiritual authority, for it was “breathed out by God and [is] profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Furthermore, the Scriptures are not only for a select few in the clergy; rather, they are to be given and shared with every person, from every walk and manner of life, in which he or she can come to a saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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