Saturday, March 26, 2011
Once again I'm going to draw on my religion class for a topic today. We've been reading The Freedom of a Christian by Martin Luther. It's quite interesting to learn how he came about some of the ideas that sparked the creation of the Lutheran church. At the time of Luther, the Catholic church was very powerful. For example, the Bible was not available for reading by the common person, leaving it up to the priests to present their interpretations to the people. The church also was really big into the selling of indulgences, which they claimed could help save you from purgatory. Luther really didn't agree with some of these practices, which sparked his writings and later the reformation.
One of the most interesting claims he made was that a Christian is perfectly free, subject to none, and also a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all. This sounds incredibly impossible, until you realize Luther was writing about first the soul and then the body. While the church claimed that works were important in your salvation (the indulgences the church sold could take the place of works), Luther realized that the only way to salvation was through faith, a radical stance at the time.
8 "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
This verse really sums up what Luther was trying to get across, and it's a good reminder for us, too. It doesn't mean that doing good works is bad - it's actually highly encouraged in many many parts of the Bible - but we need to remember that those actions can't save us, we need to continue to grow in our relationship with God.
Posted by MattHaugen at 7:48 PM