Martin Luther (1483–1546) was a German theologian, an Augustinian monk, and an ecclesiastical reformer whose teachings inspired the Reformation and deeply influenced the doctrines and culture of both the Lutheran and Protestant traditions. Luther’s contributions to Western civilization went beyond the life of the Christian Church. Luther’s translations of the Bible helped to develop a standard version of the German language and added several principles to the art of translation. Luther’s hymns inspired the development of congregational singing in Christianity. His marriage to Katharina von Bora began a movement of clerical marriage within many Christian traditions.
BY MARTIN LUTHER
Faith is here set forth in that this man, sick with the dropsy, looks to Christ and firmly believes he will help him. This faith he had as the result of his previous acquaintance with Jesus. He knows him as a kind, friendly and sympathetic man who always helps everyone and lets none go away uncomforted.
You say: Since forgiveness depends on faith alone, why must one nonetheless do good works? Answer: If faith is of the true sort, it cannot be without good works, just as no good work can be where unbelief dwells.
When it comes to the knowledge of how one may stand before God and attain eternal life, that is truly not to be achieved by our work or power, nor to originate in our brain.
BY MARTIN LUTHER
Now how is God our heavenly Father merciful? In that he gives us all things, natural and spiritual, temporal and eternal, gratuitously and out of pure goodness. For should he give to us out of and according to our merits, he would have to give us only hell-fire and eternal condemnation.
The terms of grace and peace are common terms with Paul and are now pretty well understood. But since we are explaining this epistle, you will not mind if we repeat what we have so often explained elsewhere.
These words show and contain in brief what the kingdom of Christ is, namely, this sweet voice, these motherly and fatherly words penetrating our inmost soul: "Your sins are forgiven."
You have often heard that we need not do good works to God, but to our neighbor. We cannot make God stronger nor richer by our works, but we can make our neighbor stronger and richer with them; he is in need of them, and hence they should be directed to him and not to God.
“Son, be of good cheer; thy sins are forgiven."
These words show and contain in brief what the kingdom of Christ is, namely, this sweet voice, these motherly and fatherly words penetrating our inmost soul: "Thy sins are forgiven."
Christ assumed the form of a servant, even while remaining God and having the form of God; he was God, and his divine words and works were spoken and wrought for our benefit.
Naturally each individual forgets the beam in his own eye and perceives only the mote in his neighbor’s. One will not bear with the faults of the other; each requires perfection of his fellow.