Martin Luther and the Reformation

Recently, I ran into a pickle when I was replacing a board on our new wood floors. I’m a handy person and didn’t think this project would be much of an issue. BUT here is where I went very wrong…the board was in the middle of our kitchen and my theory of getting it out failed epically. Removing one more board lead to another and to another and then another. A 30-minute fixed turned into a good chunk of my date redoing the floors that I had just done a month or so before. This ended out working for the best because I was able to fix a few other boards that had some damage too, but at the time this was deeply frustrating as this project should have only taken half an hour, not the whole morning and part of the afternoon.

Martin Luther, was a Catholic monk who saw an issue with the Catholic church, and spoke out against it. This lead to much more than he could have imagined. Luther did not set out to create a new denomination or create such upheaval. As Luther was studying in the monastery and reading scripture he came across Ephesians 2:8-10:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.”

This was weighing on him, and then the selling of indulgences pushed him to send a letter to the Pope. Indulgences were pieces of paper people could buy to get loved ones into heaven from purgatory. Purgatory was like a waiting room where you think about your sins and seek forgiveness. People were buying these in droves, while the Catholic church was building a new church.

As Luther was speaking out against the church, he lost many friends and faced much judgment from peers in the church. Ultimately leading to him being kicked out of the church. During this time there were also many other reformers speaking out against the church and gaining followers which lead to the creation of many of the denominations we have today.

Luther was a normal person, he had doubts and depression. He faced judgment form many for the good work that he was doing.

This is a very brief overview of the life of Luther the Reformation, but it helps us to see a little of where we came from and also helps us to see how God used Martin Luther despite his humanness.

Discussion Questions:

  • What is something that seems easy to fix? How would you fix it?
  •  What do you think about what Luther did?
  •  How does what Luther did shape how you view what we believe?
  • What do you see in our society you want to speak out about?

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