On 25 May, Emperor Charles V
declared Luther to be an outlaw who
could be killed by anyone without
punishment. To protect him, his friends
‘kidnapped’ him and secreted him in
Wartburg Castle for 10 months. Here
he translated the entire New Testament
into vernacular German7—in only
In 1529, six princes and leaders of 14
Imperial Free Cities petitioned against
this ban in the ‘Protestation at Speyer’.
After this Protestation, followers
of the Reformation became known
Luther vs monastic
Luther also wrote an essay against
monastic vows, 8 that they were not
instituted by Christ and had no scriptural basis, so were futile in attaining
justification or assurance of salvation.
They put trust in works in place of faith
in Christ alone, and they established a
hierarchy of clergy separate from laity.
Luther believed all true Christians were
entitled to come to God through Christ,
without other priestly mediation (cf. 1
Timothy 2: 5).
In 1525, he married ex-nun
Katharina von Bora, with whom he had
six children, four of whom survived to
adulthood. Katharina was also a source
of great support to him in his later years
coping with various illnesses. In 1534,
he completed his German translation
of the whole Bible. Of the many hymns
he wrote, the best known is A Mighty
Fortress Is Our God (German: Ein feste
Burg ist unser Gott). He died in 1546 at
the age of 62.
Three major issues form the basis
of the Reformation, and hence of
1. Salvation is gained by God’s
grace alone (sola gratia)
through faith alone (sola
fides—Romans 11: 6). 9
2. The Bible is the sole infallible
and sufficient authority in
all matters of faith, life, and
conduct (sola scriptura, i.e.
Scripture alone), to which all
teachings and traditions of the
church are totally subordinate
( 2 Timothy 3: 16–17).
3. All believers are priests
and have direct access
to God through Christ
alone (1 Timothy 2: 5),
without the necessity for
any earthly mediator
(Hebrews 10: 12–14). 10
These principles give to those who will
1. The complete forgiveness
of sins here and now
(Romans 5: 8–9).
2. The absolute assurance of
eternal life (1 John 5: 11–13).
3. Union with Christ, so
that God imputes Christ’s
perfect righteousness to us
( 2 Corinthians 5: 21).
Luther on trial at Worms by Anton von Werner, 1877.
CREATION.com 54 Creation 39( 3) 2017