Martin Luther (1483-1546) was a German monk, priest, professor, theologian, and church reformer whose teachings inspired the Reformation and deeply influenced not only the doctrines and culture of the Lutheran and Protestant traditions but also the course of Western civilization. Gordon Isaac, author of Prayer, Meditation, and Spiritual Trial, writes in his introduction that “the quality of [Luther’s] prose, the power of his expression, and the precision of his translating” all are what make him a theologian to remember and continuously study.
Lucky for you, we’re going to share ten of Luther’s best-loved, most insightful quotes in honor of the rapidly approaching 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation! Soak in Martin Luther’s wise words, friends:
1. “Does it not follow that He is immutably just and merciful? That, as His nature is not changed to all eternity, so neither His justice nor His mercy? And what is said concerning His justice and His mercy, must also be said concerning His knowledge, His wisdom, His goodness, His will, and His other attributes.”
2. “How powerful it is before God that a poor human should speak with high majesty in heaven and not be afraid before him, but know that God smiles on him with a friendly countenance on account of the will of Jesus Christ, his loving son, our Lord and Savior!”
3. “But because he is God, he claims the honor of giving far more abundantly and liberally than anyone can comprehend—like an eternal, inexhaustible fountain which, the more it gushes and overflows, the more it continues to give.”
4. “God is good, but not as a human being is good; from the very bottom of His heart He is inclined to help and do good continually.”
5. “Note the great art and wisdom of faith. It does not run to and fro in the face of trouble. It does not cry on everybody’s shoulder, nor does it curse and scold its enemies….Faith does not despair of the God who sends trouble. Faith does not consider him angry or an enemy, as the flesh, the world, and the devil strongly suggest. Faith rises above all this and sees God’s fatherly heart behind His unfriendly exterior. Faith sees the sun shining through these thick, dark clouds and this gloomy weather. Faith has the courage to call with confidence to him who smites it and looks at it with such a sour face.”
6. “Regardless of the inequalities among us, He is the one and equal God of us all, who wants to be honored, called on, and prayed to by all.”
7. “When we acknowledge our sin, we hear the grace of Christ.”
8. “No matter how great and terrible the cries are that the Law, sin, and the devil let loose against us, even though they seem to fill heaven and earth and to overcome the sighs of our hearts completely, still they cannot do us any harm. For the more these enemies press in upon us, accusing and vexing us with their cries, the more we, sighing, take hold of Christ; with heart and lips we call upon Him, cling to Him, and believe that He was born under the Law for us, in order that He might redeem us from the curse of the Law and destroy sin and death. When we have taken hold of Christ by faith this way, we cry through Him: ‘Abba! Father!’ And this cry of ours far exceeds the cry of the devil.”
9. “Our Lord Jesus Christ is the valiant man who fights for us, conquers for us, triumphs for us.”
10. “For Christ is nothing other than sheer life, as his saints are likewise. The more profoundly you impress that image upon your heart and gaze upon it, the more the image of death will pale and vanish of itself without struggle or battle.”
Celebrate this momentous year with the following books and Bibles written by or about the noted theologians whose works inspired a movement that changed the church forever.