Pastors Blog

Pastor Paul Schwartzkopf
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Ancient writings, applicable inspiration

Exploring Martin Luther's writings in the 500th year of Reformation

Martin Luther and the Lutheran Reformation have had such influence throughout the world that during this 500th year, we can benefit by reviewing Luther’s writings. Martin Luther was this planet’s first bestselling author. One of his bestsellers was The Freedom of a Christian written in 1520 and published in 30 editions by 1526. His twin themes – that always go together – were: A Christian is a totally free lord of all and subject to none. A Christian is a totally dutiful servant of all, subject to all.

In this freedom that is given to those who trust the forgiveness of their sin for Christ’s sake, the Christian is free to serve others even as Christ Jesus has served us all.

Martin Luther wrote a lot about government. He urged the ruling nobility to establish public schools in every town so that both the boys and girls could be taught in both German and Latin, thus creating well educated citizens who would serve productively in the land. He urged Christian rulers to provide for the poor and the weak in their lands because the rich and the powerful would take care of themselves and not need assistance. He urged groups of people to raise money to feed the hungry and help the needy.

Martin Luther developed a tremendous wit and sense of humor as a direct result of his faith in Christ. His sense of humor and his witticisms grew after he came to realize that he and others are saved in this life and in the life of the coming kingdom of God by God’s grace through faith for Christ’s sake. As a young lecturer at Wittenberg University, he told his students that on his trip to Rome and back he saw (and paid to see) enough nails that had been certified by Church authorities to be the authentic 3 nails that were used to hold Jesus on the cross that Luther could shoe half the horses in Saxony with them.

Later in his life, he anonymously wrote a pamphlet that announced some newly found relics would be displayed with a special indulgence from the Pope. One half of the money paid by people to view these new relics would be used to provide wrappings for the old relics so that they would not freeze. Among these new relics were three flames from the burning bush that Moses saw on Mt. Sinai and two feathers and an egg from the Holy Spirit. After the pamphlet had circulated widely, Luther identified himself as the author.

The more I learn about him, the more I appreciate him. Some of his writings are so appropriate for our time and place in history, that they read as if they were written yesterday.

Yours in Peace,
Pastor Paul 

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