Overview of Martin Luther’s Christian Liberty Essay
Overview of Martin Luther’s Christian Liberty
Martin Luther’s pamphlet, Christian Liberty, describes his feelings towards the Church. He did not agree with what the Church did. For example, the church had too many restrictions. Meaning that you could not practice another religion. Also, the Church had indulgences, which are supposed to be where if someone sinned, they would go to the church and pray, and have the church forgive you. But the idea of indulgences to the Catholic Church was if you sinned, then you were to pay a certain amount of money and then your sin would have been forgotten. Luther thought the Church should be about faith, not all about power and money.
In the pamphlet, Luther believes that faith nurtures the body and soul. He believed that the Church did not believe in that. Luther eventually broke away from the Church for several reasons. Some reasons were how the Church made people pay for their indulgences, how that they had too many restrictions, and how the Church had so much power and how they abused it. Luther stated in his pamphlet, “From this anyone can clearly see how a Christian is free from all things and over all things so that he needs no works to make him righteous and save him, since faith alone abundantly confers all these things.”
Luther in this sentence is saying how things such as indulgences are not needed to make him a better Christian, but if a man has enough faith, it alone will do the job. Luther also states that for preachers not to preach only about repentance, but also about the faith of the religion. The criticism that Luther has towards the preachers was that they abused authority that they don’t preach commandments and promises, and they don’t work solely out of serving one’s neighbor; they do it seeking their own profit. Luther was also angry with priests who use the word of Christ to make people dislike Jews. He believes that they should pray for the people and teach the people by example.
Martin Luther’s solutions took the middle course and faced up too how, “They want to show that they are free men and Christians only by despising and finding fault with ceremonies”. What Luther meant by this was that the religious ceremonies done was not how they used to be; now they entail only the power that the Church has among the people. Luther believed that you should join a church and do as they say not to gain righteousness, but out of respect for them. He said this by, “I will fast, pray, do this and that as men command, not because it is necessary to my righteousness or salvation; but that I may show due respect to the pope, the bishop, the community, a magistrate, or my neighbor.”
Martin Luther believed of three powers or benefits of faith. One was that Christians are free from the land. If we honor God, he will honor us. He will see us as righteous and truthful people. Faith writes the soul with Christ. Christian soul therefore has all the good characteristics of Christ. Also Luther believes that faith gives us freedom. He states this by writing, “It is clear, then, that a Christian has all he needs in faith and needs no works to justify him; and if he needs no need of works, he has no need of the law; and if he has no need of the law, surely he is free from the law.”
Since we are not perfect on earth, works help keep us moving towards our goal of perfection. Do works freely, only to please God. This is said by, “however, we are not wholly recreated, and our faith and love are not yet perfect, these are to be increased, not by external works, however but of themselves”. Through work, think only to benefit others. Faith is active through love. Luther stated this by, “we should devote all our works to the welfare of others.”
“But works, being inanimate things, cannot glorify God, although they can, if faith is present, be done to the glory of God.” What Luther is stating here is if you have enough faith, then you can make the presence of God true. Because works don’t lead to righteousness, but with faith works can be done to the glory of God.