Essay on Novel: Martin Luther

Submitted By captainxawesome
Words: 377
Pages: 2

"Martin, do you or do you not repudiate these books and the falsehoods they contain?" The question posed by the papal legate required an answer. The place was the Diet of Worms. The time was April 1521. The person standing before the papal legate and the assembled leaders of the Holy Roman Empire was a friar named Martin Luther. How would Luther answer the legate's question? Luther's answer was based upon his life-long focus upon one subject - the quest for personal salvation. As a devout Catholic, Luther focused upon good works and faith as the twin paths to salvation. For example, Luther made a pilgrimage to Rome. He visited the holy sites, venerated the sacred relics and piously attended mass in Old Saint Peter's Cathedral.

Despite this effort, Luther returned to his home in Germany spiritually unsatisfied. Something was missing. But what had he missed and why was he spiritually unsatisfied? Deperate to find an answer, Luther turned to the epistles of Saint Paul. He carefully scrutinized each of Paul's letters. Then late one night he read a phrase that answered all of his questions: "He who is righteous through faith shall live." This was Luther's great moment of discovery. He suddenly realized that faith and faith alone was necessary for salvation. Faith was a gift freely given by God. Good works were what good people did but they were not necessary for salvation.

Luther's discovery soon reverberated throughout Christendom. Luther challenged the sale of