Do you know the significance of a man named Martin Luther?
If the first thing that comes to mind is the “I Have a Dream” speech, you’re thinking of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
That’s a common mistake. Martin Luther isn’t exactly a household name to some, but he is an influential figure in world history. In fact, some say he’s as historically relevant as Abraham Lincoln or Julius Caesar. Yet, most Christians know very little about him – or nothing at all.
Martin Luther began the Protestant Reformation, which helped put the Bible in the hands of common people, impacted the way we read Scripture, changed the structure of our church services, refined the Church’s view of marriage, and informed believers about how to practice their faith in relation to politics.
This month commemorates the 500th anniversary of Reformation Day – the day that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the door of the Wittenberg Church in Germany. For those of us who are Protestants, that moment revolutionized forever what it means to be a follower of Christ and to live that faith out in culture.
Many of the freedoms within Christianity we enjoy today are a direct result of Luther’s life passion to see corruption removed from the church and to teach people sola fide, that our redemption is based only in faith in Christ.
Martin Luther is a powerful reminder of what can happen when we devote our lives to God and become open to His leading. Not because Luther was a “super-saint.” To the contrary, it was his deep sense of inadequacy before God that drove him to despair and eventually opened his heart to the truth of Christ’s complete work on the cross on his behalf – and on your and my behalf, too.
On the Focus on the Family Broadcast “How Martin Luther Changed the World” we’re revisiting the rich history of Martin Luther with one of my favorite biographers, Eric Metaxas. He’s one of the most knowledgeable guys I know on this subject and brings Luther’s story to life in a way few can.