What characteristic of Martin Luther made him effective as God’s instrument to reform the church?

Posted By on December 9, 2019


SPROUL: He was a beggar who found where he
could get bread. And told everybody who would listen to him. I think that the biggest thing that I… how
can a guy stand against the whole world like he did? And the only way to understand that is you
have to get back into his personal struggle with his lack of assurance of salvation with
his violent search for justification in the presence of a Holy God, and visit with him
in his utter despair. See, Luther understood who Luther was. And that’s our problem. We don’t understand who God is, and we don’t
understand who we are. It’s like Isaiah in chapter 6, when he saw
the Lord, “I am lifted up.” He’s all of a sudden, says, “Whoa, wait a
minute. Woe is me. I’ve got a dirty mouth, and I’m not alone. I live with a whole people of unclean lips.” So, that was an awakening, in his sin. You didn’t have to teach Luther that he was
a sinner. He was a brilliant student of jurisprudence,
of the law. He read the law of God. He examined himself in the light of the law
of God, and he was helpless to save himself. And when he tasted the Gospel, his soul was
set on fire. And he said, “I’m not going to give this up
for anybody in the whole world. I have tasted the fruit of the Gospel. And if all of the devils in Hell oppose me,
I will say to them, ‘Here I stand.'” THOMAS: He was passionate. And he was passionate about the Gospel. He was passionate about people. He was passionate about life. He was passionate about enjoying life. You know the question I want you to ask is
who would you like to go out and have lunch with, Calvin or Luther? And I really do want to go and have lunch
with Calvin because I studied Calvin at some level and I owe him. And when I see him in Heaven, I’m going to
have to say, you know, “You occupied ten years of my life, and I really have a bunch of questions.” But I really want to have lunch with Luther because I think that will be way more fun. FERGUSON: And a lot less healthy LARSON: Others of you? What do you appreciate about Luther? NICHOLS: I think it’s his courage, and his
boldness. We were talking about this just before we
came out here. With Luther and his debate with Erasmus. To be a real Christian, you make assertions. And Luther recognized that Christianity is
about assertions. And those assertions need to be made. His boldness did not spring from his own intellect
or from his own abilities. It sprung from the idea that he was standing
on what God had declared. But there was a boldness and a courage to
Luther and God used it. SPROUL: Doesn’t take any courage to do what
you’re not afraid to do. So the one necessary ingredient for courage
is fear. And, in one sense, Luther was a terrified
man. And that’s why I love his courage like you
do. That in spite of his fears, you know. “His rage we can endure, for love is doom
for sure,” you know. “Prince of darkness grim we tremble not for
him.” Well, he did tremble. He was scared to death of the world, the flesh
and the Devil. But he held on to the Gospel and found his
courage there.

Posted by Lewis Heart

This article has 5 comments

  1. I am always amazed by Dr. Sproul’s insight understanding of the heart of the Reformation. Hope to have lunch with him in heaven.

    Reply
  2. Completely agree with you RC, Luther's intense wrestling with the scriptures is what set his trajectory to be an instrument wielded by our Mighty God.

    Reply

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