How did Martin Luther became the Father of Protestant Reformation?

I am a retired pastor of the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India

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1. Martin Luther was a highly educated Monk.

Martin Luther was the most famous man in Christian history. He was from an ordinary peasant family. He was born on November 10th, 1483. His father was able to put him in school. He was well educated, got his master's degree in 1505, when he was 22. Then he studied law but dropped out from law school and became a monk (Catholic). Luther studied philosophy and law, before entering an Augustinian monastery in 1505. He was ordained within two years and celebrated his first Mass on 1507. He continued his theological studies, then he became a professor of biblical studies. As a young monk, Luther longed to see Rome and he visited in 1510. But his trip to Rome, filled him with pain and doubt. Luther had hoped to gain spiritual strength through his visit, but he left Rome with mixed feelings. His journey was a business trip, but his personal involvement was to have opportunities for furthering the cause of salvation for others and for himself. Martin Luther wanted to free his grandfather from purgatory, he scaled the Santa Scala (the 28 holy steps in Rome) on his knees, with the prayer of 'Our Father' on each step; for it was said, one could save a soul by praying this way; in his case, the soul of his grandfather. But, when he had arrived at the top step, skepticism overtook him: and he thought, "Who knows if it is really true or not?"

In 1512, he got Doctor of Theology degree. Then he began to lecture from the book of Psalms, Romans, Galatians, Hebrews, and became famous as a theologian monk. He was raised in status, and he appointed district vicars over ten monasteries. In 1517, he posted the "95 Theses" on indulgences. The theses of Luther were posted by him on the door of a church in Wittenberg, on October 31. It was against the sale of indulgences by the Roman Catholic Church. His "95 Theses" propounded two central beliefs. 1, the Bible is the central religious authority. And 2, humans may reach salvation only by their faith and not by their deeds; he referred their indulgences as their deeds. It sparked the Reformation, which made Protestantism as a branch of Christianity. This reform swept through Europe in the 1500s.

2. Holy Spirit is by Christ; Gifts are by Holy Ghost.

God has created angels and archangels. He created the entire world, and humans by Adam and Eve. They sinned against God and so, God cursed Lucifer to be Satan, cast man and woman to the world, from the garden of God, which is Paradise. However, God made Satan as the prince of this world to rule this world. "John 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out." So, God will cast Satan into hell and into the lake of fire at the end; until then Satan will rule this world. God also allows Satan to be in all worship places, even in churches to receive the worship of people. "2 Thessalonians 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." Satan is the only one who can sit as God, since he is a Spirit, he lives from the beginning to the end, and so on. However, God gives people conscience and nature; by that God reveals himself to them. ["Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:"] So, even though Satan is the god of this world, God will be the eternal righteous judge, and he will judge everyone according to what we have done. The Holy Ghost gives gifts to the world church, even to the rebellious people, and helps the church to grow by the ministry. But Jesus Christ as God, gives his Holy Spirit to the repented people, as a gift to guide them in godly ways to heaven. This group is the Spirit Church, which is known as the body of Christ, and Christ is the head to them. Even though Satan receives worships from the world churches, the Holy Ghost gives them gifts, and governs the maneuvers of the world churches. Jesus Christ is head of the body of Christ, which the Spirit Church, and which we cannot see. So, God inspires both the world churches and the Spirit church.

3. How did Martin Luther develop his doctrines?

Catholic teachers were teaching that the straight way to heaven is to meet God's demands, as in Matthew 5:48 "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." People need to love God and neighbors absolutely as "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself", as in Matthew 22:39 and other verses. They should have unshakable faith of Abraham, who was willing to sacrifice his own son. They teach that it is an impossible demand that nobody can meet. So, God gives an alternative way by his grace, and it is salvation through indulgence. So, the Church ask money to do the indulgence, and people have no other choice, but to pay them for their salvation.

As a monk Martin Luther said that he was submerged in the doctrines of the pope that he could have happily killed rather take away the obedience from him. Then he turned away from it, since he was convinced that human beings were incapable of the selfless acts and states of mind the Scriptures demands. But instead of paying for indulgence, as a theologian scholar, he found another way, by twisting a verse in the scripture. It was his "Reformation Text", Romans 1:17, "For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith." Luther remarked, "I hated that word, "the righteousness of God," by which I had been taught according to the custom and use of all teachers ... [that] God is righteous and punishes the unrighteous sinner." So, by his own admission, Martin Luther hated the righteousness of God. The reason is that young Luther could not live by faith because he was not righteous, and he knew it. He was saying, "It will be the death of me!". That is, he admits that he will not go to heaven by this way. So, what did he do? He soon took advantage of his self-identity as a professor, doctor ecclesiae (teacher of the church), and as an authority in scripture, behind which he often took refuge. So, as an educated man, he purposely and knowingly went against scriptures, thinking that obeying God is impossible. So, his twisting scriptures is purposely done, and he justified it. Every theologian does the same; and so, they will never go to heaven. Anyhow, the world churches are by theologians, and the Spirit Church is under Lord Jesus Christ.

4. Luther, Theologian and National Revolutionist.

Martin Luther began the revolution in his theological thinking in the professorís lecture hall and study. Luther began by misinterpreting the righteousness of God in his own way, and then extended this interpretation to the central issues in Christian theology. His "95 Theses" were translated into the common language and spread across Germany within two weeks. Luther declared that "a simple layman armed with the Scriptures" was superior to both pope and the councils. This was extremely revolutionary teaching. Luther openly burned both the bull, which is the sealed papal (Pope's) document, and the canon law of the Catholic Church, which was the Supreme Authority of the Church, and displayed it for everybody to see.

Historic Martin Luther and his revolution was against the Catholic Church, State, and country. He was more into politics than into theology. Anyhow, Luther spelled out the practical consequences of his theology. He wrote what are arguably his three most important declarations: 1). He urged rulers to take the necessary reforms of the church into their own hands, and at the same time he argues that all Christians were priests. 2). He reduced the seven sacraments, first to three (baptism, the Lordís Supper, and penance), then to two, (baptism and communion). And 3). He told Christians that they were free from the law (that is of the church), but they must love their neighbors. These three are open powerful fight against the Catholic Church.

In theology, the teaching of Martin Luther that of the reformation is "by faith alone, grace alone, and scripture alone." It is a false teaching, but people received it because the context was that he was opposing the Catholic church making money by selling indulgences. An indulgence is the full or partial remission of temporal punishment for sins after the sinner confesses and receives absolution. Absolution is formal release from guilt, obligation, or punishment. Under Catholic teaching, every sin must be purified either here on earth or after death in a state called purgatory. Most historians give Luther admiration, saying that by posting his "95 thesis", he made the proud structure of the Western Church to fall in ruins within a few years. It caused an earthquake on the church and Pope Leo X called him "a wild boar in the vineyard," because he uprooted and tore apart the longstanding doctrines and practices of the Catholic Church. Then, why "by faith alone, by grace alone, and by scripture alone," is a false doctrine? Because Jesus Christ himself tells this in many places and the apostle's doctrines repeated that rewards in heaven will be according to our works and our faith without works is dead. So, it is works, but not faith. But this situation was not bible study, but it was a revolution against the Church making money by indulgences. So, people do not care for truth. The truth is, if it is faith alone, it must be one (alone); but he added two more, grace and scripture, and a few more were added latter. However, nobody cares about the truth of the scripture, but the revolution gathered momentum and that was the motive. But Martin Luther used this situation also to promote his false "faith only" doctrine.

5. The Bible Translation and Print Shop Preaching.

Martin Luther understood that books and pamphlets spoke long after he had left the pulpit. He referred to printing as "Godís highest and extreme act of grace, whereby the business of the Gospel is driven forward," that was by the books and pamphlets. Within two weeks of the posting of his "95 Theses," they were printed without his permission and was distributed throughout Germany. Within a month, they had flooded Europe. Six months later Luther explained to Pope Leo X, "It is a mystery to me how my theses...were spread to so many places. They were meant exclusively for our academic circle here..." Even Luther was surprised. In a letter of March 1518, he admitted that he "had no wish or plan to publicize these Theses," and he had left it up to his friends to decide whether they would be "suppressed or spread outside." And it was spread all over by the power of the press. Even if the printing of Lutherís Reformation "manifesto" was unintentional, Luther quickly grasped the potential of printing for soliciting grass-roots support. He began writing, more than four hundred works, including commentaries, sermons, and pamphlets that attacked Catholic doctrine and promoted Reformation distinctives. In the years 1517 to 1520, almost four hundred thousand of his pamphlets alone flooded Germany during the first three crucial years. Lutherís opponents knew the impact of his printed works. So, Luther became very famous and popular, because of this printing and distribution.

By this time Luther had enemies, and so, Luther's territorial ruler, Frederick the Wise, had Luther hidden away for safekeeping in the castle at Wartburg. Luther settled down and translated Greek new testament in eleven weeks. This is a phenomenal feat under any circumstances, but Luther contended with darkened days, poor lighting, and poor health. Then, Luther decided to translate the old testament, formed a committee with scholarly people, and Luther remained as the principal translator. German Bible became the greatest asset for them. It was the first time a mass medium had ever penetrated everyday life. Everyone read Luther's new Bible or listened to it being read. So, Luther's greatest achievement was the German Bible. This bible had a strong impact on the nation's development and heritage.

6. I will not recant; theology is socialistic politics.

Martin Luther stood against the Catholic Church, even though he was a Catholic monk, but it was never because of his love for the word of God. His conviction was purely socialistic politics. He used scriptures and doctrines just to add leverage and strength to his revolution. He was a very hard worker and very smart. He took risks, even to his life a few times. Those may be his virtues. But all his doctrines were to attract people on his side, but not to promote the truth of the scripture. Scripturally, he agreed with Catholic teaching. But he openly accepts that he was never righteous, and so, he cannot gain grounds with God in life. Further, his conviction was with skepticism, and he says: "Who knows if it is really true?" His doctrine was never bible based, even though he used bible; he always twists them as he likes. For an example, in Lutherís own words, salvation is a "sweet exchange" between Christ and the sinner. His doctrine in his words is, "Thou, Lord Jesus, art my righteousness and I am thy sin (that is as if you are a sinner, and I am holy). Thou hast taken on thyself what thou were not, and hast given to me what I am not." Martin Luther invented this doctrine, of course Satan, the devil taught him. False theologian R.C. Sproul picked up his doctrine and became famous with it. Luther and Sproul were the very mouthpieces of Satan in such doctrines. However, I think that God used Martin Luther and brought changes in the Catholic church, to expand it as protestant denominations also. God uses all world churches, gives them the gifts of the Holy Ghost to enhance them, so that his presence may be among them. But God's Church is the Spirit Church, and not the world Churches.

Catholic Church took the stand that Pope has the ultimate authority in all things about church, and only the pope can interpret Scriptures. Pope has the ultimate power over all councils, decrees, and laws. Martin Luther published the Decisive Documents of 1520, refuting their standing in power of the Pope and the church. They asked Luther, "Will you defend these books all together, or do you wish to recant some of what you have said and written?" Luther replied with a short speech, which he repeated again in Latin. "I Will Not Recant." He was given one day time, and back in his quarters he wrote, "So long as Christ is merciful, I will not recant a single jot or tittle."

However, Luther did not reject the Catholic traditions outright. He respected the writings of the early church Fathers, especially those of Augustine, and he considered the universal statements of faith, such as the Nicene creed and Athanasian Creed, with the Trinity doctrine, for which the Church stood for. On these things, Luther agreed with the Catholic church; probably because the creed and doctrine were given by the great Emperor Constantine, and further, the church will take these matters very seriously and have killed people by burning them on stake if they stood against Nicene creed and Trinity doctrine.

7. Relationships of Luther with Saxon Princes.

Luther enjoyed the protection and generosity of the electoral Saxon princes. Frederick the Wise (1486Ė1525) protected him from papal and imperial forces because Luther was his subject and the best-known professor at his University of Wittenberg. His protection was not for religious reasons, because Frederick did not know much of the new evangelical theology. Frederickís brother John (ruled 1525Ė1532) was a true believer in Lutherís reform movement, and his son John Frederick (ruled 1532Ė1547) was a convinced evangelical who considered Luther as his spiritual father. So, Luther was protected from the hands of Pope by the Saxon princes. In 1534, Luther wrote in his commentary on Psalm 101, "The spiritual government or authority should direct the people vertically toward God that they may do right and be saved; just so the secular government should direct the people horizontally toward one another, seeing to it that body, property, honor, wife, child, house, home, and all manner of goods remain in peace and security and are blessed on earth. God wants the government of the world to be a symbol of true salvation and of his kingdom of heaven." So, we may say that Martin Luther, in his theology, replaces the Catholic Church by the government, which he says that the government is responsible for both spiritual and secular life. Luther was endorsing the government of the princes of Fredericks, in the place of the Catholic Church. This cozy relationship has led some to speak of Lutherís Reformation as the "princes reformation," meaning it was primarily a political revolution, rather than religious; that was, local princes asserting their power against Rome under the guise of a theological dispute. But Martin Luther is known as the Father of the Protestant denomination by all people of the world and by the world churches. It is also true.

This is the study of Martin Luther as a theologian. Every theologian is a worldly man, using bible for their own benefit by twisting them. We, as the product of the churches think that they are the true servants of God. But unfortunately, not even a single theologian is of God. They are of the world, or of their denomination, or for both. However, they teach the doctrines of Satan the devil. So, do not follow them. Follow the Lord Jesus Christ, and be in the Spirit Church, so that you may inherit the kingdom of God in heaven.

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