Martin Luther's Five Theses Summary

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Martin Luther and His Ninety-five Theses: Martin Luther was born in 1483 in Eisleben, Germany. In 1510 Luther took a pilgrimage to Rome and performed various acts of devotion in sacred places. Luther expected Rome to be the height of the highest ideals of the Roman Catholic Church. Instead he found a corrupt, mistrustful system dominated by secular and ecclesiastical politics, pleasure, and materialism. He saw first-hand the worldliness of the Renaissance papacy. Luther returned to Germany disappointed. Luther was conscious of his sinfulness and greatly concerned about his personal salvation. He sought assurance of salvation through strict personal disciplines, including frequent confession to a priest, fasting, prayer. He never found peace in these practices. As he studied the Scriptures, he came across Romans 1:17, “The just shall live by faith.” The statement burst upon his consciousness like a light as he realized that he could never be saved by his works but needed to trust in God’s grace for the forgiveness of sins. He concluded that justification by faith is an act of God that makes the sinner righteous apart from his own works. Here, lies the difference between the Catholic and the Protestant conception. In the Catholic system justification is a gradual process conditioned by faith and good works. In the Protestant system it is a single act of God, followed by sanctification. It is based upon the merits of Christ, conditioned by faith, and manifested by good
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