Martin Luthers Preface to the Epistle to the Romans
Martin Luther died nearly 450 years ago but his writing still speaks to us. He was awakened to the grace of God in Jesus Christ, and the effects of his renewal quickly spread through Germany. His testimony to justification through...
UnavailableOut of Print
You may also like
Martin Luther died nearly 450 years ago but his writing still speaks to us. He was awakened to the grace of God in Jesus Christ, and the effects of his renewal quickly spread through Germany. His testimony to justification through faith alone continues to spread around the world.
In his longing for freedom of conscience, Luther was advised to read the Scriptures for himself. He did this, and lectured on it also. During A.D. 1515 he lectured on Romans, and, in the next two years, on Galatians. Somewhere in this time the passage, 'The just shall live by faith' brought personal assurance to him that he was accepted by God-through faith alone. He wrote: 'I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise'.
By 1521 he was before an ecclesiastical court in Worms, to give an account of his beliefs. It was here that he made his now famous statement: 'Here I stand! I cannot do otherwise'. An edict was pronounced against him, and, for 'safe keeping', he was spirited away by friends to Wartburg Castle where he stayed-disguised as a knight and under an assumed name-for nine months.
During this time he translated the entire New Testament from Greek to German. He also wrote brief summaries, or prefaces, to each book-similar to the Vulgate Bible. This 'Luther Bible', and its Prefaces, were phrased in the language of the common people.
The Preface which he wrote for Romans is longer than the others. It contains a summary of the whole letter and an outline of its doctrine. Its main terms are defined and related to each other. More particularly, it conveys the joy and power of the gospel so evident in Paul's Letter to the Romans. Luther said about Romans: 'The more thoroughly it is treated, the more precious it becomes, and the better it tastes'.
This small document has had a wide and deep influence through its history. The best known incident concerns John Wesley, who, in 1738, found his heart 'strangely warmed' as he listened to this Preface being read. He was converted, and again, the world felt the power of God's forgiveness.
May this booklet encourage many to read Paul's letter and, particularly, to know the truth of God's grace.
Martin Luther (1483 , 1546) was a German monk, a theologian and church reformer, he is considered to be the founder of Protestantism. Luther was a professor of Bible at the University of Wittenberg when he posted his famous 95 Theses (1517). In addition to writing many books, Luther translated the Bible into German. Luther believed that salvation was only by faith in Jesus , unmediated by the church. He challenged papal authority by emphasing the Bible as the only source of religious authority and believed the church to be a priesthood of all believers.These ideas helped to inspire the Protestant Reformation and changed the course of Western civilization. He married Katharina von Bora thus initiating the practice of clerical marriage within Protestantism.- Publisher.