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The most important figure of the Reformation was a monk by the name of Martin Luther (1483-1546). Luther was a man full of self-doubt, guilt, and worry. In his early 20s, Martin Luther was nearly struck by lightning while crossing an open field during a storm, which led to his vow to become a monk. As a young monk, the corruption of the church, the debauchery of priests, and the power of the Pope disturbed him, disgusted him, and depressed him.


He did everything possible to appease his anguished soul: from climbing the 28 stairs of the famous Scala Sancta to going to regular confession, but for all the vigils and fasts and penances, he still felt empty, accursed, and worse.

http://history.idbsu.edu/westciv/reformat/luther01.htm


Why did he not experience the assurance of salvation? Why did he still feel so rotten in spite of all efforts to please God? Why was his soul at war and peace so illusive?


The dramatic turning-point of Luther¡¦s life occurred when he was sitting alone in his study at Wittenberg. His eyes fell on a passage from the first chapter of Paul¡¦s letter to the Romans. It says: "the just shall live by his faith." He couldn¡¦t believe his eyes, he couldn¡¦t contain himself, or keep to himself the simplicity of God¡¦s ageless path of salvation: faith in God.


That discovery changed the course of the church, the course of Western civilization, and the course of history. So on October 31, 1517 Luther nailed his famous Ninety-five Theses onto the door of the castle church at Wittenberg, 60 miles from Berlin that resulted in his excommunication from the church, the start of the Reformation, and the division between the Protestant and the Catholic church.

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