About the Reformer
In this University of Erfurt, there was a certain aged man in the convent of the Augustines with whom Luther, being then of the same order, a friar Augustine, had conference upon divers things, especially touching remission of sins; which article the said aged father opened unto Luther; declaring that God’s express commandment is that every man should particularly believe his sins to be forgiven him in Christ: and further said that this interpretation was confirmed by St. Bernard: “This is the testimony that the Holy Ghost giveth thee in thy heart, saying, thy sins are forgiven thee. For this is the opinion of the apostle, that man is freely justified by faith.”
By these words Luther was not only strengthened, but was also instructed of the full meaning of St. Paul, who repeateth so many times this sentence, “We are justified by faith.” And having read the expositions of many upon this place, he then perceived, as well by the discourse of the old man, as by the comfort he received in his spirit, the vanity of those interpretations, which he had read before, of the schoolmen. And so, by little and little, reading and comparing the sayings and examples of the prophets and apostles, with continual invocation of God, and the excitation of faith by force of prayer, he perceived that doctrine most evidently.
—John Foxe, Foxe’s Book of Martyrs
Pulling It Together
He is poorest who finds his riches in himself. He is most blind who only sees himself. So often one can see that the person who acts most secure in their position is the one who is least stable. He who is most unstable is he who finds his security in himself. He has no ears and no heart except for his own words, his own thoughts, his own authority.
Is your conscience pricked? Is your wardrobe sullied? Is your purse filled with fool’s gold? It is time for redirection. The early Church in Laodicea needed redirection; Paul needed reproved for his self-righteousness; and Luther needed peace instead of the fear of God. We all need redirection and reform. This kind of true peace and stability is only known in Christ. All else, whether religion, church, family, vocation, or self, is false. Rely on the reliable. Depend upon Jesus.