Shennan France Before the Revolution J.
Walton Disraeli John K. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Title II. My master and mistress. Who has given them such authority over me? God has ordained this. Ah, then it must be true that I am serving not only them but also God in heaven and that God has pleasure in this.
How, indeed could I be more blest? It is tantamount to cooking for God in heaven. We must see our work as part of his work. There is meaning and significance in human work because it is divinely appointed. Famously, Luther said that when a father changes his babies nappies, God in heaven smiles with pleasure.
The Catholic church held that celibacy was the superior state. But Luther and other Reformers pointed to the biblical teaching that marriage is blessed by God. They pointed out that the New Testament condemns those who forbid marriage 1 Timothy Luther led by example. Aged forty-two, he married twenty-six year old Katherine von Bora, a former nun.
At the age of ten, little Katherine had been put in a convent. During her early teens she began to hear snippets concerning the sermons of Martin Luther and his challenges to the abuses in the Church. By the time she was seventeen, she and several other youngsters had secretly became convinced of Reformed doctrine.
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They wrote to their guardians asking if they could leave the convent. Nothing happened. In despair, they wrote direct to Luther himself. He arranged for a dramatic night-time rescue. The girls were smuggled to Wittenburg in a covered wagon behind barrels of fish. He arranged either marriage or suitable accommodation for each one. Katherine was placed with a kind and prosperous family. She refused at least two offers of marriage. Eventually, Luther married her himself, and she proved to be a devoted wife. Luther suffered much ill health  and also frequent depression. Katy ministered to his health by means of all manner of herbal remedies, and to his depression by inviting in friends who would raise his spirits by their lively conversation.
In Luther bought her a small estate, and she proved a brilliant farmer and manager. She organised all the family finances, as well as caring for their six children. Their marriage proved to be an attractive role model, promoting the idea that marriage is a God-given calling. It became an advertisement for the still radical notion that church ministers could get married. It is the only certain hope we have in life and death.
The Heidelberg Catechism has become one of the most popular Reformed Catechisms. Famously, question 1 reads:. Question: What is your only comfort in life and in death? Answer: That I belong — with body and soul, in life and death — not to myself , but to my faithful Savio u r , Jesus Christ , who at the cost of his own blood has fully paid for all my sins and has completely freed me from the dominion of the devil; that he protects me so well that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head; indeed that everything must fit his purpose for my salvation.
Therefore by his Holy Spirit, he also assures me of eternal life, and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him. Martin Luther was flawed. He did not get everything right. But he is remembered as the one who really did grasp salvation by grace, justification by faith, our absolute dependence on Christ for salvation. That is how we all stand before God. The truth of justification by faith transformed the lives of men, women, young people and children all over Europe during the sixteenth century. We could look at the testimony of many, but I have chosen a young teenage girl.
She was and is hugely well known, as she was caught up like a pawn in political forces outside her control and executed at the age of sixteen. Lady Jane Grey is famous for her tragic death. We should, however, remember her triumphant testimony in the face of death. When Edward VI, the young Protestant King of England, lay dying in , powerful nobles persuaded him to change his will.
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He declared that the succession should pass to his cousin Jane, rather than his Catholic sister, Mary. Jane was known to be a deeply committed Protestant. She had received a thorough education, in Latin, Hebrew and Greek. She had corresponded with the Reformers in Europe. She loved her Bible and she loved the Lord.
When Edward died, her guardians informed her that she was now Queen. She only accepted the crown very reluctantly. Equally predictably, Jane was arrested and charged with treason. She was told that if she would take the Roman Mass, her life would be spared. When the archbishop tried to trip her up by accusing her of undermining the place of good works, Jane replied:. This suggests that the traditional Lutheran approach to Paul was mistaken, and argues that Judaism was not a legalistic religion of works-righteousness.
For NT Wright, justification does not primarily refer to how we are made right with God, it refers to the fact that we are members of the church, covenant members. The central point of debate is imputed righteousness. NT Wright says:. Paul, however, says categorically:. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
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The word is the same but the theological meaning attached to the word is very different. By contrast, justification, according to the Reformation teaching, is an act of God. God imputes, or credits, the perfect righteousness of Christ to them. According to Protestant theology, salvation is monergistic. The apostle Paul knew that if it had been left to him he would have been eternally lost. According to Catholic theology salvation is synergistic. God and people work together to operate the salvation of sinners. The grace of God initiates the process, the faithful cooperate with that grace.
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Grace is infused through the sacraments, transforming the faithful so they can engage in good works in order to merit eternal life. Salvation is a lifelong process. Catholics believe that we can lose our salvation. They cannot enjoy certain assurance of salvation. So salvation continues to be a major doctrinal divide. It is a matter of life and death. And it is important because to acknowledge that salvation is a free gift of God places the glory and praise for our salvation with God alone.