The Lutheran Library is a non-profit publisher of good Christian books. All are available in a variety of formats free of charge and available for use by anyone without licensing fees.
We are Bible-believing Christians who subscribe without reservation to the Augsburg Confession as an accurate summary of Scripture.
Our purpose is to make available solid and encouraging material to strengthen believers in Christ.
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The Sole Rule of Christian Faith
Christian faith is based on the Bible as the sole rule of faith and practice. Confessions are useful and necessary insofar as they accurately explain the Scriptures. Traditionally Lutherans have embraced the Lutheran Confessions as a clear description of orthodox, catholic, and apostolic Christianity, that saving faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3).
Justification by Faith
The most important thing to grasp is that one is made right with God not by any good things he or she might do. Justification is by faith only, and that faith rests in the one-time substitutionary death of Jesus Christ for one’s sins.
Without faith it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6)
What “Lutheran” Really Means
In the early days of the Reformation, Christians who were rediscovering the Bible called themselves Evangelicals. Those who sought to keep Christians enslaved under the brutal errors of Rome called the Evangelicals Lutherans, implying that they worshiped Martin Luther and had departed from the teachings of the ancient church.
Why the Lutheran (or Protestant) Reformation Matters
The Lutheran Reformation restored faith in Christ’s work as the essential teaching of Christianity. It rejected the notion that the purpose of the Church was to establish earthly dominion. As Jesus told Pilate: “My kingdom is not of this world.”
In the Twenty-First Century both ideas – Justification by Faith alone and the spiritual nature of Christ’s kingdom – and ignored or rejected by many of the Christians in the world. Nevertheless, those who have been given a “…love of the the truth that they might be saved.” (2 Thess 2:10) rest content on His unchanging Word: “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”
Wasn’t Luther Anti-Semitic?
Scurrilous attacks on Martin Luther have been an unceasing part of the Counter-Reformation for the last 500 years. Since the Nazi Holocaust, the charge of hatred of Jews has been the main means used to discredit Luther. Often the title of his book, “Concerning the Jews and Their Lies,” is thrown up as proof of the assertion that Luther was an Anti-Semite.
The Finnish-American Professor Armas Holmio undertook a determined study of Luther’s writings which he published in book form. A short pamphlet which drew on this material, Martin Luther: Friend or Foe of the Jews includes these summary statements:
“One of the areas in which the Reformer has been repeatedly misrepresented has to do with the relationship of the Church with the Jewish people, frequent attempts being made to link him with modern anti-Semitism. Such attempts call for clarification by the Church of the Reformer’s actual position.
“[Luther] reflects his true heart attitude toward the Jews with this prayer: ‘O God, heavenly Father, turn and let thy wrath over them be brought to an end, for the sake of thy dear Son. Amen.’
Luther refers to the words of St. Paul in Romans 10:1: ‘Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.’
For the next generation, that the Lord will plant in them a love of the truth, and that the hard-learned lessons of the past will not be forgotten.
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