Superheroes of the Faith – Martin Luther
Powerpoint Pictures: Batman; Superman; The Incredible Hulk; Martin Luther; Sound effect needed is available to buy HERE
Can you tell me the name of the superhero that has this nickname? The Dark Knight [Batman]. The Man of Steel [Superman]. The Green Goliath [The Incredible Hulk]. The Philosopher?
I want to tell you the story of a man who had the nickname ‘the philosopher’. Unlike Batman and Superman he didn’t have any super abilities. He was just an ordinary person who did a heroic thing.
What heroic thing do you think he did? I’ll give you a clue, it started with this sound. [Play hammering sound effect].
What was that the sound of? [Hammering]. What heroic thing did this person do with a hammer?
Let me tell you…
The man’s name was Martin Luther and he lived about 500 years ago in Germany.
One day Martin Luther was travelling on a journey when there was a terrible thunderstorm and a crack of lightning almost hit him. He was okay but that day he realised that he was not ready to meet God.
Martin Luther decided that he was going to do all that he could to get ready, so he became a monk. As a monk he spent all his time praying and fasting, studying the Bible, and doing good works like looking after the poor and hungry.
But even after doing all these things, he still felt a long way from God. Luther knew that he was guilty and that troubled him.
In 1515 Luther was preparing to given a series of lectures at University of Wittenberg on the letter the apostle Paul wrote to the Romans. As he was preparing he came across Romans 1:17 [read out verse].
Reading that verse transformed Luther’s life. As he read the verse, it dawned on him that it was possible to be right with God. It was possible to be forgiven. It was possible because of a totally free gift. It was available only by faith in Jesus. He began to trust in Christ.
But this presented a problem to Martin Luther because the church was teaching something different. It was teaching that it possible to earn or even buy rightness with God and a place in heaven.
On 30th October 1517 Luther nailed his 95 theses (95 problems he had with the Catholic church) on the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg. That moment was the start of the Protestant reformation.
From this moment new churches formed made up of people who believed that what the Bible said was more important than what the church leaders say, and who believed that salvation is a gift available by faith in Jesus and not something that can be earned.
Martin Luther is a superhero because he believed that salvation and a right relationship with God is possible only through faith in Jesus Christ and made sure that other people knew this.
Because of Martin Luther I can be part of a church that believes that the only way in which we can be rescued from God’s judgment because of our sin is through faith in Jesus Christ and so can you.
More talks about Superheroes of the Faith can be found HERE.