|IIIM Magazine Online, Volume 1, Number 3, March 15 to March 21, 1999|
“My parents treated me with great harshness which has made me very timid . . . They believed with all their hearts that they were doing right; but they could not discriminate between minds differently constituted, so as to know when, on whom and how punishment ought to be inflicted.”
“I torment myself to death to procure peace with God for my troubled heart and my agitated conscience; but I was surrounded by horrible darkness, and could find peace no where.”No one surpassed Luther in his outward, external desire for holiness. He later claimed of his efforts, “If ever a monk got to heaven by monkery, I would have gotten there.”
“Look to the wounds of Jesus Christ, to the blood he has shed for you; it is there that God's grace will appear to you. Instead of making your-self a martyr for your sins, cast yourself into the arms of the Redeemer. Confide in him, in the justice of his life, in the expiation of his death. Do not draw back; God is not irritated against you, it is you who are irritated against God. Listen to the Son of God. He became a man to give you the assurance of divine favor; he says to you, ‘Thou art my sheep; thou hearest my voice; no one shall snatch thee from my hand.’”Apparently, none of this good advice helped Luther at this time. However, Luther later said of Staupitz that he “first caused the light of the gospel to shine in the darkness of his heart.” NOTE: Luther and Staupitz relationship cooled off when the Reformation came. Staupitz vehemently opposed division of the Catholic Church.
“There is no true repentance except that which begins with the love of God and of righteousness. To be filled with love for that which is right, you must first be filled with love to God. If you wish to be converted, do not give yourself to these mortifications, and try to make yourself a martyr. Love him who hath first loved you.”
“I labored diligently and anxiously as to how to understand Paul's words in Romans 1:17 where he says, ‘The righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel.’ I saw the difference, that law is one thing and gospel another. I broke through, and as I had formerly hated the expression ‘the righteousness of God,’ I now began to regard it as my dearest and most comforting word, so that this expression of Paul's became to me in very truth a gate to paradise.”NOTE: What Luther had come to learn was that justification is by grace through faith in Christ. Luther had met the resurrected Christ and was gloriously saved.
“In my heart the faith in my Lord Jesus Christ reigns, and ought to reign alone. This is the beginning, the middle, and the end of all my thoughts.”At this time, Luther became very evangelistic in his approach to men, and sought to bring them to Christ. He said to one of his friends,
“O my dear brother, learn to know Christ, and Christ crucified. Learn to sing to him a new song, to despair of yourself, and to say to him, ‘Thou, Lord Jesus, Thou art my justice, and I am thy sin: thou has taken what is mine, and hast given me what is thine.’ You will find no peace but in him, despairing of yourself, and your works, and learning with what love he opens his arms to you, taking on him all your faults, and giving you all his justice.”NOTE: At this point in his life, Luther was a true Christian, but he was also a sincere Catholic. He was converted, but still had ignorance and superstition in his religion.