This is part 2 of a series. Click here to read part 1.
Before giving his life to full time-vocational ministry for the Lord, Luther pursued a Law degree. In 1501, he entered the University of Erfurt, where he excelled in his studies. Toward the end of his studies an event changed his life. As he was traveling, lighting struck next to him causing him to evoke the name he heard often in his home growing up: “Saint Anne! Save me from this lightning. If you save me, I will become a monk.”[i]
Being a man of his word, Martin withdrew from Law school and entered an Augustinian monastery where he applied himself so diligently that he obtained a Doctorate of Theology within a few years. Throughout his life, he never experienced personal peace for his soul. He constantly asked, ‘How can a man find favor with God?’ On a pilgrimage to Rome to answer this question, He almost died on his journey because of a high fever. A monastery took him in and nursed him back to health. An older monk heard of his dilemma and instructed him to read Habakkuk. The Words of Habakkuk 2:4 were like medicine for his troubled soul: “The righteous shall live by faith.”
When he arrived at Rome, he joined the masses climbing the steps on their knees, some even beating themselves with whips with each step. As he made his way up the stairs, the words of Habakkuk rang through his mind. He put the whip down and returned to Wittenberg a new man. This was the turning point of his life. He would soon fire a shot across the bow of Christianity with his nailing of the 95 Theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg. The Reformation had begun.
Martin Luther changed Christendom with a reaffirmation of the priesthood of all believers. It was his belief that every believer, regardless of race, culture, creed, maturity level, or education should be able to read the Bible for themselves. Once they could, they didn’t have to rely on a bishop, priest, or the Pope to feed them the Word any longer. In essence, power shifted from the Pope to the people. The chasm between the clergy and the laity was bridged.
Listen to what I am about to say: I believe a return to discipleship in the church is the Reformation of the 21st Century.
How can I say this?
Discipleship empowers every believer filled with the Holy Spirit to take ownership of their faith, some for the first time. Any person, regardless of gender, race, color, creed, or maturity level, can obey the command to make disciples. Anyone, anywhere can do it.
Can you do me a favor? If these ideas resonate with you, would you:
• REACT. Do something.
• RESPOND. Leave a comment on this post.
• REPOST. Repost this link on Twitter, Facebook or your blog.
[i]Nate Mazzuca, Avery Noble, Those Who Came Before Us https://books.google.com/books?id=rtfsBQAAQBAJ&pg=PT54&lpg=PT54&dq=Saint+Anne!+Save+me+from+this+lightning.+If+you+save+me,+I+will+become+a+monk.”&source=bl&ots=je-lreKGim&sig=AGlztBZgppId6pkiM6278QZ29cM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=A0MPVdz8F8aUNtTQgtAC&ved=0CDwQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=Saint%20Anne!%20Save%20me%20from%20this%20lightning.%20If%20you%20save%20me%2C%20I%20will%20become%20a%20monk.”&f=false [Internet] (accessed 18 March 2015).