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Martin Luther – Leader of the Separated Ecclesial Communities or of the Psychological Warfare for the Roman Catholic Empire?


We start with this comment from Kyle Schneider about Martin Luther’s full endorsement of the Augsburg Confession – a founding document of the Lutheran Church:


Writing a Confession: The Significance of the Augsburg Confession

Kyle Schneider 

…Martin Luther himself did have an indirect influence on the Augsburg Confession, as he helped actually write the two key documents that make it up along with Philip Melanchthon. Martin Luther may not have directly written the Confession, but he did approve of Melanchthon’s document, even stating at one point the he didn’t need to make any corrections or edits…


The Ausburg Confession Article XXI Of the Worship of the Saints

“…This is about the Sum of our Doctrine, in which, as can be seen, there is nothing that varies from the Scriptures, or from the Church Catholic, or from the Church of Rome as known from its writers.”



This report has two pieces – one right after the other. The first step is important to understand that Martin Luther was a Roman Catholic representative all his life long. Luther preached and affirmed most of the Catholic false doctrines throughout his life. The second step is important to see Martin Luther acting as a Roman Catholic representative in threatening violence and murder against the Anabaptists and Hebrew people and the peasants of Europe. Luther’s anger was against anyone who would not approve of the illegitimate “authority” of cruel Roman Catholic-led “authorities” in their lands.


What I want to show you in the next succession of quotes is that Martin Luther was still secretly of the Catholic brotherhood in Europe his whole life long. I have Martin Luther’s quotes and then statements from the official Catechism of the Catholic Church in order to make this case clear. Many of the following quotes from Martin Luther are not from his early life or even from the time immediately following the posting of the 95 Theses. Many of these are quotes from ten to twenty years after the 1517 posting of the theses. Luther and his friends among the Princes of Europe wanted to make sure that the Roman Catholic Empire stayed in power all over the world. Prince Frederick of Saxony, who protected Martin Luther in his Wartburg Castle and throughout his life, had been the first choice desired by the Pope and Cardinals of Rome to be the Holy Roman Emperor. But Prince Frederick and Martin Luther saw the need for Frederick’s participation in a “rebellion” against the Catholic rulers. So Rome’s Cardinals were persuaded to choose Frederick’s second cousin Charles V to be Emperor, so that Frederick would be free to play with the idea of “Reformation” of the Catholic “Church”.


There were so many painful issues dividing the people of Europe since The Great Schism in 1054 A.D. and the murderous Crusades which followed. The Roman Catholic Empire tried to impose feudalism to take extreme taxes from the people to fund all of their wars and expansion projects; and it caused constant suffering. The outrage of the people spread across Europe against feudalism and Roman Catholic thieving through taxation. And many peasants were set on overthrowing the cruel Catholic lords one way or another. In fact, the people’s questions about Rome’s secret criminal activities could not be silenced by mere political threats anymore or by state politics and wars. Rome had already tried plagues, murder, and genocide against northern Christian communities. Rome had tried threats of “barbarian” invaders acting on secret orders from Rome. Rome had tried having Catholic states send unhappy people and even children on pilgrim death quests to faraway lands. Catholic Cardinals conducted Inquisitions with severe punishments against people who dared to speak openly against the Catholic empire. And many medieval methods were used to stop people from leaving their Catholic state and/or vocally opposing the Rome Church.


These methods still did not give Rome enough advantage to conquer the world under Catholicism. So now Rome knew that even keeping their European states would require help of leadership from people who were thought to be outside of Roman Catholicism as Prince Frederick and Martin Luther pretended to be. Rome saw that it had to have religious help that would partner with state governments to act as if they were joining the people’s fight against Rome. So the Cardinals plotted how to develop a system that was under Catholic domain, but separated enough to allow “freedom” to those who were insistent on escaping the Roman Catholic grip. As long as this new “rebellious church/state program” would be led by doctrines similar enough to Catholicism, then the Reformation could simply be reversed at some point in the future or so they thought… even now Rome is still waiting for the right conditions to reverse the Reformation and reconquer all of their expanded “Christendom”.


Martin Luther was supposed to lead this rebranding or “Re-formation” of Roman Catholicism that was still Roman Catholicism but without the parts that were causing Rome such trouble. Luther was willing to do this experimental “rebellion” to keep Roman Catholicism in world power by any means necessary, even if he had to speak against the Popes and call them devils. This first quote is from Luther’s Works (designated as LW) showing that Luther didn’t care whether the Emperor Constantine did gift the entire empire to the Popes or if the Popes stole that power inappropriately somewhere along the way. Luther didn’t care about that history because he believed it was God’s plan for the Roman Empire to become the Roman Catholic Empire and then to become the Holy Roman Empire. Luther further says that the German Roman Catholic Princes should rule the world and retain this global Empire under their control. Following that, we show you several of Martin Luther’s Catholic doctrines here in part one. Part two will deal with the strategy behind Martin Luther’s work.


Do not worry about Jesus’ Church. Jesus is building His Church. If you think that the Reformation was the separation point, just look at history of the many Christian cultures that rejected Catholicism. What most people do not understand is that many false labels were used against many groups of Christians even when these terms did not describe their actual beliefs. The intent by the Catholic authorities was to use labels to actually kill their opponents, including Christians. Catholics stuck terms such as “Heretics”, “Jews”, “Arians”, “Paulicians”, “Albigenses”, “Waldenses”, “Lollards”, “Hussites”, “Cathars”, “witches”, etc. In other words, Roman Catholicism did not care about the truth, only about retaining their position of power. Catholics would send false teachers to misdirect a whole community so that Christians and Jews in the area could be labeled with a heretical doctrine label. There were frequent lies used to attack and conquer those real Christians in the area who were being oppressed by both the Catholics and the false teachers sent by Catholics to discredit and mislead them. There were millions of real believers who were persecuted and put to death over several hundred years before the Reformation. Those Christians were the real Church which has always been separate from the world and the Roman Catholic Empire as much as possible.



Part One

Catechism and Luther on the Catholic Empire centered in Europe:


Martin Luther:


 Since the empire has been given us by the providence of God as well as by the plotting of evil men, without any guilt on our part, I would not advise that we give it up, but rather that we rule it wisely and in the fear of God, as long as it pleases him for us to rule it. For, as has been said already, it does not matter to him where an empire comes from; his will is that it be governed… Yet it was God’s will that that kingdom be ruled by the holy princes Daniel, Hananiah, Azariah, and Michael. Much more, then, is it God’s will that this empire should be ruled by the [Catholic] princes of Germany, no matter whether the pope stole it, got it by force, or established it fresh. It is all God’s ordering, which came about before we knew about it. [LW 44:210]”



Catechism of the Catholic Church:

#853 On her pilgrimage, the Church has also experienced the "discrepancy existing between the message she proclaims and the human weakness of those to whom the Gospel has been entrusted.” Only by taking the "way of penance and renewal," the "narrow way of the cross," can the People of God extend Christ's reign. …


#831 Secondly, the Church is catholic because she has been sent out by Christ on a mission to the whole of the human race:…


#837 …the visible structure of the Church of Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops.


#845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son's Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is "the world reconciled." …According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah's ark, which alone saves from the flood.



Catechism and Luther on Eucharist:


Martin Luther:

Eucharistic Real Presence: Luther’s Magnificent Defense


I have often enough asserted that I do not argue whether the wine remains wine or not. It is enough for me that Christ’s blood is present; let it be with the wine as God wills. Sooner than have mere wine with the fanatics, I would agree with the pope that there is only blood. (Confession Concerning Christ’s Supper, 1528, Luther’s Works [henceforth, “LW”], Vol. 37, 317) 

[T]he glory of our God is precisely that for our sakes he comes down to the very depths, into human flesh, into the bread, into our mouth, our heart, our bosom . . . (This is My Body, 1527, LW, Vol. 37, 72)


Luther on the Eucharist — Doctrine and Practice


…The nature of the Eucharist, that it is public and serves to enhance fellowship, also has its own practical consequences regarding those who intend to partake of it. According to Luther, a Mass officiated by a priest for his own private devotion is in conflict with the communion nature of the Eucharist.[32]


On the other hand he also rejected the notion of arranging the Eucharist in a private home without a minister. Parents are to teach the gospel to their families, but the Eucharist was instituted as a public remembrance of Christ and as the meal of church communion so the one officiating it is to be a minister ordained into public office, that is priesthood.[33]


Luther vs. Zwingli 2: Luther on the Lord’s Supper


Luther believed that the fruit of the Lord’s Supper is the forgiveness of sins. Roman doctrine held that Communion was for the righteous, those who have confessed their sins to the priest. Luther believed Communion was for sinners, those who needed Christ’s incarnation the most.


Eucharistic Real Presence: Luther’s Magnificent Defense


In that same work, Luther makes a fascinating argument that a purely symbolic Eucharist turns the sacrament into a futile work of man rather than a grace and blessing from God:

He thinks one does not see that out of the word of Christ he makes a pure commandment and law which accomplishes nothing more than to tell and bid us to remember and acknowledge him. Furthermore, he makes this acknowledgment nothing else than a work that we do, while we receive nothing else than bread and wine.  (Against the Heavenly Prophets in the Matter of Images and Sacraments, 1525; LW, Vol. 40, 206)


 . . . The bread which is broken or distributed piece by piece is the participation in the body of Christ. It is, it is, it is, he says, the participation in the body of Christ. Wherein does the participation in the body of Christ consist? It cannot be anything else than that as each takes a part of the broken bread he takes therewith the body of Christ . . . (Against the Heavenly Prophets in the Matter of Images and Sacraments, 1525; LW, Vol. 40, 178)



Catechism of the Catholic Church:

#1375 It is by the conversion of the bread and wine into Christ's body and blood that Christ becomes present in this sacrament. The Church Fathers strongly affirmed the faith of the Church in the efficacy of the Word of Christ and of the action of the Holy Spirit to bring about this conversion. Thus St. John Chrysostom declares:

It is not man that causes the things offered to become the Body and Blood of Christ, but he who was crucified for us, Christ himself. The priest, in the role of Christ, pronounces these words, but their power and grace are God's. This is my body, he says. This word transforms the things offered.204

And St. Ambrose says about this conversion:

Be convinced that this is not what nature has formed, but what the blessing has consecrated. The power of the blessing prevails over that of nature, because by the blessing nature itself is changed. . . . Could not Christ's word, which can make from nothing what did not exist, change existing things into what they were not before? It is no less a feat to give things their original nature than to change their nature.205


#1376 The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: "Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation."206



Catechism and Luther on Confession and the priest’s ability to give Catholic Absolution for all sins:


Martin Luther:

Martin Luther on Absolution and Private Confession



…What is the Office of the Keys?

It is the peculiar power which Christ has given to His Church on earth to forgive the sins of penitent sinners, but to retain the sins of the impenitent as long as they do not repent. . . .


What do you believe according to these words?

. . . when they absolve those who repent of their sins and are willing to amend, this is as valid and certain, in heaven also, as if Christ, our dear Lord, dealt with us Himself.

What is Confession?

Confession embraces two parts. One is that we confess our sins; the other, that we receive absolution, or forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself, and in no wise doubt, but firmly believe, that by it our sins are forgiven before God in heaven. (Small Catechism, 1529, 18-19)


Since Absolution or the Power of the Keys is also an aid and consolation against sin and a bad conscience, ordained by Christ [Himself] in the Gospel, Confession or Absolution ought by no means to be abolished in the Church… (Smalcald Articles, 1537; Part III, Article III: Confession, section 1)

I wish him [the pope] to keep his hands off the confession and not make of it a compulsion or command, which he has not the power to do… Nevertheless I will allow no man to take private confession away from me, and I would not give it up for all the treasures in the world, since I know what comfort and strength it has given me. No one knows what it can do for him except one who has struggled often and long with the devil. Yea, the devil would have slain me long ago, if the confession had not sustained me. . .


Therefore, no man shall forbid the confession nor keep or draw any one away from it. And if any one is wrestling with his sins and wants to be rid of them and desires a sure word on the matter, let him go and confess to another in secret, and accept what he says to him as if God himself had spoken it through the mouth of this person. However, one who has a strong, firm faith that his sins are forgiven may let this confession go and confess to God alone. But how many have such a strong faith? Therefore, as I have said, I will not let this private confession be taken from me. But I will not have anybody forced to it, but left to each one’s free will…(Sermon of 16 March 1522; LW, Vol. 51, 97-98)


Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong [or sin boldly], but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day…


Therefore, be cheerful and brave, and cast these exceedingly terrifying thoughts entirely from you. Whenever the devil worries you with these thoughts, seek the company of men at once, or drink somewhat more liberally, jest and play some jolly prank, or do anything exhilarating. Occasionally a person must drink somewhat more liberally, engage in plays, and jests, or even commit some little sin from hatred and contempt of the devil, so as to leave him no room for raising scruples in our conscience about the most trifling matters. For when we are overanxious and careful for fear that we may be doing wrong in any matter, we shall be conquered. Accordingly, if the devil should say to you: By all means, do not drink! you must tell him: Just because you forbid it, I shall drink, and that, liberally. In this manner you must always do the contrary of what Satan forbids. When I drink my wine unmixed, prattle with the greatest unconcern, eat more frequently, do you think that I have any other reason for doing these things than to scorn and spite the devil who has attempted to spite and scorn me? Would God I could commit some real brave sin to ridicule the devil, that he might see that I acknowledge no sin and am not conscious of having committed any. We must put the whole law entirely out of our eyes and hearts,--we, I say, whom the devil thus assails and torments. Whenever the devil charges us with our sins and pronounces us guilty of death and hell, we ought to say to him: I admit that I deserve death and hell; what, then, will happen to me? Why, you will be eternally damned! By no means; for I know One who has suffered and made satisfaction for me. His name is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Where He abides, there will I also abide.



Catechism of the Catholic Church:

#1444 In imparting to his apostles his own power to forgive sins the Lord also gives them the authority to reconcile sinners with the Church. This ecclesial dimension of their task is expressed most notably in Christ's solemn words to Simon Peter: "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."45 "The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of the apostles united to its head."46


#1463 ...In danger of death any priest, even if deprived of faculties for hearing confessions, can absolve from every sin and excommunication.69


#1493 One who desires to obtain reconciliation with God and with the Church, must confess to a priest all the unconfessed grave sins he remembers after having carefully examined his conscience. The confession of venial faults, without being necessary in itself, is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church.


#979 In this battle against our inclination towards evil, who could be brave and watchful enough to escape every wound of sin? "If the Church has the power to forgive sins, then Baptism cannot be her only means of using the keys of the Kingdom of heaven received from Jesus Christ. The Church must be able to forgive all penitents their offenses, even if they should sin until the last moment of their lives."524



Catechism and Luther on Mary the mother of Jesus:


Martin Luther:

Luther’s Love for St. Mary, Queen of Heaven

POSTED MAY 31, 2017

by Deac. Betsy Karkan

Eagerly, he calls her “the most blessed Mother of God, the most blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Christ,” and yes, even “the Queen of Heaven.”…

Source: Luther’s The Magnificat


Martin Luther Was Extraordinarily Devoted to Mary



God did not derive his divinity from Mary; but it does not follow that it is therefore wrong to say that God was born of Mary, that God is Mary’s Son, and that Mary is God’s mother . . . She is the true mother of God and bearer of God . . . Mary suckled God, rocked God to sleep, prepared broth and soup for God, etc. For God and man are one person, one Christ, one Son, one Jesus, not two Christs . . . just as your son is not two sons . . . even though he has two natures, body and soul, the body from you, the soul from God alone. (On the Councils and the Church, 1539)”…


It is a sweet and pious belief that the infusion of Mary’s soul was effected without original sin; so that in the very infusion of her soul she was also purified from original sin and adorned with God’s gifts, receiving a pure soul infused by God; thus from the first moment she began to live she was free from all sin.”(Sermon: “On the Day of the Conception of the Mother of God,” December [?] 1527; from Hartmann Grisar, S. J., Luther, authorised translation from the German by E. M. Lamond; edited by Luigi Cappadelta, London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, first edition, 1915, Vol. IV [of 6], p. 238; taken from the German Werke, Erlangen, 1826-1868, edited by J. G. Plochmann and J. A. Irmischer, 2nd edition, edited by L. Enders, Frankfurt, 1862 ff., 67 volumes; citation from 152, p. 58)”…


She is full of grace, proclaimed to be entirely without sin- something exceedingly great. For God’s grace fills her with everything good and makes her devoid of all evil. (Personal [“Little”Prayer Book , 1522)”…


“There can be no doubt that the Virgin Mary is in heaven. How it happened we do not know. And since the Holy Spirit has told us nothing about it, we can make of it no article of faith . . . It is enough to know that she lives in Christ.”…


Mary does not wish that we come to her, but through her to God.” (Explanation of the Magnificat, 1521)…


…It is the consolation and the superabundant goodness of God, that man is able to exult in such a treasure. Mary is his true Mother, Christ is his brother, God is his father.”(Sermon, Christmas, 1522)

Mary is the Mother of Jesus and the Mother of all of us even though it was Christ alone who reposed on her knees . . . If he is ours, we ought to be in his situation; there where he is, we ought also to be and all that he has ought to be ours, and his mother is also our mother.” (Sermon, Christmas, 1529)…


Whoever possesses a good (firm) faith, says the Hail Mary without danger! Whoever is weak in faith can utter no Hail Mary without danger to his salvation.”(Sermon, March 11, 1523)


Our prayer should include the Mother of God . . . What the Hail Mary says is that all glory should be given to God, using these words: “Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ. Amen!” You see that these words are not concerned with prayer but purely with giving praise and honor . . . We can use the Hail Mary as a meditation in which we recite what grace God has given her. Second, we should add a wish that everyone may know and respect her . . . He who has no faith is advised to refrain from saying the Hail Mary.” (Personal Prayer Book, 1522)


MONDAY, APRIL 20, 2020

Luther Believed in Mary's Perpetual Virginity?

Similarly when Matthew [1:25] says that Joseph did not know Mary carnally until she had brought forth her son, it does not follow that he knew her subsequently; on the contrary, it means that he never did know her… According to His humanity, He, Christ, our Savior, was the real and natural fruit of Mary’s virginal womb (of which Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to her in Luke 1:42 “Blessed is the fruit of your womb!”). This was without the co-operation of a man, and she remained a virgin after that. Everything else that a mother [V 22, p 24]  imparts to a child was imparted by Mary, the mother of God’s eternal Son… Now the question may occupy us how Christ could have brothers, since He was the only Son of Mary, and the Virgin Mary bore no children besides HimBut I am inclined to agree with those who declare that [V 22, p 215]  “brothers” really means “cousins” here, for Holy Writ and the Jews always call cousins brothers… Actually, we should be satisfied simply to hold that she remained a virgin after the birth of Christ because Scripture does not state or indicate that she later lost her virginity. We certainly need not be so terribly afraid that someone will demonstrate, out of his own head apart from Scripture, that she did not remain a virgin.



6 Beautiful Quotes on Mary You Won’t Believe Are From Martin Luther?

The “great things” are nothing less than that she became the Mother of God, in which work so many and such great good things are bestowed on her as pass man’s understandingFor on this there follows all honor, all blessedness, and her unique place in the whole of mankind, among which she has no equal, namely, that she had a child by the Father in heaven, and such a Child. She herself is unable to find a name for this work, it is too exceedingly great; all she can do is break out in the fervent cry: “They are great things,” impossible to describe or define. Hence men have crowded all her glory into a single word, calling her the Mother of GodNo one can say anything greater of her or to her, though he had as many tongues as there are leaves on the trees, or grass in the fields, or stars in the sky, or sand by the sea. It needs to be pondered in the heart what it means to be the Mother of God



Catechism of the Catholic Church:

#966 "Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death."508 The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son's Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians:

In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death.509


#411 The Christian tradition sees in this passage an announcement of the "New Adam" who, because he "became obedient unto death, even death on a cross", makes amends superabundantly for the disobedience, of Adam.305 Furthermore many Fathers and Doctors of the Church have seen the woman announced in the Protoevangelium as Mary, the mother of Christ, the "new Eve". Mary benefited first of all and uniquely from Christ's victory over sin: she was preserved from all stain of original sin and by a special grace of God committed no sin of any kind during her whole earthly life.306


#466 The Nestorian heresy regarded Christ as a human person joined to the divine person of God's Son. Opposing this heresy, St. Cyril of Alexandria and the third ecumenical council, at Ephesus in 431, confessed "that the Word, uniting to himself in his person the flesh animated by a rational soul, became man."89 Christ's humanity has no other subject than the divine person of the Son of God, who assumed it and made it his own, from his conception. For this reason the Council of Ephesus proclaimed in 431 that Mary truly became the Mother of God by the human conception of the Son of God in her womb: "Mother of God, not that the nature of the Word or his divinity received the beginning of its existence from the holy Virgin, but that, since the holy body, animated by a rational soul, which the Word of God united to himself according to the hypostasis, was born from her, the Word is said to be born according to the flesh."90


#966 "Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death."508 The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son's Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians:


#493 The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God "the All-Holy" (Panagia), and celebrate her as "free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature".138 By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long.


#495 Called in the Gospels "the mother of Jesus", Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as "the mother of my Lord".144 In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly "Mother of God" (Theotokos).145


#1014 The Church encourages us to prepare ourselves for the hour of our death. In the ancient litany of the saints, for instance, she has us pray: "From a sudden and unforeseen death, deliver us, O Lord";588 to ask the Mother of God to intercede for us "at the hour of our death" in the Hail Mary; and to entrust ourselves to St. Joseph, the patron of a happy death.


#500 Against this doctrine the objection is sometimes raised that the Bible mentions brothers and sisters of Jesus.157 The Church has always understood these passages as not referring to other children of the Virgin Mary. In fact James and Joseph, "brothers of Jesus", are the sons of another Mary, a disciple of Christ, whom St. Matthew significantly calls "the other Mary".158 They are close relations of Jesus, according to an Old Testament expression.159



Catechism and Luther on Baptism:


Martin Luther:


Luther: Only Unbelief Causes Damnation

…Luther continues to expound upon the power of baptism…

“It will therefore be no small gain to a penitent to remember above all his baptism, and, confidently calling to mind the divine promise which he has forsaken, acknowledge that promise before his Lord, rejoicing that he is still within the fortress of salvation because he has been baptized, and abhorring his wicked ingratitude in falling away from its faith and truth. His heart will find wonderful comfort and will be encouraged to hope for mercy when he considers that the promise which God made to him, which cannot possibly lie, is still unbroken and unchanged, and indeed, cannot be changed by sins, as Paul says (II Tim. 2[:13]): “If we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself” [LW 36:59]

Then come the quote in question:

Thus you see how rich a Christian is, that is, one who has been baptized! Even if he would, he could not lose his salvation, however much he sinned, unless he refused to believe. For no sin can condemn him save unbelief alone. All other sins, so long as the faith in God’s promise made in baptism returns or remains, are immediately blotted out through that same faith, or rather through the truth of God, because he cannot deny himself if you confess him and faithfully cling to him in his promise. But as for contrition, confession of sins, and satisfaction, along with all those carefully devised exercises of men: if you rely on them and neglect this truth of God, they will suddenly fail you and leave you more wretched than before. For whatever is done without faith in God’s truth is vanity of vanities and vexation of spirit. “ [Eccles. 1:2] [LW 36:60].


Luther Favored the Death Penalty for Anabaptists


Luther signed his name in assent to the 1536 pamphlet written by Philip Melanchthon (noted by biographer Bainton above), in which Melanchthon wrote:

For think what disaster would ensue if children were not baptized; what would be the final outcome but thoroughly heathenish existence? Item, infant baptism rests on such sure foundations that the Anabaptists have no legitimate grounds for rejecting it. Item, if they say that children do not need forgiveness of sins, that there is no original sin, such statements are downright and very dangerous errors.…Also when it is a case of only upholding some spiritual tenet, such as infant baptism, original sin, and unnecessary separation, then, because these articles are also important. . .  we conclude that in these cases also the stubborn sectaries must be put to death.

The Reformers’ Defense of Infant Baptism

Ken Rathbun, Ph.D.

Luther clearly appealed to tradition to justify infant baptism: “Since our baptizing has been thus from the beginning of Christianity and the custom has been to baptize children, and since no one can prove with good reasons that they do not have faith, we should not make changes and build on such weak arguments.LW, vol. 40, 241.


Sola Fide Compromised? Martin Luther and the Doctrine of Baptism


Luther, however, says that baptism is so powerful it is able to change the hearts of the ungodly, infants and adults alike. In combination with the prayers and faith of the church, all sacraments are “efficacious in giving grace, not only those who offer no resistance, but even to those who resist most obstinately.

Source: Paul Althaus’ Theology of Martin Luther



Catechism of the Catholic Church:

#978 "When we made our first profession of faith while receiving the holy Baptism that cleansed us, the forgiveness we received then was so full and complete that there remained in us absolutely nothing left to efface, neither original sin nor offenses committed by our own will, nor was there left any penalty to suffer in order to expiate them. . . . Yet the grace of Baptism delivers no one from all the weakness of nature. On the contrary, we must still combat the movements of concupiscence that never cease leading us into evil "523


#1257 “Baptism is necessary for salvation… The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude… God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism… “


#818 “…All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church."272”


#1250 “Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to which all men are called.50 The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant Baptism. The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth.51”



Catechism and Luther on Purgatory and Indulgences:


Martin Luther:

Martin Luther’s Belief in Purgatory (1517-1522, 1528)



On purgatory, I have this opinion: I do not think . . . that it is a certain place, . . . I think purgatory is that punishment which they call a foretaste of hell and under which . . . Moses, Abraham, David, Jacob, Job, Hezekiah, and many others suffered. . . . it is purgatory for me regardless of whether this punishment takes place emotionally or physically, since we attribute such punishment to purgatory. (Letters I, edited and translated by Gottfried G. Krodel; to Nicholas von Amsdorf, 13 Jan. 1522; in LW, vol. 48)

I am of the opinion that purgatory is not so general as they say, but that only a few souls will enter it. (Sermon for the Epiphany; Matthew 2:1-12, 1522)


Not that I, at this late day . . ., deny the existence of purgatory; but it is dangerous to preach it, whatever of truth there may be in the doctrine, because the Word of God, the Scriptures, make no mention of a purgatory. (Sermon for Christmas Eve; Titus 2:11-15, 1522)

Nor have we anything in Scripture concerning purgatory. . . . Therefore, I maintain it is not necessary to believe in it; although all things are possible to God, and he could very well allow souls to be tormented after their departure from the body. (Confession Concerning Christ’s Supper, Feb. 1528, translated by Robert H. Fischer; in LW, vol. 37)


Luther and Indulgences

Posted on June 24, 2012

It is common wisdom among Protestants that Martin Luther fought against indulgences. But the whole truth is that at least initially, in his Ninety-Five Theses, Luther had no dispute with the doctrine of indulgences per se, much less with the doctrine of Purgatory.

For example, in support of indulgences, he writes:

71. Let him be anathema and accursed who denies the apostolic character of the indulgences.

72. On the other hand, let him be blessed who is on his guard against the wantonness and license of the pardon-merchant’s words…


26. The pope does excellently when he grants remission to the souls in Purgatory on account of intercessions made on their behalf, and not by the power of the keys (which he cannot exercise for them)…


38. Yet the pope’s remission and dispensation are in no way to be despised, for, as already said, they proclaim the divine remission…


41. Papal indulgences should only be preached with caution, lest people gain a wrong understanding, and think that they are preferable to other good works: those of love…


54. The word of God suffers injury if, in the same sermon, an equal or longer time is devoted to indulgences than to that word…


47. Christians should be taught that they purchase indulgences voluntarily, and are not under obligation to do so.


"Therefore, my dear brother, learn Christ and him crucified. Learn to pray to him an, despairing of yourself, say: "Thou, Lord Jesus, art my righteousness, but I am thy sin. Thou hast taken upon thyself what is mine and hast given to me what is thine. Thou has taken upon thyself what thou wast not and hast given to me what I was not." Beware of aspiring to such purity that you will not wish to be looked upon as a sinner, or to be one. For Christ dwells only in sinners. On this account he descended from heaven, where he dwelt among the righteous, to dwell among sinners. Meditate on this love of his and you will see his sweet consolation. For why was it necessary for him to die if we can obtain a good conscience by our works and afflictions? Accordingly you will find peace only in him and only when you despair of yourself and your own works. Besides, you will learn from him that just as he has received you, so he has made your sins his own and has made his righteousness."

"Instructions to the Perplexed and Doubting, To George Spenlein, April 8, 1516", Luther: Letters of Spiritual Counsel, Martin Luther, Theodore G. Tappert, Library of Christian Classics Vol 18. pg 110.



Catechism of the Catholic Church:

#1263 By Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin.66 In those who have been reborn nothing remains that would impede their entry into the Kingdom of God, neither Adam's sin, nor personal sin, nor the consequences of sin, the gravest of which is separation from God.


#1446 Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification. The Fathers of the Church present this sacrament as "the second plank [of salvation] after the shipwreck which is the loss of grace."47


#1447 Over the centuries the concrete form in which the Church has exercised this power received from the Lord has varied considerably. During the first centuries the reconciliation of Christians who had committed particularly grave sins after their Baptism (for example, idolatry, murder, or adultery) was tied to a very rigorous discipline, according to which penitents had to do public penance for their sins, often for years, before receiving reconciliation. To this "order of penitents" (which concerned only certain grave sins), one was only rarely admitted and in certain regions only once in a lifetime. During the seventh century Irish missionaries, inspired by the Eastern monastic tradition, took to continental Europe the "private" practice of penance, which does not require public and prolonged completion of penitential works before reconciliation with the Church. From that time on, the sacrament has been performed in secret between penitent and priest. This new practice envisioned the possibility of repetition and so opened the way to a regular frequenting of this sacrament. It allowed the forgiveness of grave sins and venial sins to be integrated into one sacramental celebration. In its main lines this is the form of penance that the Church has practiced down to our day.


#1461 Since Christ entrusted to his apostles the ministry of reconciliation,65 bishops who are their successors, and priests, the bishops' collaborators, continue to exercise this ministry. Indeed bishops and priests, by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, have the power to forgive all sins "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."


#1462 Forgiveness of sins brings reconciliation with God, but also with the Church. Since ancient times the bishop, visible head of a particular Church, has thus rightfully been considered to be the one who principally has the power and ministry of reconciliation: he is the moderator of the penitential discipline.66 Priests, his collaborators, exercise it to the extent that they have received the commission either from their bishop (or religious superior) or the Pope, according to the law of the Church.67


#1463 Certain particularly grave sins incur excommunication, the most severe ecclesiastical penalty, which impedes the reception of the sacraments and the exercise of certain ecclesiastical acts, and for which absolution consequently cannot be granted, according to canon law, except by the Pope, the bishop of the place or priests authorized by them. In danger of death any priest, even if deprived of faculties for hearing confessions, can absolve from every sin and excommunication.69