Timely! This popped up on my computer screen the when I signed on this morning from Christianity.com. God sends me timely messages to post all the time! PTL!
In Martin Luther’s own words:
“I greatly longed to understand Paul’s Epistle to the Romans and nothing stood in the way but that one expression, ‘the justice of God,’ [Rom. 1:17] because I took it to mean that justice whereby God is just and deals justly in punishing the unjust. My situation was that, although an impeccable monk, I stood before God as a sinner troubled in conscience, and I had no confidence that my merit would assuage him. Therefore I did not love a just and angry God, but rather hated and murmured against him.
“Yet I clung to the dear Paul and had a great yearning to know what he meant. Night and day I pondered until I saw the connection between the justice of God and the statement that ‘the just shall live by his faith’ [Rom. 1:17]. Then I grasped that the justice of God is that righteousness by which through grace and sheer mercy God justifies us through faith. Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise. The whole of Scripture took on a new meaning, and whereas the ‘justice of God’ had filled me with hate, now it became to me inexpressively sweet in greater love. This passage of Paul became to me a gate of heaven….”(see Of First Importance)
Battle-Cry of the Reformation: A Mighty Fortress is Our God
Martin Luther believed that church music was for everyone to sing. “The devil who is the originator of sorrowful anxieties and restless trouble flees before the sound of God’s music almost as much as before the Word of God,” Luther declared.
With that inspiration, he composed the hymn, “A mighty fortress is our God.” It is a bold affirmation of our powerful and loving God:
“A mighty fortress is our God. A bulwark never failing.
Our helper He amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe, doth seek to work us woe.
His craft and power are great, And armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not His equal.”