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December 16, 1520: No Saint Can Help Us

Luther: In Real Time

Ligonier Ministries

Religion & Spirituality, Christianity, History

4.92K Ratings

🗓️ 16 December 2020

⏱️ 11 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


Through his undaunted preaching, Martin Luther is training even the humblest townspeople of Wittenberg to stand courageously against the pope's false teaching. But today, Leo X has something in store for Luther that will change his life forever.

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It's December 16th, 1520, the third Sunday in Advent.


Luther passes through the Gothic archway of the Augustinian cloister into the streets of Vittenberg.


He pulls his cow tighter against his neck. Judging by the firmness of the street muck beneath his feet, it's below freezing.


Good morning, Her Doctor.


Luther steps onto the slippery cobblestones of the middle strasser.


The air is spiced with cinnamon, fresh-baked Chris Dolan and gingerbread.


Through the snow he sees the twin spires of the town church. The The congregation enjoy the choir,


enjoy the choir, but they can't understand what they're hearing.


The liturgy is entirely in Latin.


Luther Man. Luther mounts the narrow stairs to the high pulpit, his shoes still damp from the street.


He scans the faces of his congregation.


Are you the one who is to come?


Or should we look for another?


It was the question John the Baptist asked Jesus Christ.


John knew the answer of course, but he asked for the sake of his disciples.


John did not want to make disciples for himself. He wanted to lead everybody to


Christ. Without Christ, there is no help or remedy, no matter how many good works you do.


What benefit is it to the monks and nuns to observe the rules of St Benedict, if they do not embrace Christ and him only.


Dispense with the Saints. No saint can help us, only Christ.


This has been Luther's teaching from the pulpit for some time.


It has been repeated in the humblest of Bittenberg homes and beyond.


Children, gather round.


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