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February 13, 1521: Luther against the World

Luther: In Real Time

Ligonier Ministries

Religion & Spirituality, Christianity, History

4.92K Ratings

🗓️ 13 February 2021

⏱️ 8 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


Enemies of Martin Luther are appearing in more places than Germany and Rome. With empires arrayed against him, how can the monk continue his protest for the truth? Today, Luther faces the cost of standing against the world.

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It's February the 13th, 1521. One of Luther's most outspoken enemies, the papal agent,


Jerome Alliander, stands up at the Bishop's Palace in the Imperial City of Verms.


On behalf of the Pope, he makes his case to the emperor, hoping to turn the crowd and


the emperor himself against Luther. Today is Alliander's birthday, not that you'd know


it. Forty-one years old, with large, widely set eyes, Alliander is furious. He knows that


Luther's protector, Frederick, has been trying to convince his nephew the emperor to summon


Luther to Verms and give him a fair hearing. The great and the good of the Holy Roman Empire


shift on their wooden benches, as Alliander delivers a speech lasting three hours.


He claims that the Germans should wash their hands in the blood of the papysts.


Meanwhile, back in Vittenburg, having lectured all day, Luther joins his friend,


Philip Malanthan, and Philip's wife, Katharina, in their home. And the conversation in the kitchen


has taken a theological turn. I will preach the word, teach it, write it, but I will constrain


no one by force. For faith must come freely, without compulsion. Ensure Likung Silvita,


Zumvol, her doctor. Thank you, Katharina. My great fear, Philip, is that in your conciliatory


seal, you will eviscerate Doctrinal reform, and betray the gospel as Erasmus has already done.


But her doctor, can we not find a middle way with the Pope and with Rome? What of unity,


what of love? I cannot let my love be so merciful as to tolerate false doctrine.


And what greater false doctrine is there than that which dethrones Christ?


Rome says that the true measure of the church is the merits of the saints,


and then charges heaps of gold and silver to buy that merit.


But the church's true treasure is the merits of Christ in the gospel of grace,


which comes freely of God's will. No, no, Philip. There is no middle way with error.


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