Martin Luther on the Lord's Supper

(just a few thoughts from one of my former classes at Liberty University) Martin Luther was the great leader of the Reformation. He was born November 10, 1483 in Eisleben Germany.  He was baptized as a Roman Catholic at birth. Martin Luther was the eldest of seven children in a middle-class German peasant family. At 21, Luther earned a Master of Arts degree from the University of Erfurt. Hans Luther was determined that his son be well-educated, and his hard work in the copper mines financed the younger Luther's education. Through Luther’s hard work he began to understand the need to know scripture and what it meant. Luther understood righteousness as a gift of God’s grace. He has discovered or (recovered) the doctrine of justification by grace alone. This discovery set him on fire. In 1517, he posted a sheet of theses for discussion on the University’s chapel door. These ninety-five theses set out a devastating critique of the church’s sale of indulgences and explained the fundamentals of justification by grace alone. Luther’s work left a huge impact on Christianity today.

The Lord’s Supper is an important aspect of Christianity that needs to be clearly communicated to today’s culture. Luther’s article begins explaining the papacy changing the mode and meaning of the Lord’s Supper from the early church. In relation to the papists, they believed they had the right to change what the Lord’s Supper meant. The reality of man-made tradition was seen in the time of Luther. Men felt they had the ability to do a better job than God and create their own commandments. Luther vehemently opposes the papacy to be elevated to the point of being equal to God’s authority.

Luther mentions the importance of the time the Lord Supper is being given. He comments, “although they may be understood as fulfilled on the cross; it matter not that Christ says: "Which is given for you.” He speaks to the truth of Christ accomplishing salvation for man, past, present and future. We are not bound to laws for salvation, but by grace through faith alone. Luther calls what the papists refer to as transubstantiation, to be incorrect and not biblical. He points to it be idolatry to point to the bread and wine as being the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus died once and for all for the sins of mankind.

The great message that Luther preached was that Christ is the only avenue to God. No longer did people have to confess to a priest, but go straight to God through Christ. This teaching and revolution that Luther began was one of the most monumental parts of Christian History. Luther believed in the authority of scripture and his legacy has helped us today in elevating what God thinks over man’s ideas.