Luther's Treatise on Christian Liberty

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To state that Luther, in his essay: Treatise on Christian Liberty destroyed the motivation to live a morally good life would be an all too quick and equally false presumption. Rather, I feel that the opposite is true. In dealing with Luther's essay as well as my own personal beliefs I feel that Luther in fact strengthens every Christian's motivation for faith by way of grace and in relation, the use of works to exude an already present faith in Christ. Though it may seem that Luther shuns the idea of works he in fact presents, quite thoroughly, the case that works are nothing without faith. Yet it is by faith that works become a way of celebrating our salvation. In this essay I will show how Luther actually motivates Christians to live a morally good life and to this end offer text based evidence from his treatise to support these claims. Based upon my own meager understanding of theology and faith, I grew up with the belief that because I had been baptized as a child and attended church with my family then I would go to heaven when I died. Yet as I grew older I came to realize that this was not the case. I finally came to realize that just going to church did not give me the right to go to heaven. I had to have faith to get to heaven. Luther illustrates this point by noting the passage of John 11 [:25], "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live" (188). I came to realize that my going to church was only a "work" and that this alone would not offer me salvation. In his essay, Luther divides the discussion into two main parts, the first of which deals with the inner man, and the second dealing with the outer man. This is what Luther refers to when he mentions that "man has a twofold nature, a spiritual and a bodily one" (188). My understanding of this separation is that the "inner man" represents the faith which we have in Christ and that the "outer man" represents the work we do as a result of the...
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