“At last, by the mercy of God, meditating day and night, I gave heed to the context of the words, namely, ‘In it the righteousness of God is revealed, as it is written,”‘He who through faith is righteous shall live.”‘ There I began to understand that the righteousness of God is that by which the righteous lives by a gift of God, namely by faith. And this is the meaning: the righteousness of God is revealed by the gospel, namely, the passive righteousness with which merciful God justifies us by faith as it is written, ‘He who through faith is righteous shall live.’ Here I felt that I was altogether born again and had entered paradise itself through open gates. There a totally other face of the entire Scripture showed itself to me. Thereupon I ran through the Scriptures from memory. I also found in other terms an analogy, as, the work of God, that is, what God does in us, the power of God, with which he makes us strong, the wisdom of God, with which he makes us wise, the strength of God, the salvation of God, the glory of God.
“And I extolled my sweetest word with a love as great as the hatred with which I had before hated the word ‘righteousness of God.’ Thus that place in Paul was for me truly the gate to paradise.”
– Martin Luther, Preface to Latin Writings
Today we celebrate the 498th anniversary of Martin Luther posting the 95 Theses on the Wittenberg Door. As you read this autobiographical account of Luther’s conversion, what do you think the legacy of Luther is today? Does the 21st century church still find itself being shaped by the justifying word of Christ as Luther found it in Romans? Or, have other teachings taken center stage?
Share your thoughts in the comments below