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Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.
With help from the old monk and Staupitz, but especially from the study of Paul’s Epistles, Luther gradually was brought to the conviction that the sinner is justified by faith alone, without works of law. By the end of his convent life he came to the conclusion that “the righteousness of God” (Rom. 1:17) is the righteousness which God freely gives in Christ to those who believe in him. Righteousness is not to be attained through man’s own exertions and merits. Rather, it is complete and perfect in Christ, and all the sinner has to do is to accept it from Him as a free gift. Justification is that judicial act of God whereby he acquits the sinner of guilt and clothes him with the righteousness of Christ on the sole condition of personal faith which apprehends and appropriates Christ and shows its life and power by good works, as a good tree bringing forth good fruits. This experience acted like a new revelation on Luther. It shed light upon the whole Bible and made it a book of life and comfort. He felt relieved of the terrible load of guilt by an act of free grace. From then on the doctrine of justification by faith alone was the very substance of the Gospel and the heart of theology. He measured every other doctrine and the value of every book of the Bible by this standard. That is the reason for his great enthusiasm for Paul…