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Concerning Christian Liberty
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on November 6, 2015
Many people tend to think that the Christian walk is filled with endless and burdensome rules and regulations that enslave its disciples to the tyranny of God. Yet it becomes quite clear for anyone that has studied the Scriptures and developed a close relationship with God that the Lord intends to burden no one and desires to set everyone free.

It is from this bold stance that Martin Luther develops his central thesis in On Christian Liberty: that true freedom is only found in submission to Christ, not to rules, institutions or ideology.

He declares his purpose for the book when he writes, “To make the way smoother for the unlearned—for only them do I serve—I shall set down the following two propositions concerning the freedom and the bondage of the spirit: A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.”

On Christian Liberty has no chapters and proceeds along a logical train of thought complete with many Scripture references. Liberty in a Christian sense is described as our faith which simultaneously compels us forward to live fruitful, productive lives while liberating us from the Law, works, or any other burdens that unnecessarily hinder us. In essence, Luther extends upon the Augustinian axiom to “Love God and do as you please.”

Again as Luther writes, “Yes, since faith alone suffices for salvation, I need nothing except faith exercising the power and dominion of its own liberty. Lo, this is the inestimable power and liberty of Christians.”

On Christian Liberty is very short (less than 80 pages) and is fairly easy to read. Potential readers should be aware, however, that buying either a written or electronic version of this book will be a matter of preference because this text is widely available for free on the internet in a variety of formats.
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on March 13, 2015
In reading this book I realized that it has a very important place in the Christian community. It is not the BIBLE itself. But it will help the reader see into the plan of GOD for their true Christian Liberty. We don't realize that true Christian Liberty is also a Christian Responsibility. A responsibility to the people of faith. We are told that when we gain our strength we are to give strength to our brothers and sisters. Martin Luther did this through his writings And as we enter into the true understanding of Christian Liberty we can do the same. I am not saying that the HOLY Spirit cannot lead us into that truth. But He will use others such as Martin Luther and others as a vessel to do the same. Romans 10:14b,c-15a (KJV)
14b,c and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15a And how shall they preach, except they be sent? These scriptures are paramount to our understanding along with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And Martin Luther was a Preacher of sound character during the time of the reformation. Sent of GOD for that time and this. I hope this is not too long or confusing to anyone. Now is the time for us to start walking in our faith. I hope this helps!
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VINE VOICEon April 24, 2011
Martin Luther's Concerning Christian Liberty is considered by many to be Luther's seminal work which encapsulates Salvation by Grace through Faith alone as a rallying cry that shook the world of his time. It's a remarkable short work and it's two sections are demarcated by it's opening lines, ""a Christian man is the most free lord of all, and subject to none; a Christian man is the most dutiful servant of all, and subject to everyone." This of course is pretty much a restatement of Christ's paradoxical statement, "He who would be the greatest among you, must be the servant of all."

Included in the Kindle version of this work is an opening letter to Pope Leo X, which speaks of a deference and respect that deteriorated subsequently with the eventual rift that rent the fabric of the Catholic Church soon after.

The first section related to faith, is of course, the strongest message related to Luther and in many ways the reclaiming of what characterized the Gospel of the early Church but which over time, had been laden with tradition, reason and experience to where the key message of the gospel was all but drowned out. Luther ties the message back to Scripture and the Word of God, which Luther rightly doesn't separate from the person of Jesus Christ. The Gospel message is brought strongly with a separation from the works and indulgences of Luther's day that had replaced the simple truth.

Luther expands upon the three great "virtues" of faith. First, faith gives us true Christian liberty: we are free from the law and works. Second, faith honors God because by believing His promise it truth and righteousness are imputed to Him. So to not believe the word of the gospel is to make God a liar. Third, faith unites the soul to Christ. Believing in Christ is compared simply and stunningly to a marriage of king and a prostitute, where both share equally in what each brings to the union, for example: "Christ is full of grace, life, and salvation; the soul is full of sin, death, and condemnation. Let faith step in, and then sin, death and hell will belong to Christ, and grace, life, and salvation to the soul."

Following this Luther then expounds upon works and their role carefully separating them from the Salvation message. He points that works serve as a means or purification for us against the continued presence of the flesh in our lives and further evidence of the love we have for God and our brothers and sisters in the faith.

When you consider that this message, so familiar in so many contexts today, was coming out in a manner that had been muffled for years it's easy to see the power with which it burst onto the scene of its times. What is more, when we consider that many traditions today which claim the message of Grace and Faith but which have equally in time become slowly laden with tradition, reason and experience, there is great value in returning to this as an opportunity to cast off those elements that perhaps in our own communities of faith, like the organized church of old, have crept in and begun to muffle the message of Grace that is the most remarkable message of God.

Luther was not a perfect man by any means. When you examine his life and some of his views in other areas, it's hard to reconcile the grace he spoke of with the bigotry he expressed in some regards, even if you try to factor in the context of the society he lived in as some form of justification. Even with that, Luther's message of Grace echoing what he found in the Bible and which society at that time was able to access without the filtering of the institutional church, echoes still even 500 years later.

As a Kindle Book the free version loses nothing in terms of it's readability. The work is short enough and simple enough that the usual features that help to make Kindle Versions easier to navigate, really aren't needed.

5 Stars.

bart breen
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on May 14, 2016
Luther has a very clear way of expression. His style is logical and straight to the point. His principles are Biblical. He protests against church officials who enrich and empower themselves by their office and abuse the influence of ceremonies. He compares the need for external teaching, rituals and structures with scaffolding that is needed in the building process, but that are not the real building. They help to build the faith of believers, but the real thing is faith in Christ.
I like his style and clear solid thoughts.

Recommended for church leaders to rethink whether they really are building on faith in Christ or on wealth attainment, programs, psychological recipes, influence, as Luther puts it to the Pope in this document.
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on June 26, 2017
Martin Luther's classic teaching on what the Bible means when it says we are set free by Jesus Christ. It is a short read for such a significant and near timeless truth. The language of the edition I read is getting a bit dated which kept it from being as smooth an experience as it could have been, but it was certainly worth it. In this work we also get Martin Luther's perspective on the conflict he was having with the Roman church in the years between 1517-1520, which is an interesting tale particularly with the dramatic rhetoric Luther was known for.
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on March 19, 2014
This was a very interesting read. Thinking of reading someone's letters written in the 1450s is pretty amazing, but actually doing it is an amazing waltz through history. The elaborate wording is a bit perplexing, but the thoughts are easy to determine with ease. Luther must have been a real pain in the fanny of the "establishment clergy" in Rome at the time as he worded his letters and comments to them as needing a smack down and that is what he did. It is no wonder why Martin Luther was not the papal first choice as a fun guy. After reading this treatise, it is no wonder that Martin Luther probably had absolutely no supporters or friends in vatican city. Luther railed at them with dignity and scholastic logic as he carefully laid out his thoughts and counter thoughts against the specific dictums of Rome and particularly their heirarchy. Short read but very interesting nevertheless. if you are interested in learning a bit about religious history you will enjoy this one.
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on March 10, 2017
For those of us who are found to be In Christ, this book so clearly states what it is to be free in Christ. I am a Lutheran pastor for almost 41 years and involved with Lutheran churches for a least 48 years. In many classes in seminary, a number of professors quoted from and mentioned this piece from Luther Concerning Christian Liberty. Though I had come to acknowledge evangelical faith even before joining a Lutheran church I had not ever read this piece in its entirety. This piece so clearly explains how we are free from the very burden of trying to become acceptable to God. I hear so many preachers and teachers who think that they espouse Good News, and yet they are heaping great burdens on their people. As I read this book by Luther and then subsequently read the book of Galatians, I found myself walking away from these experiences more free than I have been; I am also more clear about what can motivate God's people to serve and stand with those who are in the midst of their struggles. The reason we do what we do, is not because we need to; but instead we are Free to.
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on March 10, 2015
This book adds to your understanding of the liberty that GOD granted us in Christ Jesus. There are some things that are a little hard to understand. But, we are told by GOD in Romans 10:17 (KJV) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God". If you read using the punctuation marks and reading out loud. It becomes clear. The writer, Martin Luther wrote using long punctuated sentences. He was long winded, but he wrote with understanding! Also, the preface will help you to understand what was going on in the Church world at the time of his writing. And it will give you some insight into what is going on in the Church world today.
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on November 30, 2015
Luther's passion, combined with his logical thought process, makes his writing compelling. I am impressed with his inventive analogies and the simplicity of his presentation. He seldom introduces a 'new truth' but he presents a familiar truth in a new way.
I learned more about justification by faith; the relationship of faith, works, and the law; and the Christian view of others, who may depart from these teachings.
Luther's writing is graphic in parts (for his time, that is) and his passion seems to be an extension of his his own rigorous and disciplined life.
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on May 6, 2014
This book shows us that true liberty for the Christian shows forth in the fruits manifested by God's Holy Spirit. These fruits especially, service and sacrifice are in no wise burdensome to the individual but rather a blessing that our Lord allows us to share in. Luther also sheds light on the the slavery of ceremonies and the deceitful practices that may of, at one time, guided us towards liberty but now only enslave us to religious works. This is a must read for any who would seek sanctification and not be misled by the form rather then the substance. We have been set free by Christ and not by any cooperation on our part. It is by sola gratis.
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