The Day Luther Died

The Day Luther Died

In Germany 467 years ago, in a small, backwater town called Eisleben, the shaking hand of a dying man scribbled this simple line: We are beggars. This is true.

Martin Luther died on February 18, 1546. These last words of weakness echoed the life-changing truth he’d unearthed in the Scriptures: we don’t bring anything to the table of our justification. Jesus truly died for the ungodly.

Luther came to understand that if we are to be accepted by God, we need a perfect righteousness we can’t produce — we need an alien righteousness given to us by Another.

But this discovery didn’t just happen. It came after hours of the painstaking study of Scripture. Luther gave himself to the Book, which he later explained as the primary actor in the Protestant Reformation. And a great movement of God in our day won’t happen apart from that same ingredient. Pastors and Christian leaders must be devoted to God’s word.

So we have much to learn from Luther, says John Piper.

Luther was the subject of Piper’s biographical message at the 1995 Conference for Pastors. We’ve since reformatted that message into a five-chapter ebook, which presents a sketch of Luther's life and distills relevant lessons for not only pastors and leaders, but all Christians.

Get a free download of Martin Luther: Lessons from His Life and Labor, which is available in PDF, MOBI (formatted for Kindle), or EPUB (formatted for readers like the Nook, Sony Reader, and Apple iBooks).

Jonathan Parnell (@jonathanparnell) is a writer and content strategist at Desiring God. He lives in the Twin Cities with his wife, Melissa, and their four children, and is the co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary .