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An Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation.

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Presentation on theme: "An Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation."— Presentation transcript:

1 An Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation

2 Problem: The Romanists (the pope and his defenders) are dug in behind 3 arguments (the “Three Walls”).

3 Problem: The Romanists (the pope and his defenders) are dug in behind 3 walls. “Only we have power in spiritual things.” 1

4 Problem: The Romanists (the pope and his defenders) are dug in behind 3 walls. “Only we have power in spiritual things.” “Only we can interpret the Bible.” 2 1

5 Problem: The Romanists (the pope and his defenders) are dug in behind 3 walls. “Only we have power in spiritual things.” “Only we can interpret the Bible.” “Only we can call a Council.” 2 1 3

6 “Only we have power in spiritual things.” 1

7 Luther’s response: The distinction between the “Spiritual Estate” (priests) and the “Temporal Estate” (laypeople) is not scriptural. The distinction between the “Spiritual Estate” (priests) and the “Temporal Estate” (laypeople) is not scriptural. “Only we have power in spiritual things.” 1

8 Luther’s response: The distinction between the “Spiritual Estate” (priests) and the “Temporal Estate” (laypeople) is not scriptural. The distinction between the “Spiritual Estate” (priests) and the “Temporal Estate” (laypeople) is not scriptural. All Christians have spiritual authority. All Christians are kings and priests before God (1 Peter 1:9). All Christians have spiritual authority. All Christians are kings and priests before God (1 Peter 1:9). “Only we have power in spiritual things.” 1

9 Luther’s response: The distinction between the Spiritual Estate (priests) and the Temporal Estate (laypeople) is not scriptural. The distinction between the Spiritual Estate (priests) and the Temporal Estate (laypeople) is not scriptural. All Christians are kings and priests before God (1 Peter 1:9). All Christians are kings and priests before God (1 Peter 1:9). UNIVERSAL PRIESTHOOD

10 Luther’s response: The distinction between the Spiritual Estate (priests) and the Temporal Estate (laypeople) is not scriptural. The distinction between the Spiritual Estate (priests) and the Temporal Estate (laypeople) is not scriptural. All Christians are kings and priests before God (1 Peter 1:9). All Christians are kings and priests before God (1 Peter 1:9). Christians hold different offices: priest, bishop, prince, farmer, mother, etc. But before God, all are equal. Christians hold different offices: priest, bishop, prince, farmer, mother, etc. But before God, all are equal.

11 Luther’s response: Before God, all are equal. Before God, all are equal. Therefore, the spiritual authority (popes, bishops, etc.) is not “higher” than temporal authority (princes, etc.). Therefore, the spiritual authority (popes, bishops, etc.) is not “higher” than temporal authority (princes, etc.).

12 Luther’s response: Therefore, spiritual authority (popes, etc.) is not “higher” than temporal authority (princes, etc.). Therefore, spiritual authority (popes, etc.) is not “higher” than temporal authority (princes, etc.). Therefore, princes and laypeople have every right to reform the Church, if the Pope won’t do it himself. Therefore, princes and laypeople have every right to reform the Church, if the Pope won’t do it himself.

13 Sample quotations From all this it follows that there is really no difference between laymen and priests, princes and bishops, "spirituals" and "temporals," as they call them, except that of office and work. Source:

14 For whoever comes out the water of baptism can boast that he is already consecrated priest, bishop and pope, though it is not seemly that every one should exercise the office. Nay, just because we are all in like manner priests, no one must put himself forward and undertake, without our consent and election, to do what is in the power of all of us. For what is common to all, no one dare take upon himself without the will and the command of the community.

15 Sample quotations If a little group of pious Christian laymen were taken captive and set down in a wilderness, and had among them no priest consecrated by a bishop, and if there in the wilderness they were to agree in choosing one of themselves, married or unmarried, and were to charge him with the office of baptizing, saying mass, absolving and preaching, such a man would be as truly a priest as though all bishops and popes had consecrated him.

16 Luther’s response: “Only we can interpret the Bible.” 2

17 Luther’s response: “They wish to be the only Masters of the Holy Scriptures, even though in all their lives they learn nothing from them!” “Only we can interpret the Bible.” 2

18 Luther’s response: If this were really true—that the Bible means only what the Pope says it means— then what would we need the Bible for? If this were really true—that the Bible means only what the Pope says it means— then what would we need the Bible for? “Only we can interpret the Bible.” 2

19 Luther’s response: Then what would we need the Bible for? Then what would we need the Bible for? All Christians—not just the pope--have the Holy Spirit (See Wall #1). All Christians are competent judges in spiritual things. All Christians—not just the pope--have the Holy Spirit (See Wall #1). All Christians are competent judges in spiritual things.

20 Luther’s response: All Christians are competent judges in spiritual things. All Christians are competent judges in spiritual things. Even Peter was in the wrong (Galatians 2:11), and more than once. How can the Pope say he is an infallible interpreter of Scripture? Even Peter was in the wrong (Galatians 2:11), and more than once. How can the Pope say he is an infallible interpreter of Scripture?

21 Luther’s response: “Only we can call a Council.” 3

22 Luther’s response: Once the first two walls are down, this one collapses all by itself. “Only we can call a Council.” 3

23 Luther’s response: Many important councils in church history (e.g. Jerusalem-Acts 15; Nicea) were not called by the Pope. Many important councils in church history (e.g. Jerusalem-Acts 15; Nicea) were not called by the Pope. “Only we can call a Council.” 3

24 Luther’s response: Many important councils in church history were not called by the Pope. Many important councils in church history were not called by the Pope. The only authority that exists in the Church is the authority to build up the Church. The only authority that exists in the Church is the authority to build up the Church. “Only we can call a Council.” 3

25 Luther’s response: The only authority that exists in the Church is the authority to build up the Church. The only authority that exists in the Church is the authority to build up the Church. If the Pope is tearing down the Church, and he prevents the calling of a Council, he must be opposed. If the Pope is tearing down the Church, and he prevents the calling of a Council, he must be opposed. “Only we can call a Council.” 3

26 Sample quotation Would it not be most unnatural, if a fire were to break out in a city, and every one were to keep still and let it burn on and on, whatever might be burnt, simply because they had not the mayor's authority, or because the fire broke out at the mayor's house?

27 After the “3 Walls” are “down,” Luther adds:

28 1. A list of topics that a Council should take up.

29 After the “3 Walls” are “down,” Luther adds: 1. A list of topics that a Council should take up; 2. Reforms needed in the Church, Part I

30 After the “3 Walls” are “down,” Luther adds: 1. A list of topics that a Council should take up; 2. Reforms needed in the Church, Part I 3. Reforms needed in the Church, Part II

31 After the 3 walls are down, Luther adds: 1. A list of topics that a Council should take up; 2. Reforms needed in the Church, Part I 3. Reforms needed in the Church, Part II 4. Reforms needed in the State (e.g. the schools)


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