Christian Themes

(Literary Essentials: Christian Fiction and Nonfiction)

Luther’s main points in The Freedom of a Christian include the following: that the Christian, justified by grace through faith alone, is completely free of any necessity to establish worthiness before God through ceremonial, legal, and moral works. Furthermore, the Christian, responding to what God has so freely given in Christ, disciplines the body and serves the neighbor in love, without any expectation of reward or thought of self-justification.

Throughout The Freedom of a Christian, Luther’s concern is to put the gospel into clear perspective. In faith a person stands before God in the light of grace. There is no other possibility. From the Christian who has understood this, good works flow forth as naturally as good fruit comes from a good tree. This is inevitable. Only where faith and works are present is the cost and joy of belonging to God understood and experienced. “Who then can comprehend the riches and glory of the Christian life? It can do all things and has all things and lack nothing.” To read Luther’s passionate vision of the Christian’s faith and life is to see more clearly and understand more fully the depth and reality of Christian love and freedom.