A Message from the President
Perhaps the most referenced single statement of the Reformation is ascribed to Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms (April 18, 1521), when he refused to recant his belief that Jesus, Son of God, Savior and Lord, had done everything necessary for the
forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation on Calvary’s blood-stained cross and Easter’s open tomb.
“Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason … my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise, God help me. Amen.”
Luther was not merely defending the veracity and perspicuity of the Scriptures, but also their central teaching of justification by grace through faith. What this particular truth, this Good News, means is that when anyone believes that Jesus is Lord, that God raised him from the dead for the forgiveness of sins, and trust themselves to the God who has done this, they are assured in the present time that they are part of God’s family, their sins have been removed, and they are “right” with God through Jesus. This truly is a gracious message, a life-changing power of God.
Martin Luther’s noble words at Worms have the same ring to them as the Apostles Peter and John’s famous defiance of the Sanhedrin in Acts 5: “We must obey God rather than men!
May God grant us the same living relationship with, and confidence in, our Savior Jesus that emboldened Peter and John, and motivated and assured Martin Luther, that in this generation and in the years to come our faith and life demonstrate our Christ-centered, faith-filled, Bible-believing convictions; allowing us to share in love what we believe, teach, and confess: that Jesus is Lord and Savior.
HERE WE STAND … secure in God’s love and grace … ready, eager, and equipped to GO forward with the eternal, life-giving message of the Gospel for this generation … and for future generations … so that all whom the Lord our God calls to Himself may experience eternity with our Savior.
In Christ’s Love and Service,
Rev. Dr. David P. E. Maier, President
Michigan District, LCMS