The Popish position virtually proceeds upon the assumption that the church is for the sake of the ministry, and the Protestant one, upon the assumption that the ministry is for the sake of the church.The Church of Rome makes the ministry the end, and the church the means; Protestants reverse this order, and make the ministry the means, and the church the end. . .Due to this attitude, the days were dark during these times in the church, and knowledge of individual faith was almost entirely lost. The lay people did not have access to God's Word, so scholastic levels were extremely low, and the study of the Scriptures had been almost wholly abandoned on a personal level.Doctrines held and expounded by the earliest church fathers were neglected; notably the doctrine of Justification, but it was this particular truth that the Holy Spirit revealed to the searching heart and mind of the monk named Martin Luther that was the real beginning and spark of life from God for the Reformation of His church.The Scriptural answers God gave Luther of this fundamental doctrine had far more to do with the Reformation events, than even the posting of his protestations ("The 95 Thesis") against Papal indulgences. By the grace of God and the gift of faith, Luther was made to understand his own, personal, justification before God.Quotes from Luther later . . .J&R
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