Martin Luther Before the Diet

“In the presence of that powerful and titled assembly the lowly born Reformer seemed awed and embarrassed. Several of the princes, observing his emotion, approached him, and one of them whispered: “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul.” Another said: “When ye shall be brought before governors and kings for My sake, it shall be given you, by the Spirit of your Father, what ye shall say.” Thus the words of Christ were brought by the world’s great men to strengthen His servant in the hour of trial.”  GC 155


  1. “An all-wise Providence had permitted Luther to realize his peril,
  2. that he might not trust to his own strength and rush presumptuously into danger.
  3. Yet it was not the fear of personal suffering, a dread of torture or death, which seemed immediately impending, that overwhelmed him with its terror. He had come to the crisis, and he felt his insufficiencyto meet it. Through his weakness the cause of truth might suffer loss.
  4. Not for his own safety, but for the triumph of the gospel did he wrestle with God. Like Israel’s, in that night struggle beside the lonely stream, was the anguish and conflict of his soul. Like Israel, he prevailed with God.
  5. In his utter helplessness his faith fastened upon Christ, the mighty Deliverer.
  6. He was strengthened with the assurance that he would not appear alone before the council. Peace returned to his soul, and he rejoiced that he was permitted to uplift the word of God before the rulers of the nations.”  GC 157


“With his mind stayed upon God, Luther prepared for the struggle before him:

  1. He thought upon the plan of his answer
  2. Examined passages in his own writings
  3. Drew from the Holy Scriptures suitable proofs to sustain his positions.
  4. Then, laying his left hand on the Sacred Volume, which was open before him, he lifted his right hand to heaven and vowed “to remain faithful to the gospel, and freely to confess his faith, even should he seal his testimony with his blood.”  GC 157


  1. “Luther made his answer in a subdued and humble tone
  2. Without violence or passion
  3. His demeanor was diffident and respectful
  4. yet he manifested a confidence and joy that surprised the assembly.” GC 158
  5. “Spoken to all with Christian dignity and calmness
  6. His words had been free from pride, passion, and misrepresentation
  7. He had lost sight of himself, and the great men surrounding him, and felt only that he was in the presence of One infinitely superior to popes, prelates, kings, and emperors.

Christ had spoken through Luther’s testimony with a power and grandeur that for the time inspired both friends and foes with awe and wonder. The Spirit of God had been present in that council, impressing the hearts of the chiefs of the empire. Several of the princes boldly acknowledged the justice of Luther’s cause. Many were convinced of the truth; but with some the impressions received were not lasting. There was another class who did not at the time express their convictions, but who, having searched the Scriptures for themselves, at a future time became fearless supporters of the Reformation.”  GC 161

One thought on “Martin Luther Before the Diet”

  1. Amen! Such excellent advice for us today. I have always loved this chapter of the Great Controversy, and I appreciated seeing it in point form. May God continue to lead and bless you.

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