Between 1512 to 1517 Luther became convinced, as he studied the Scriptures, that many of the teachings and doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church were in error. By 1517 Luther developed the basic framework of what would be later called "Protestant Theology", and was convinced the Scripture taught:
The Roman Church branded Luther a heretic, and Christian scholars all through the Church debated his doctrine, both pro and con. Though the Roman Church would have liked to take more drastic steps against Luther, he was friends with the local prince, Frederick the Wise, Elector of Saxony. The German people also supported Luther as a native son, chafing under the domineering Italian governed Roman Church.
In 1521 the Roman Catholic Church had finally had enough of this "heretic", and in the Diet of Worms Luther was placed under the ban of the emperor. Luther was taken to Wartburg Castle by his friend Frederick, and was kept there under security for his own safety. While in seclusion Luther translated the New Testament into German so his fellow citizens could read it, developed a new Church government and revised liturgies. When it was safe to come out of his exile, Luther presented the foundation for a reformed Protestant Church, totally separated from the Roman Catholic practices.
As a Church Father, Luther contributed numerous writings and commentaries to Protestantism. He had a profound effect on his nation, the Christian Church, and upon religious life in general. He left a rich heritage of writing and doctrine. His hymns, especially "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God", still inspire Christians today.
"When a man comes into the pulpit for the first time, he is much perplexed by the number of heads before him. When I ascend the pulpit I see no heads, but imagine those that are before me are all blocks. When I preach I sink myself deeply down; I regard neither doctors nor masters of which there are in the Church above forty. But I have an eye for the multitude of young people, children, and servants, of which there are more than two thousand. I preach to them. I direct my discourse to those that have need of it.
A preacher should be a logician and a rhetorician - that is, he must be able to teach and admonish. When he preaches on any article, he must first distinguish it, then define, describe and show what it is; thirdly, he must produce sentences from the Scripture to prove and strengthen it; fourthly, he must explain it by example; fifth, he must adorn it with similitudes; and lastly, he must admonish and arouse the indolent, correct the disobedient, and reprove the authors of false doctrine - Martin Luther"
Below you will find links to several of Martin Luther's Works. I pray that God will bless you as you study this epistle through the writings of this great Church Father.