CTX Blog

Powerful Quotes from 5 Leaders of the Protestant Reformation

April 19, 2021
Martin Luther statue on CTX campus

Concordia University Texas is aligned with The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS), which identifies with the teachings of Martin Luther, a German monk who led the Protestant Reformation.

The Protestant Reformation was a movement in the 16th century (the 1500s) that sought to reform the Roman Catholic Church and resulted in the formation of an entirely separate entity: Protestantism.

The Reformers recognized God's Word as the ultimate authority and that the perfect life and sacrificial death of Christ is the only basis on which sinners can be reconciled to God. The movement was a call to biblical Christianity.

The Protestant Reformation was built on five foundational doctrines known as the "five solas," which state that Christians are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, as revealed in Scripture alone, to the glory of God alone.

  • Sola Gratia - "grace alone"
  • Sola Fide - "faith alone"
  • Solus Christus - "Christ alone"
  • Sola Scriptura - "Scripture alone"
  • Soli Deo Gloria - "to the glory of God alone"

We've compiled a collection of quotes from some of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation to encourage you in your walk with Christ.

Martin Luther (Germany)

  • "To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing."
  • "You are not only responsible for what you say but also for what you do not say."
  • "Peace if possible; truth at all costs."
  • "You should not believe your conscience and your feelings more than the Word which the Lord Who receives sinners preaches to you."
  • "We need to hear the Gospel every day because we forget it every day."
  • "Lord Jesus, You are my righteousness; I am Your sin. You took on You what was mine, yet set on me what was Yours. You became what You were not, that I might become what I was not."
  • "The Bible is a remarkable fountain: The more one draws and drinks of it, the more it stimulates thirst."
  • "We do not become righteous by doing righteous deeds but, having been made righteous, we do righteous deeds."
  • "The truth of the matter is rather as Christ says, 'He who is not with me is against me.' He does not say, 'He who is not with me is not against me either, but merely neutral.'"
  • "The gospel cannot be truly preached without offense and tumult."

Did you know that Concordia University Texas has the only statue of Martin Luther depicted as a young man? You can see the Luther statue in Luther Park, which is next to the Welcome Center.

John Knox (Scotland)

  • "O Lord Eternal, move and govern my tongue to speak the truth."
  • "Study to practice in life that which the Lord commands, and then be you assured that you shall never hear nor read the same without fruit."
  • "Let no day slip over without some comfort received from the Word of God."
  • "The Scriptures of God are my only foundation and substance in all matters of weight and importance."
  • "Although I never lack the presence and plain image of my own wretched infirmity, yet seeing sin that so manifestly abounds in all estates, I am compelled to thunder out the threats of God against the obstinate rebels."

Ulrich Zwingli (Switzerland)

  • "Our confidence in Christ does not make us lazy, negligent or careless, but, on the contrary, it awakens us, urges us on and makes us active in living righteous lives and doing good. There is no self-confidence to compare with this."
  • "Everything that is true is God's word, whoever may have said it."
  • "Christ is our justification, from which follows that our good works, if they are of Christ, are good; but if ours, they are neither right nor good."
  • "Since Christ is our righteousness, our works are good only insofar as they are of Christ."
  • "God gives us everything in the name of Christ. Hence, we need no other intercessors."
  • "If we desire wisdom or learning, we are taught to ask it of Him alone." [Proverbs 9:10; Ephesians 1:17; James 1:5]
  • "In the gospel, the whole truth is clearly contained."
  • "Where God works, you need have no fear that things will not be done rightly."
  • "Christ is the one eternal High Priest; therefore, those who vaunt themselves as high priests oppose the honor and power of Christ."
  • "This is the gospel, that sins are remitted in the name of Christ, and no heart ever received tidings more glad."

John Calvin (France)

  • "We shall never be clothed with the righteousness of Christ except that we first know assuredly that we have no righteousness of our own."
  • "The surest source of destruction to men is to obey themselves."
  • "Faith is like an empty, open hand stretched out toward God, with nothing to offer and everything to receive."
  • "For the fetus, though enclosed in the womb of its mother, is already a human being, and it is a monstrous crime to rob the baby of the life which it has not yet begun to enjoy."
  • "A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent."
  • "Humility is the beginning of true intelligence."
  • "Peace is not to be purchased by the sacrifice of truth."
  • "Whatever a person may be like, we must still love them because we love God."
  • "We cannot rely on God's promises without obeying His commandments."
  • "Men will never worship God with a sincere heart or be roused to fear and obey Him with sufficient zeal until they properly understand how much they are indebted to His mercy."

William Tyndale (England)

  • "Do you know Who taught the eagles to find their prey? Well, that same God teaches His hungry children to find their Father in His Word."
  • "God's goodness is the root of all goodness, and our goodness, if we have any, springs out of His goodness."
  • "To have a faith, therefore, or a trust in anything where God has not promised is plain idolatry and a worshipping of your own imagination instead of God."
  • "I perceived how it was impossible to establish the lay people in any truth, except that the Scripture was plainly laid before their eyes in their mother tongue."
  • "It is impossible to preach Christ without preaching against the antichrist."
  • "Christ desires His mysteries to be published abroad as widely as possible. I would that the Gospels and the epistles of Paul were translated into all languages, of all Christian people, and that they might be read and known."
  • "The Scriptures sprang out of God."
  • "Expound the Law truly, and open the veil of Moses to condemn all flesh and prove all men sinners, and set at broach the mercy of our Lord Jesus, and let the wounded consciences drink of Him."

Concordia University Texas Pre-Seminary Program

If you're fascinated by theology and church history, consider adding the Pre-Seminary minor to your degree.

The Pre-Seminary minor at Concordia University Texas prepares you to become a pastor, missionary or deaconess by adding Biblical knowledge studies to your degree.