The more he studied the Scriptures, the more he saw the need of showing the church how it had strayed from the truth., he posted a list of 95 propositions on the church door in Wittenberg.
In his day, this was the means of inviting scholars to debate important issues.
Martin Luther was bright, and his superiors soon had him teaching theology in the university.
In 1515, he began teaching Paul's epistle to the Romans.
Most galling was the practice of indulgences -- the certificates the church provided, for a fee, supposedly to shorten one's stay in Purgatory. He planned to use the money to help pay for the building of St. Johann Tetzel was one of the indulgence sellers in Luther's vicinity.
He used little advertising jingles to encourage people to buy his wares: "As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs." Once Luther realized the sufficiency of Christ's sacrifice alone for our sins, he found such practices revolting.
The more Luther's eyes were opened by his study of Romans, the more he saw the corruption of the church in his day.
The glorious truth of justification by faith alone had become buried under a mound of greed, corruption, and false teaching.
No one took up Luther's challenge to debate at that time, but once news of his proposals became known, many began to discuss the issue Luther raised that salvation was by faith in Christ's work alone.
Luther apparently at first expected the pope to agree with his position since it was based on Scripture; but in 1520, the Pope issued a decree condemning Luther's views. With that act, he also burned his bridges behind him.