Even when he was engaged in the translation of the Bible, Luther, in the year 1521, while living in Wartburg — to which place this “courageous” Apostle had fled in the disguise of a country squire and lived under an assumed name — wrote to his friend Melanchthon to say: “I sit here in idleness and pray, alas, little and sigh not for the Church of God. Much more am I consumed by the fires of my unbridled flesh. In a word, I, who should burn of the spirit, am consumed by the flesh and by impurity." (De Wette, 2, 22)
“He was so well aware of his immorality,” we are informed by Melanchthon, “that he wished they would remove him from the office of preaching.” (Sleidan, Book II, 1520).
Luther himself recognized the devastating effects of such admittedly insincere preaching: “The Gospel today finds adherents who are convinced that there is nothing except a doctrine that serves to fill their bellies and give free reign to all their impulses” (Werke, 33, p. 2, in ibid., p. 212).
As for his evangelical followers, Luther added that “they are seven times worse than they were before. After preaching our doctrine, men have given themselves over to stealing, lying, trickery, debauchery, drunkenness, and every kind of vice. We have expelled one devil (the papacy) and seven worse have entered.” (Werke, 28, p. 763, in ibid., p. 440).
“After we understood that good works were not necessary for justification, we became much more remiss and colder in the practice of good … And if we could return today to the prior state of things and if the doctrine that affirms the necessity of doing good works could be revived, our eagerness and promptness in doing good works would be quite different” (Werke, 27, p. 443, in ibid., p. 441).
On conscience he said, “What harm would there be, if a man to accomplish better things and for the sake of the Christian Church, does tell a good thumping lie” (Lenz, “Briefwechsel”, I, 382; Kolde, “Analecta”, 356)
On Justification by Faith, Luther said, “Be a sinner and sin on bravely, but have stronger faith and rejoice in Christ, who is the victor of sin, death, and the world. Do not for a moment imagine that this life is the abiding place of justice: sin must be committed. To you it ought to be sufficient that you acknowledge the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world, the sin cannot tear you away from him, even though you commit adultery a hundred times a day and commit as many murders” (Enders, “Briefwechsel”, III, 208) Don.