A Treatise on Good Works is considered Luthers clearest exposition on Christian life and the relationship between faith and good works. Contrary to the teachings of the Roman church of his day, Luther taught that people need not perform extraordinary acts of religious devotion to be saved, but rather that Christ saves them by grace through faith. Neither the church nor any other human institution can define what it means for each individual to obey and serve God, and only through the grace of God can people live and act faithfully in their everyday affairs. These doctrines, foundational for Protestantism, have shaped both Christendom and culture at large. This essay is doubtlessly one of the most important texts of the last 500 years.