Monday, October 31, 2016

Five of the Ninety-Five Theses

The circumstances that fueled Luther's writing of ninety-five theses were the prevalent selling of indulgences - forgiveness of sins to be bought for money - and that less in the interest of God's people than in the interest of church finances. Medieval church fund-raisers at their finest and worst. What better way to fill up the church building fund than by playing off the very real desire of people to be rid of guilt? That made Luther, this pious Catholic monk mad. So he wrote about it. Here are five of the ninety-five theses. You can read all of them here.

1. When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ``Repent'' (Mt 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.

36. Any truly repentant Christian has a right to full remission of penalty and guilt, even without indulgence letters.

37. Any true Christian, whether living or dead, participates in all the blessings of Christ and the church; and this is granted him by God, even without indulgence letters. 

43. Christians are to be taught that he who gives to the poor or lends to the needy does a better deed than he who buys indulgences.

62. The true treasure of the church is the most holy gospel of the glory and grace of God.

Read all of Luther's 95 theses here.