Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Moravian Moment # 189— Luther’s 95 Theses and the Fire Ignited in the Church…Part 7

October 31, 2010

Martin Luther used The Ninety-Five Theses to display his unhappiness with the Church's sale of indulgences, and this eventually gave birth to Protestantism. It especially defied the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church on the nature of penance, the authority and power of the pope and the efficacy of indulgences. Three fundamental things happened as a result of Luther’s passion to see the truth of the gospel being proclaimed. It promoted the protestant reformation. It brought many changes in religion, and way of life. New religious groups were formed. Today we will look at articles 55-67.

  1. The pope cannot help taking the view that if indulgences (very small matters) are celebrated by one bell, one pageant, or one ceremony, the gospel (a very great matter) should be preached to the accompaniment of a hundred bells, a hundred processions, a hundred ceremonies.
  2. The treasures of the church, out of which the pope dispenses indulgences, are not sufficiently spoken of or known among the people of Christ.
  3. That these treasures are not temporal are clear from the fact that many of the merchants do not grant them freely, but only collect them.
  4. Nor are they the merits of Christ and the saints, because, even apart from the pope, these merits are always working grace in the inner man, and working the cross, death, and hell in the outer man.
  5. St. Laurence said that the poor were the treasures of the church, but he used the term in accordance with the custom of his own time.
  6. We do not speak rashly in saying that the treasures of the church are the keys of the church, and are bestowed by the merits of Christ.
  7. For it is clear that the power of the pope suffices, by itself, for the remission of penalties and reserved cases.
  8. The true treasure of the church is the Holy gospel of the glory and the grace of God.
  9. It is right to regard this treasure as most odious, for it makes the first to be the last.
  10. On the other hand, the treasure of indulgences is most acceptable, for it makes the last to be the first.
  11. Therefore the treasures of the gospel are nets which, in former times, they used to fish for men of wealth.
  12. The treasures of the indulgences are the nets which to-day they use to fish for the wealth of men.
  13. The indulgences, which the merchants extol as the greatest of favours, are seen to be, in fact, a favourite means for money-getting.