Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Moravian Moment # 192 — Luther’s 95 Theses and the fire ignited in the Church…Part 10


November 21, 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 examine the final articles of the 95 theses, 87-95.

  1. Again: What does the pope remit or dispense to people who, by their perfect repentance, have a right to plenary remission or dispensation?
  2. Again: Surely a greater good could be done to the church if the pope were to bestow these remissions and dispensations, not once, as now, but a hundred times a day, for the benefit of any believer whatever.
  3. What the pope seeks by indulgences is not money, but rather the salvation of souls; why then does he suspend the letters and indulgences formerly conceded, and still as efficacious as ever?
  4. These questions are serious matters of conscience to the laity. To suppress them by force alone, and not to refute them by giving reasons, is to expose the church and the pope to the ridicule of their enemies, and to make Christian people unhappy.
  5. If therefore, indulgences were preached in accordance with the spirit and mind of the pope, all these difficulties would be easily overcome, and indeed, cease to exist.
  6. Away, then, with those prophets who say to Christ's people, "Peace, peace," where in there is no peace.
  7. Hail, hail to all those prophets who say to Christ's people, "The cross, the cross," where there is no cross.
  8. Christians should be exhorted to be zealous to follow Christ, their Head, through penalties, deaths, and hells.
  9. And let them thus be more confident of entering heaven through many tribulations rather than through a false assurance of peace.