There is no doubt that the posting of the 95 Theses on the church door is one of the iconic moments of the Reformation. However, a contemporary reading these words would have trouble predicting the role that Luther would play in the years ahead.
Two lesson here: 1) Understanding takes time. A flash of lightning convinced Luther that he should enter the laity – Over five years of Bible study brought him to the revelation that salvation is by faith alone. 2) People can change. How often do we denounce someone because of what they said at one time in the past? If John MacArthur wrote the 95 Theses – there would be Christians who would never forgive him for it. Food for thought eh?
On to the reading:
- Point 40 – Sole Fide anyone? (Also Point 69)
- Point 48 -50– Luther visited Rome seven years before he wrote the 95 Theses. I wonder if he was thinking back to this visit when he wrote point 48.
- Point 56-57 – Christian relics were very common in this period. A merchant would product a piece of the cross or some other icon with power to grant relief for the dead. At this point in the narrative, Luther questions the quantity and the authenticity more than the concept itself. (Also Point 82)
- Point 62 – I love this statement: “The true treasure of the church is the Holy gospel of the glory and the grace of God.”
- Point 92 – Great use of Scripture: “Away, then, with those prophets who say to Christ’s people, “Peace, peace,” where in there is no peace.”