Luthers ninety-five theses: What you may not know and why they matter today
Luther is known mostly for his teachings about Scripture and justification. Regarding Scripture, he argued the Bible alone (sola scriptura) is our ultimate authority for faith and practice. Regarding justification, he taught we are saved solely through faith in Jesus Christ because of God’s grace and Christ’s merit. We are neither saved by our merits nor declared righteous by our good works. Additionally, we need to fully trust in God to save us from our sins, rather than relying partly on our own self-improvement.
Forgiveness with a Price Tag
These teachings were radical departures from the Catholic orthodoxy of Luther’s day. But you might be surprised to learn that the Ninety-five Theses, even though this document that sparked the Reformation, was not about these issues. Instead, Luther objected to the fact that the Roman Catholic Church was offering to sell certificates of forgiveness, and that by doing so it was substituting a false hope (that forgiveness can be earned or purchased) for the true hope of the gospel (that we receive forgiveness solely via the riches of God’s grace).
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