What Were The 95 Thesis

Luther was calling the pope and those in power to repent—on no authority but the convictions he’d gained from Scripture—and urged the leaders of the indulgences movement to direct their gaze to Christ, the only one able to pay the penalty due for sin.Of all the portions of the document, Luther’s closing is perhaps the most memorable for its exhortation to look to Christ rather than to the church’s power: 93.

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Luther is known mostly for his teachings about Scripture and justification.

Regarding Scripture, he argued the Bible alone () is our ultimate authority for faith and practice.

Although the Ninety-five Theses doesn’t explicitly lay out a Protestant theology or agenda, it contains the seeds of the most important beliefs of the movement, especially the priority of grasping and applying the gospel.

Luther developed his critique of the Roman Catholic Church out of his struggle with doubt and guilt as well as his pastoral concern for his parishioners.

Additionally, we need to fully trust in God to save us from our sins, rather than relying partly on our own self-improvement.

These teachings were radical departures from the Catholic orthodoxy of Luther’s day.At the same time, the church became more and more uncomfortable with the radical Luther and, in the following decades, the spark that he made grew into a flame of reformation that spread across Europe.Luther was ordered by the church to recant in 1520 and was eventually exiled in 1521.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.If people know only one thing about the Protestant Reformation, it is the famous event on October 31, 1517, when the Ninety-five Theses of Martin Luther (1483–1586) were nailed on the door of the Castle Church of Wittenberg in protest against the Roman Catholic Church.Within a few years of this event, the church had splintered into not just the “church’s camp” or “Luther’s camp” but also the camps of churches led by theologians of all different stripes.Luther’s official response to indulgences came in the form of an academic document he addressed to the local archbishop, who happened to be the same Albert of Mainz who’d authorized the campaign.Significantly, Luther penned his grievance—titled “Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences,” but known to posterity as the Ninety-five Theses—in Latin rather than in the common vernacular.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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