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31. The man who actually buys indulgences is as rare as he who is really penitent; indeed, he is exceedingly rare.

Martin Luther is saying that a person who actually buys and receives what the indulgences promise is forgiven because he is really penitent and that is very rare. Why are so few people truly penitent? Why do most people stubbornly resist confessing to God that they are less than they should be? Why does the Bible say that the road to salvation is narrow and the road to destruction is broad?

The answer is, that without the Holy Spirit living in us we are under the rule and the reign of the Prince of this world, the Lord of Darkness. Since the time of Adam and Eve Satan has convinced mankind that they can be “Just like God”. God continues to say to us “I will be your God and you will be My people” and we continue to believe that “God is God and I will be God too”. The people of this world live as if they are their own God. Therefore even today mankind is certain that they are completely up to the standards of God, or if they aren’t they can fix it themselves.

We can never admit that we are sinners in need of God’s forgiveness unless we are moved by the power of the Holy Spirit living in us. God’s Holy Spirit shows us our sin and then points us to Jesus as the author of our salvation. When the Holy Spirit lives in us we can confess our sin every day and receive God’s forgiveness. Because as long as I live in this world sin will be a part of my life and I will always need God’s forgiveness.


God I a poor miserable sinner confess unto You my sin and I realize that only through the suffering and death of Jesus can I be set free. I beg You to look not on my sin but on the sinless Jesus Christ, that I may be counted worthy of being in Your presence. Amen.