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37. Any true Christian, whether living or dead, participates in all the blessings of Christ and the church; and this is granted him by God, even without indulgence letters.

This Thesis is saying the same thing that Luther said in the last three Theses. That Forgiveness and Salvation are the free gift of God out of love for us. One has to wonder just why he felt the need to say this in four different ways.

I think it is because he has just come to realize this truth of the Gospel. He had lived his life in a church where the Gospel had been covered over by the law of the church. The church was always looking to have complete control over the people of the church. Therefore they would hold onto the forgiveness of Christ and only slowly give it out to those they thought deserved it. If the people of the church wanted the assurance of salvation they had to come to the church to get it.

Part of this problem stemmed from the fact that the bible was only written in Greek, Hebrew and Latin. The common people had no access to the Word of God, they only had what the church chose to tell them. Luther realized this root problem and he translated the entire bible from Greek and Hebrew into common German, the language of the people. Then he showed the people of the church what the scripture said about God’s love for them and the salvation that was theirs in Jesus Christ.

Having the Word of God in their own language freed the people from the tyranny of the church. They could now see for themselves just what God had been saying to His people throughout history. That translation was probably one of the greatest gifts of Luther to the Reformation.


Lord Jesus Christ, You are my only hope for salvation. Thank You for Your payment of my sin. May I always live as a forgiven child of God and proclaim Your salvation to anyone who will listen. I want to share this great gift with all the people of the world. In Your name I pray, Amen.