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38. Nevertheless, papal remission and blessing are by no means to be disregarded, for they are, as I have said (Thesis 6), the proclamation of the divine remission.

In this Thesis Luther again shows his love for the Church and the Pope. His hope was to bring the church back to the true understanding of the grace of God. But that love that he had would not last much longer as the Pope and the leaders of the church responded to these Theses with hatred toward Luther.

Announcing the forgiveness of God to His people is one of the greatest joys of the church. Before Christ ascended into heaven he told the disciples, the church on earth that they had the power to announce the forgiveness of sins. That office of the keys and confession was given by the church to the priests and the pope to keep as a trust for the church and to exercise that office on behalf of God and the church on earth. A few years after Luther wrote the 95 Theses the people of the reformation led a complete revolt against the Roman Catholic Church. They completely rejected the power of the Pope and the Catholic Church, Luther did not start out to rob the pope of his office within the church, but that was the result.

At the time of Luther the Pope and most of the leaders of the Roman Church were totally corrupt. They took their positions in the church as an opportunity to steal and lie. They did not live for the people that God had placed under them, instead they lived for themselves. Because of this God eventually took the church away from them and gave it back to the people who lived to serve His people. Today a pastor is called not to live for himself but to live his life for the people of God in his church and community.

Prayer

Lord, I thank You for the church that You have made me a part of and the pastor that You have placed in that church. Please help me to recognize his work for You and respect the fact that he is speaking for You in what he says and does. Help him to remain faithful to You in all that he does for Your church. In Christ’s name, Amen.