43. Christians are to be taught that he who gives to the poor or lends to the needy does a better deed than he who buys indulgences.
This Thesis is a restatement of the previous Theses. Luther is making the point that as followers of Christ we strive to live “Christ-Like Lives” and therefore reach out to help those in need as Christ would do. Buying indulgences does nothing to help us to live Christ-Like lives.
Luther seems to understand that as Believers in Jesus Christ we desire to live lives that are changed. One of those changes is our concern for the poor that leads to actions that will help those in need. In the Gospels Jesus explained that God does not need anything from us and so we are unable to “do anything” for Him. However, He stated that if we wanted to do something for Him we can do something for those in need around us. This would be Luther’s idea of a truly good work.
God has placed us in a position to help those around us in need. It should not be a question of “if” we will help, but “how” we will help. Since I am going to help what shall I do? It is not an accident that the church on earth has started hospitals, orphanages, old folks homes, and schools. As we live our “new Life” we live for those in need.
Dear Lord in Heaven, change me and make me new! Give me a love for You that is made evident in my life lived for others. Show me the best way for me to serve those around me and give me the strength of Your Spirit. In Jesus name, Amen.