60.Without want of consideration we say that the keys of the church, given by the merits of Christ, are that treasure.
The perfect life of Christ, His undeserved death on the cross and His miraculous resurrection are what we could call the “merits of Christ” and the Keys to the Kingdom of God. Jesus spoke to the disciples and gave them the power to announce forgiveness to those who believe. He said that those who are forgiven by us on earth are forgiven in Heaven and those who are unforgiven are unforgiven by God as well. So in that way we control the “keys to Heaven.”
This once again illustrates that our salvation is not something that we can earn but something that God will give to us as a gift. That is the core of what Luther had come to believe and what he was striving to convey with the 95 Theses.
Dear God I thank You once again for the salvation that You have given to me through Your Son Jesus. May the Spirit that has moved in me move also in many others who stand in need of Your forgiving love. In the name of Jesus, Amen.