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64. On the other hand, the treasure of indulgences is naturally most acceptable, for it makes the last to be first.

For those of us who want to “win” salvation by what we are doing for God indulgences are a great idea. Because we can buy indulgences to cover those times when we do bad works and that moves us from the back of the pack to the front of the line of those who are pursuing God.

One of the most repeated themes of Luther’s 95 Theses is that salvation is not something that we can “win” by our actions. Only God’s grace that bestows on us His forgiveness can give us salvation. Our salvation or Eternal Life is about the relationship that we have with God not about how well we have lived our life. We are not able to restore that relationship without the grace of God that does it all for us. Through the grace of God we are restored in our relationship with God.

Therefore indulgences are of no value to help in salvation. Even though the idea makes sense to us as a people that believe we are working our way to salvation.


Lord God Heavenly Father, thank You for the salvation that I have in Jesus Christ. Help me to rely on Your Spirit and not on my own merits for my relationship with You. May I walk with You all my days. In Christ. Amen.