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79. To say that the cross emblazoned with the papal coat of arms, and set up by the indulgence preachers is equal in worth to the cross of Christ is blasphemy.

When those salesmen would say that the papal coat of arms is equal to the cross of Christ that is truly blasphemy. Because to put those two on the same level is to lessen the worth of Christ. The cross of Christ is greater than any pope could ever be.

In the Old Testament when the children of Israel were traveling through the wilderness they had a time when they were over run with serpents. The people were being bitten and many were dying. God told Moses to make a brass pole with the image of a serpent in brass on the top of the pole. Then he was to raise the pole in the center of the camp and anyone who was bitten and then looked to the pole would not die. They looked to the brass serpent pole in order to be saved.

The indulgence preachers raised up the cross with the emblem of the pope on it and told the people to look there to be saved. Luther points out that they are clearly confusing the people. They wanted the people to believe that salvation came from the pope and indulgences. While in fact we are to look to the cross of Christ to be saved.

Do not look anywhere but to Christ for your salvation.


Dear God come to my relief. I look to You for all my help. Give me the joy of Your salvation and keep me always in Your ways. That I may follow in the way that You lead. Through Jesus Christ, Amen.