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95. And thus be confident of entering into heaven through many tribulations rather than through the false security of peace (Acts 14:22).

Imagine that you were trying to climb up the side of a steep mountain for the first time. Someone gave you a harness and had it attached to a rope and they said, “don’t worry if you fall we will catch you.” You would go up that mountain without fear and you would take the dangerous jumps and small footholds and grab the slippery rocks, because you know that you have the safety harness in case you fall. Then your friend starts shouting at you be careful don’t take those chances because there is no one on the end of the rope to catch you, it just looks like a safety harness it is not really safe.

That is what Luther was trying to do for the people of the church of his day when he wrote the 95 Theses. He was shouting that the indulgences that they were trusting in had no one on the end of the rope. It was not a safety harness at all. He told them instead that the true safety rope for their life was tied off in Christ and His work on the cross. He said that you can be sure of your salvation and your eternal life, but not because of an indulgence that you bought from someone who said it was signed by the pope. Your security is to be found in the cross of Christ.

Today there are many people in the church that would have us put our trust in a person or a special teaching of the church. That this person or teaching is a great secret that only a few know about but you can depend on this for salvation. They may even say that the cross is important but this is more important. We need to follow the urging of Martin Luther from 500 years ago and cling solely to the cross of Christ for nothing else will save you.

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father I thank you for the many gifts that You gave to Your people on earth through Your servant Martin Luther. I pray that the security of the cross that he reminded us of will fill my heart and mind. In Christ Jesus, Amen.