“The Righteous Shall Live by Faith!” Romans 1:17
A young Doctor of Philosophy who was a professor and chair of the Religion Department at the University of Wittenburg had a dilemma.
What was he to do? His church, led by Pope Leo X, was in error and was deluding Luther’s parishioners with the sale of indulgences. Pieces of paper could be bought that they were told would provide freedom from God’s punishment of sin. The lie was being told as truth. What was he to do?
What was the source of his concern, his knowledge of truth? Through Scripture came the discovery for Luther of what God does for us through Christ. Paul, who testified before rulers and kings, wrote the words that freed Luther from mistakenly believing God had no love for him. Now knowing God loved him, Luther wrote that the sale and promises of the indulgences were lies. After writing his concerns, his protest, he nailed them on a church door to be read. Little did he know that with each blow of his hammer his world, our world, the world would never be the same.
Question: What are the Ninety Five Theses?
Answer: The Ninety-Five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences (original Latin: Disputatio pro declaratione virtutis indulgentiarum) were written by Martin Luther in 1517 and was the initial catalyst for the Protestant Reformation. The disputation protests against clerical abuses, especially nepotism, selling church offices and roles, misuse of church funds and the sale of indulgences. On 31 October 1517, Luther posted the ninety-five theses, which he had composed in Latin, on the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg.