For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. John 3:17
A father and mother don’t scold, spank, or punish their children because they want to see their children die. They discipline their children so that they won’t fall into the hands of the executioner later. In the same way, God doesn’t want us to run wild. He directs and disciplines us in order to restrain us and keep us from being punished. God wants to protect us and make us heirs in the kingdom of heaven.
God disciplines his chosen ones and even sends them many trials and troubles. When you find yourself thinking, “Oh, God is so angry with me,” then say to yourself, “I believe in you and in your Word. You won’t deceive me. Even if you send me many troubles, it’s not because you are condemning me. You will never throw me out. As Psalm 143:2 says, ‘Do not bring your servant into judgment,’ for you haven’t been sent to judge the world.” Even if God was to send plagues, don’t think that he wants to destroy everything. When the Corinthians behaved foolishly at the Lord’s Supper and God allowed many to become ill and die, Paul declared, “But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world” (1 Corinthians 11:31-32).
We should understand that God disciplined us so that we will be saved, not condemned. By disciplining us, he hopes to pull us back from the condemnation and judgment reserved for the world. He doesn’t want us to be judged along with world. Christ didn’t come to judge. We shouldn’t look on him as an executioner. He isn’t angry. He doesn’t want to condemn us. Instead, Christ wants to help us.
95 Theses are reproduced in their entirety, with an introduction and explanatory notes to aid readers in discerning the significance of Luther’s call to reformation.
The Ninety-Five Theses is a text that everyone knows, most refer to, but few actually read, writes Stephen Nichols. Nevertheless, it is such a crucial text that it deserves to be read widely. Toward that end, Nichols has prepared this edition with an illuminating introduction, explanatory notes, and several illustrations. Martin Luther has left a legacy that continues to enrich the church through his writings. . ., writes Nichols. All of this may be traced back to the last day in October 1517 and the nailing of the Ninety-Five Theses to the church door.