October 11

 

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.  John 8:36

 

There are two kinds of freedom.  The first is a false freedom of false disciples.  These people want freedom for satisfying their desires.  They become Christians for that reason, just as the people in this passage became followers of Christ because they heard his followers were devout, good, patient, and gentle people, not thirsting for revenge.  His followers freely gave to the poor and were generous.  They also heard that his followers worshipped a merciful God, not an angry one.  When they heard all of this, they liked the idea that believers would give to them and serve them.  So they said, “I will gladly have others give to me, serve me, and forgive me.  The Lord God will also forgive my sins and help me get to heaven.”  They were glad to be on the receiving end of all of this.

However, people like this are scoundrels and don’t want to leave their lives of sin and idolatry or give anything to anyone.  They want to live lives of sexual immorality and self-gratification as they did before coming to Christ.  Yet they still want to be considered Christians.  These are false disciples who only want freedom for their physical desires.  They praise the gospel and at first follow it earnestly.  Soon after, they do what they want, following their evil lusts and desires.  They become worse and more indecent than before.  They are smugger, wilder, and greedier.  They even steal more than others do.

The second type of freedom is the true freedom of genuine disciples.  Those who stick to God’s Word and endure, suffer, and tolerate what they must are the ones who will be set free.  They will become stronger as time goes on.

 

Martin Luther’s 95 Theses

 

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.

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