The Power of Indulgence

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Martin Luther compiled a list of propositions on the power of indulgence which led to significant changes in Europe. This study is a summary of the 95 theses with attention to the following sections: 5,6,27,28,42,43,50,51, and 62.


Luther explained the power of the pope making it clear that he cannot cancel any punishment other than the ones that he has foisted. However, forgiveness does not take place if the guilty despises the pope’s power to remit the penalties that he has imposed. He can only intercede on behalf of a person and declare remission of guilt where God has already done so. Unlike many preach, Luther made it clear that the movement of soul out of purgatory cannot be determined by human intercession. According to section 28, the results of any prayer is entirely dependent on God, rather than the human will, (Luther 4).

The pope’s act of interceding for a pardon is incomparable to God’s mercy. Showing compassion to the needy is better than spreading the gospel of pardon. Compassion and help to the poor spread love and leads to spiritual growth unlike buying pardon which does not lead to growth. The early church exalted God through giving and helping the poor led by St. Peter. It is important for Christians to understand that it is the pope’s duty to lead them in giving their possession to help the needy. The pope therefore wishes to continue with the good works taught by St. Peter through works that express the grace of God.


The 95 theses are an important compilation that guides Christians through the power of indulgence. They explicitly outline what remission and pardon is, and how they take place. Christians should engage in activities that demonstrate love and compassion rather than only focusing on buying absolution.

Works Cited

Luther, Martin. Martin Luther's 95 theses. World eBook Library, 2005


November 13, 2023




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Catholic Church Pope

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