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Will Graham

Luther’s Top Ten Theses

Will Graham names his ten favourite Luther theses.

FRESH BREEZE 14 OCTOBER 2017 15:00 h GMT+1

Let me start today by asking a question.

Have you read Luther’s 95 theses?

Although it is hard to believe, only a very small portion of evangelicals have actually read them. However, I confess that this fact is not all that surprising. After all, it is quite a tedious theological document with a few moments of intellectual and spiritual brilliance.

The 95 theses are nothing in comparison with Luther’s later masterpieces such as ‘The Bondage of the Will’ (1525) or ‘The Minor Catechism’ (1529).

All I want to do in this week’s article is to quote my top ten theses from Luther’s list of ninety-five. I hope it may go some way to helping you all to sitting down to read them yourselves.

So, let me hand you over to my friend, Martin. Enjoy!



Thesis # 1

When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said: Repent (Matthew 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.

Thesis # 27

They preach only human doctrines who say that as soon as the money clinks into the money chest, the soul flies out of purgatory.

Thesis #36

Any truly repentant Christian has a right to full remission of penalty and guilt, even without indulgence letters.

Thesis # 37

Any true Christian, whether living or dead, participates in all the blessings of Christ and the church and this is granted him by God, even without indulgence letters.


John Tetzel was one of many indulgence preachers in the times of Luther.

Thesis # 54

Injury is done to the Word of God when, in the same sermon, an equal or larger amount of time is devoted to indulgences than to the Word.

Thesis # 62

The true treasure of the church is the most holy Gospel of the glory and grace of God.

Thesis # 72

Let him who guards against lust and licence of the indulgence preachers be blessed.

Thesis # 82

Why does the Pope not empty Purgatory for the sake of holy love and the dire need of the souls that are there if he redeems an infinite number of souls for the sake of miserable money with which to build a church? The former reason would be most just; the latter is most trivial.

Thesis # 86

Why does not the Pope, whose wealth is greater today that the wealth of the richest Crassus, build this one basilica of St. Peter with his own money rather than with the money of poor believers?


Pope Leo X wanted to use the money gained from indulgences to rebuild St. Peter's Basilica.

Thesis # 94

Christians should be exhorted to be diligent in following Christ, their Head, through penalties, death and hell.




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