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95 Theses: Thesis 87

by PastorWilliams on August 27th, 2017

“Again: — “What is it that the pope remits, and what participation does he grant to those who, by perfect contrition, have a right to full remission and participation?””

Luther asks the question again about the Pope’s remission of sins. What does he remit by his own authority? Only those infractions of canon law, which has been determined by the traditions of men rather than the Word of God (Matthew 15:6). With these man-made rules in place, the Pope held the lay people in a stranglehold.

Of what participation is the Pope in control? Participation at the altar and the font. The Pope has the ability to decide who can come to the altar to receive Christ’s body and blood there. The Pope also has the ability to decide who can be a baptismal sponsor.

But the biggest question is the “perfect contrition”. Who is ever perfectly contrite? No one. However imperfect our contrition, we still have the right to full remission and participation in the Gospel. This is given to all who are contrite and confess their sins. No one needs to certify your perfection. It is Christ’s free gift.

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