31) The man who actually buys indulgences is as rare as he who is really penitent; indeed, he is exceedingly rare.
Indulgences will fare no better than being truly penitent…Don’t waste your money.
32) Those who believe that they can be certain of their salvation because they have indulgence letters will be eternally damned, together with their teachers.
Luther is already showing his “Christ alone” attitude and he rightfully warns those who would lead others astray.
33) Men must especially be on guard against those who say that the pope’s pardons are that inestimable gift of God by which man is reconciled to him.
I remember Loyd Bentsen reminding Dan Quayle in the 1988 VP debate, “Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.” Well, Luther has his spin. “Mr. Pope, you’re no Jesus Christ.”
34) For the graces of indulgences are concerned only with the penalties of sacramental satisfaction established by man.
How can manmade religious rules bring eternal blessing? They can’t…
35) They who teach that contrition is not necessary on the part of those who intend to buy souls out of purgatory or to buy confessional privileges preach unchristian doctrine.
Luther still thinks indulgences may be possible with the right attitude. This will soon change.
36) Any truly repentant Christian has a right to full remission of penalty and guilt, even without indulgence letters.
All of our sins are already forgiven on the cross of Jesus. It is just receiving this forgiveness as our own that matters.
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.
With God, “Get Out Of Jail Free” cards are not necessary.
38) Nevertheless, papal remission and blessing are by no means to be disregarded, for they are, as I have said (Thesis 6), the proclamation of the divine remission.
When the pope pronounces blessing he is being an ambassador for God, as any Christian can do.
39) It is very difficult, even for the most learned theologians, at one and the same time to commend to the people the bounty of indulgences and the need of true contrition.
Here we see Luther doing some deep thinking himself on the whole indulgence controversy.
40) A Christian who is truly contrite seeks and loves to pay penalties for his sins; the bounty of indulgences, however, relaxes penalties and causes men to hate them — at least it furnishes occasion for hating them.
“Getting off easy” skews the whole meaning of repentance.