51) Christians are to be taught that the pope would and should wish to give of his own money, even though he had to sell the basilica of St. Peter, to many of those from whom certain hawkers of indulgences cajole money.
A church campus can be the lifeblood of the community in so many ways. At the same time, rather than building to the glory of God, if you are simply building a vanity project, your money is better used to serve the needs of those in the community.
52) It is vain to trust in salvation by indulgence letters, even though the indulgence commissary, or even the pope, were to offer his soul as security.
Trust in Christ alone who already pardons our sins on the cross. Our ultimate allegiance is to our Savior.
53) They are the enemies of Christ and the pope who forbid altogether the preaching of the Word of God in some churches in order that indulgences may be preached in others.
This is a strong statement because Luther is basically saying the pope condemns himself as he well knows it is the pope who is encouraging these sales in the first place.
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.
Forgiveness through indulgences=forgiveness through Jesus? Not on your life. Preach the right message.
55) It is certainly the pope’s sentiment that if indulgences, which are a very insignificant thing, are celebrated with one bell, one procession, and one ceremony, then the gospel, which is the very greatest thing, should be preached with a hundred bells, a hundred processions, a hundred ceremonies.
Luther is putting the emphasis in the right place.
56) The true treasures of the church, out of which the pope distributes indulgences, are not sufficiently discussed or known among the people of Christ.
If God’s people know about forgiveness of sin through the sacrifice of Jesus, they won’t be interested in indulgences. Luther is already alluding to a theme he will address with the Small Catechism. The total lack of knowledge about who Jesus is and what he does.
57) That indulgences are not temporal treasures is certainly clear, for many indulgence sellers do not distribute them freely but only gather them.
The indulgence sellers don’t have a corner on the market of what the indulgences are suppose to represent, forgiveness.
58) Nor are they the merits of Christ and the saints, for, even without the pope, the latter always work grace for the inner man, and the cross, death, and hell for the outer man.
We don’t need indulgences, we need Jesus. And we have him already. Luther will dismiss the idea that the saints have merits for us very soon.
59) St. Lawrence said that the poor of the church were the treasures of the church, but he spoke according to the usage of the word in his own time.
Luther takes a side trip to speak of how the word “treasure” is used in different way by St. Lawrence.
60) Without want of consideration we say that the keys of the church, given by the merits of Christ, are that treasure.
Forgiveness of sin comes through Christ and it is every Christians privilege to declare that forgiveness is available for everyone.