Nearly five hundred years ago, Martin Luther nailed his “95 Theses” to the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Germany in what was then, the Holy Roman Empire. The religious world would never be the same. In it, Luther centered on practices within the Catholic Church regarding baptism and absolution of sin. The theses rejected the validity of indulgences (remissions of temporal punishment due for sins which have already been forgiven). In this, they view with great cynicism the practice of indulgences being sold, and thus the penance for sin representing a financial transaction rather than genuine contrition. Luther’s theses argued that the sale of indulgences was a gross violation of the original intention of confession and penance, and that Christians were being falsely told that they could find absolution through the purchase of indulgences. The theses challenged the very authority of the agents, priests, etc. and especially the Pope himself in these matters.
And so, Protestantism was born.
Now, five centuries later, Mike Williams answers with “The 95 Theses of the Gospel Revolution”. These ninety-five points refute Christian orthodoxy, whether Catholicism or Protestantism.
Each thesis, like all aspects of the gospel, is a fractal of the good news in and of itself. They declare unabashedly the complete work of Christ for all humanity regardless of belief, background, station in life, behavior, repentance, penance, indulgences, contrition or any other role for humanity in the redemptive process.
Ninety-five theses boldly announcing to the world, “It is finished”.
Could it be that 500 years after Luther, the religious world is about to be upended again, this time once and for all?
1. The scripture declares that everything was created by the Word of God; that the Word of God would be sent out and would not return to him void. The Word of God was sent and was literally made flesh in Christ. Therefore, there can be no interpretation of scripture except through the conception, life, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Anything else would indeed be a “private interpretation” of the scripture.
2. Christ is the ultimate definer of scripture. He defined the scripture as the law, the psalms and the prophets. All the New Testament writers agreed with Jesus’ definition of what scripture actually was.
3. All of God’s anger, wrath, and jealousy toward mankind was and is completely and finally dispensed with by the death of his son Jesus the Christ.
4. It is an insult to the grace of God to teach, preach, imply or infer that any destruction, malady, devastation, or tragedy (whether natural or man made) is a judgment, or the product of God’s wrath, anger, vengeance or chastisement because Christ was the receptor of all judgment. Yet, there is no divine, temporal or eternal consequence to this manifest offence of God’s manifold grace because Christ took it all.
5. The law concluded for the benefit of the conscience of mankind, without ambiguity, that the full offence of sin was found in one man, Adam, and would and could only be reconciled through one man, the Christ. Therefore, God’s law is to be held in the highest regard.
6. By one man’s (Adam’s) offence and disobedience, all were made sinners as imputed by God. It is therefore perfectly consistent, and even more so, that through one man (Jesus), all humanity was made and forever shall be righteous as also imputed by God.
7. In the same way that all people “came” from the loins of the first Adam, all “returned” to the loins of the last Adam, Christ, at the cross. Therefore, when he was nailed to the cross, all of humanity, not just Christ alone was crucified, died, buried and raised to life again.
8. Christ concluded that if even one “jot or tittle” ever passed from the law that it would signify forever that all law and prophecy was completely and irrevocably fulfilled.
9. God’s law was never, and could never be, satisfied through obedience. God’s law was satisfied and fulfilled by the death of Christ.
10. All prophecy, in total, was fulfilled in the life, death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Nothing was left undone or incomplete, including the destruction of the temple. The temple prophecy was gloriously and profoundly accomplished in Christ’s body as he foretold, “Destroy this temple and I will raise it again in three days.”
11. The glory and precision of God’s law, nor any disobedience to it whatsoever, ever caused any person to become a sinner. Sin was imputed to to all by God because of the first Adam’s disobedience.
12. Sin and its implications were completely eradicated as an issue between God and humanity through Christ’s death on the cross.
13. After Adam’s transgression, all humanity was born “in sin,” regardless of behavior or background or their intentions. Whether recognized or not, no act by anyone imputed with Adam’s sin could, in part or in whole, alter or change that condition in any way.
14. After Christ’s obedience unto death on the cross, all humanity was reborn “in Chris,” regardless of action, race, sex or intent, and is perfect in the view and opinion of the Almighty. This condition of imputed righteousness cannot be annulled by any human being, whether recognized or not, no more than the imputed sin could be annulled by any human being in the first Adam.
15. In the beginning God created man in his own image, subject to corruption, not willingly but by reason of hope. Once corruption entered by Adam, far from seeking to repair his broken image, God began the process to utterly and completely destroy his creation and create a new one.
16. In the giving of Christ, God did not repair his broken image. God knew that to have repaired the image would have left his creation subject to corruption yet again. God corrected the original dilemma for eternity.
17. Part of the unchangeable nature of the new creation is revealed in established fact, not the hope, that all people are now in Christ. Unlike the first creation, we are not a separate image so there is never again any possibility of corruption. Mortal has now put on immortality and corruption has put on incorruption.
18. Under the first testament, signified by the blood of animals, one offended God by breaking his laws which always was answered with punishment.
19. Under the second testament, signified by the blood of Christ, one can offend God’s grace, which is always answered with… more grace.
20. The temptation of Adam came as a suggestion that he could become “like God.” The reason it was a temptation was because Adam was already made like God. Adam fell prey to this temptation.
21. The last Adam, Christ, was tempted in a similar manner to the first with the words from the devil, “If you are the Son of God…” Christ refused the temptation to do something Godlike to prove his “sonship.” He, the Last Adam, defeated what felled the first.
22. To be a son of God under the New Covenant does not require one to prove one’s sonship.
23. Falling from grace is not when one breaks a law. Rather, falling from grace, occurs when one keeps a law mistakenly believing that keeping it can in any way win favor with God.
24. Repetitive confessions of sins do not honor God’s grace. Confession of sins under the new covenant in the blood of Christ is doing despite to the spirit of grace and counting the blood of Christ, which sanctified us, as an unholy thing.
25. All prophecies and teachings of wrath and judgment after the cross are to be condemned. There is, however, no condemnation toward the messenger who delivers a teaching or prophecy of future wrath and judgment.
26. Any and all proclaimed fulfillment of scripture yet to come after the life, death, burial and resurrection of Christ should be considered nonsensical. How is it possible for any scripture, “the Word of God”, to be fulfilled outside of the life of Christ who was the word and became flesh? God’s word could only be, and was, completely fulfilled after it became flesh and dwelt among us.
27. What prayer is and is not should be left to the conscience of the individual in one’s understanding of grace. What prayer cannot be is a petition requesting something of God who has already given us all things that pertain to life that he has already given.
28. Since the book of Psalms is replete with prayers, and psalms are scripture and scripture has been fulfilled, our understanding must include the fulfilled nature of such prayer.
29. “Faith” is to be viewed as fulfilled as well. Jesus concluded and proved humanity does not possess the faith that has supernatural abilities. Far from our faith being involved in any way in the redemptive process, we are redeemed only by the faith of God.
30. The substance of faith has been realized in Christ. We now have the righteousness that was only hoped for and oneness in God that had never been seen before the cross.
31. Man has never added substance to faith, only Christ could. He is, therefore, the author and finisher of faith.
32. Faith no longer has power to change things. The faith of Christ has already changed all that faith was supposed to transform. Faith now acknowledges what has already changed.
33. The perfection of the sacrifice of Christ was the direct result of his birth by incorruptible seed, not the result of how he lived his life on this earth.
34. The will of God has been forever completed in Christ, without the involvement of mankind’s will, magnificently and especially pertaining to redemption.
35. The requirement to make Jesus one’s “personal Lord and Savior” is not only not scriptural, it is neither inferred nor specifically found anywhere in the Bible. Only God could make Jesus Christ Lord. And when he did, he made Jesus Lord over all without asking or needing man’s permission to do so.
36. Being born again is not and could never be a personal or individual experience. To be born again is to be born from the dead, as Christ was in his resurrection. It is concluded without reservation that since all were in Christ at the cross, all were born from the dead at his resurrection.
37. The human race is now holy and incorruptible. For if the seed is holy, so too are the tree and the branches.
38. Jesus’ requirement to believe, as set forth before he went to the cross was replaced (like all law and requirements) by God’s grace when God declared all to be in unbelief so he might have mercy on all.
39. In the same vein, “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved,” was trumped by, “I was found of them that asked not after me; I was made manifest unto them that did not ask, or call upon me”.
40. Making an honest effort was never God’s requirement for relationship and fellowship with him; God’s requirement was perfection. The law could not produce the perfection which God insisted upon.
41. Perfection was attained by virtue of the sinless conception and birth of Christ without the polluting and corrupting effect of the seed of Adam.
42. Christ’s perfection at the resurrection was imputed to all mankind by God’s choice. Far from individuals making “a decision for Christ,” God made a decision for each and every person.
43. A birth free from the condition of sin and a perfect sacrifice would have been ineffective without a perfect high priest to offer the fulfillment of all things unto God.
44. The priesthood under the old covenant was unable to offer the perfect sacrifice. The proof of their individual and collective disqualification was manifest. They all died and stayed that way.
45. By the resurrection from the dead, the sacrifice (the body of Christ) became the perfect high priest, “a priesthood after the order of Melchisedec”—an endless life.
46. The priesthood of Christ was established once, confirmed by God, will continue without end, will never require repeating, is conducted from a position of rest, and constitutes an eternal Sabbath for God and his creation who are now one.
47. God is omnipotent; all powerful. God has now chosen to eternally demonstrate his power, all of it, in the gospel.
48. While the most celebrated impact of the gospel is freedom from guilt, the removal of judgment in one’s thinking produces quietness and assurance forever in the soul. This is nothing short, and nothing other than the power of God.
49. The day of God’s wrath and the day of the mercy of God all fell on one day, at one place, in one body. This is the day that the Lord has made – the Day of the Lord.
50. Judgment Day occurred 2,000 years ago at Golgotha and therefore is now a historical event.
51. The end of the world is a historical event. The disciples asked when the “aion” (age) would come to an end, not the “kosmos” (world). The aion world ended at Christ’s death on the cross.
52. The “aion” age/world that ended was all things pertaining to the temple, laws and sacrifices – sin ended.
53. Christ is the savior of the kosmos world. Not once did he speak of ending, nor did he predict the end of the kosmos world.
54. The gospel was preached in all the “oikoumene” world (which was then specifically the Roman Empire), and then the end of the world “aion” came.
55. Likewise, the 70th week of Daniel’s prophecy is also history. The prophecy was fulfilled when transgression was finished, the rule of sin was ended, and reconciliation for iniquity made, prophecy completely fulfilled and “sealed up.” Christ was anointed “Most Holy.” It has all been accomplished. “It is finished.”
56. The kingdom of God is not something we seek after any longer. The kingdom of God is within you, now resident and abiding in all people.
57. God’s initial creative order was: God, angels, man, animals, plants, etc. The angelic realm became corrupted which led to the corruption of man.
58. In God’s new creation, he himself became a man, completed his redemptive work and raised mankind up above all angels.
59. This new position required and produced a new heart for the whole of humanity. This new heart was given to all, and it was imputed with wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. The heart has and knows this intuitively whether one’s mind and soul does or not.
60. The mind desperately needs to be renewed to the new heart reality. The gospel is the anchor that tethers the renewed mind to the new heart.
61. The mind renewed (or to have the mind of Christ), accepts and recognizes that equality with God is nothing which needs to be strived for. The mind of Christ counts equality as a finished work.
62. We no longer seek wisdom. It also was imputed by the work of Christ and the gospel announcement is the assurance of having infinite access to it.
63. We also no longer seek his righteousness. It was freely and generously imputed to all. The gospel announcement is the assurance of righteousness.
64. After the cross, sanctification and redemption never again had to be sought after. They sought us, found us, captured and invaded us.
65. Morality and spirituality are separate and distinct issues and should remain mutually exclusive.
66. All seeds contain within them all that they will ever produce. Christ, the seed, the spiritual seed, the new seed, produced a tree never seen on this planet before—the tree of righteousness. It is the planting of the Lord.
67. In the same way redemption is not a personal or individual event, neither is the resurrection of the dead. One died. We were all dead. One was raised. We were all raised.
68. In one single moment of time, in the twinkling of an eye, the last trump sounded, and those who were dead “in sin,” were raised incorruptible to sin no more, and it all happened on the day of the Lord. This is part of history also.
69. Thus, these questions were answered once and for all time: “Oh death where is your sting? Oh grave where is your victory?” Not just incorruptible by sin, the mortal has put on immortality.
70. Being chosen and predestined by God and for his purpose is the only way for one to be redeemed. Man’s choice and will are of no consequence in redemption.
71. In ancient Jewish marriage, the bride had no choice in her marriage. The law gave her no option to divorce. Only the husband could divorce. The mystery of marriage is seen in Jesus, the bridegroom in the completion of scriptural marriage who said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”. What God has joined, no man (or man’s religion) will be able to put asunder.
72. True conversion is not turning from your sinful acts to righteous acts. It is, indeed, turning from your own righteousness to God’s righteousness brought solely through Christ.
73. Those who advocate finding righteousness by keeping God’s law, including belief, are trying to make a substance out of old testament shadows, which is falling from grace.
74. The gospel comparison is not between righteousness and unrighteousness. Rather it is wholly a comparison between righteousness and self-righteousness.
75. Just as there are the fruits of righteousness, there are surely the fruits of self-righteousness.
76. Self-righteousness contains no understanding of truth at all. While all people are as spiritually grown up as they ever will be, true Sons of God. Self-righteousness inhibits emotional and intellectual growth and maturity.
77. Self-righteousness is unprofitable. Nothing good proceeds from self-righteousness; only guilt, condemnation and judgment.
78. Self-righteousness is full of curses and bitterness. It is deceitful. Its words are poison and must be condemned.
79. Self-righteousness proposes to inflict punishment quickly. True justice never comes from self-righteousness.
80. Destruction and misery of the individual and society are two of the most predominant fruits of self-righteousness.
81. The way of peace is unknown to self-righteousness. The gospel of peace is anathema to self-righteousness.
82. It is of greatest importance to understand that the most destructive force we face on planet earth today is not unrighteousness. It is, without question, self-righteousness.
83. When one gives up on their own self-righteousness, the knowledge of Christ’s righteousness and the power of his resurrection replace it quite naturally. This starts the continuous saving of the soul on its infinite journey to discover the gratuitous grace and peace and life that are within.
84. It is “the flesh,” worldly and carnal, to apply old covenant practices and thoughts to the new covenant life much like adding new cloth to an old garment.
85. The word “salvation” is used in many applications. However, Paul used it mostly to describe the effect the gospel, the good news, the power of God, has on the mind or soul.
86. The Gospel has no power to redeem. It is by definition, information, news—good news—about the redemption that is fully completed for all with no need of participation by human beings.
87. The power of the gospel is not intended to give one an accurate view and opinion of God. It is intended to reveal God’s accurate view and opinion of us.
87. Between the first and the Last Adam stood God’s law. The law pointed to the first Adam as the problem and concluded the Last Adam to be the answer.
89. Just as the scriptures spoke of Christ, Christ – the Word made flesh – spoke of himself. This acknowledgment by the mind removes the shackles of religion, which turns the scriptures on us. Scriptures reveal what the gospel declares about Christ.
90. It is paramount to know what the Father promised the Son to be his inheritance, which is the heathen of the earth.
91. When one reads the teaching of Christ with the mistaken view, influenced by religious teaching, that it is about us, an honest heart will have to conclude that there is ultimately no hope for redemption at all.
92. The gospel removes Christ from the realm of fantasy, religion and myth as a biblical character to one of reality, truth, knowing, and a daily awareness of his completed work.
93. The true power of the gospel is manifested not by what it adds to one’s life but rather what it removes from one’s soul which is guilt and judgment.
94. The removal of guilt and judgment, by the power of the gospel, gives way to viewing others and ourselves the way the Almighty sees us all.
95. The gospel, its intuitive knowledge in the heart about the equality and oneness of God and all people, has led to every advancement of human rights, dignity, and peaceful co-existence that has been realized in the last two thousand years.