Sola Gratia

Thank you for your patience with me. Boogaloo has been teething (or something), and this took longer to edit than it should. I am still behind a bit, but I hope to be back on track soon. Please pray for sleep! 

31 days big

Finally, I hear you exhaling. Finally, we get back to things. I left you at a cliffhanger for nearly a week. Four more solas! What are they? What do they meaaaannnnnn?

Sola Gratia. Grace alone. We are justified by grace alone through faith alone.  With such Scriptural support, how can anyone argue?

Because human beings can argue, that’s how. It all comes down to a monergistic versus synergistic grace. Now, isn’t that the most helpful sentence in the history of sentences? Some definitions, stat!

Grace: unmerited favor.

Monergistic: God alone. Deity-only. No outside help, no nothing.

Synergistic: God and man together.

So, all grace is undeserved, and all of grace is a gift. Everybody agrees on that. The question is then, is our unmerited favor gained by way of God granting it to us via divine selection – or do our actions have something to do with it?

Famously James questions if faith without works is valid, but that’s not really talking about justification. That’s talking about sanctification (we’ll discuss later).

The trouble falls in what constitutes a work. A monergist would say that anything at all constitutes a work – in fact, that no one seeks for God, much less finds Him. According to monergists, it is necessary for us to be drawn to Christ. We do nothing, God chooses us for his flock, and thusly chosen we go.

A synergist would claim that position takes sola gratia too far. Instead, synergists suggest Jesus died for all who believe and wants all people drawn to Himself. That some people aren’t saved is not indicative of His desire, but our rejection.

This all ties in with predestination and the five points of Calvinism that we’ll get into after we get through all the solae, but that is at A Future Date. For now, start chewing on these ideas:

Romans 11:5-6  So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

Romans 2:4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?

Romans 3:10-11 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one;    no one seeks for God.”

1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.

John 20:30-31 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

John 6:65  He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

PS: Please note that Sola Gratia is particularly difficult to study because everyone claims to believe it, but nobody agrees how to apply it. Both the most monergistic and most synergistic people will claim firm belief in exclusively-grace theology. But, it’s still a good idea to be thinking about, and we’ll get back to it later, so start thinking, Bereans!

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Published in: on October 6, 2013 at 11:48 pm  Comments (1)  

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