Sola Fide

31 days big

Onward, Sola! (Onward only? You know what I mean.) Next on our list is Sola Fide. Traditionally this one comes before Sola Gratia, but I find it easier to talk about justification before sanctification, because justification comes first no matter who you talk to. (John 17:19)

Sola Fide means… can you guess? Only Faith! That’s right, ladies and gents, only faith, or “the justification by faith alone.” We receive Christ’s atonement for our sins exclusively through faith in Him. All human works–for good or ill–are excluded from the court when God is judging our case.

Given John 3:16 (or, you know, the whole gospel…), how can this be new? It’s a sola, so that means it’s fairly recent in church history outside of the very-early church history recorded in Acts. What kind of arguments was the other guy making? For 1200 years?!

Well, some of them might not have been arguing about what you think they were arguing about. The Catholic and Orthodox view that opposes this one suggests that while justification is by faith, we can reject faith by disobeying Christ. And that rejection, they posit, would be an act that separated us from Christ and the benefit of our previous faith. While justification is an act of initial faith in Christ, they believe there is a follow-up, the work of sanctification, that must be real, else we are not saved.

The strictest adherents to sola fide believe that is not true. Grace extended by the saviour covers all sins; past, present, and future. Works do not, have not, and cannot have anything to do with the matter. Jesus saves, end of story. “Once saved, always saved” sort of thing.

In short, they’re arguing about apostasy, or the abandonment of religion by a person. If a person, saved, continues to sin and live a sinner’s life, were they saved? And, if they were, are they still?

There are a lot more Scripture on apostasy than what’s below. I could have you here a while, but apostasy is something that will come up again. So until then, start forming some thoughts!

Genesis 15:6 And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.

John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

Matthew 7:22-23 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Matthew 5:48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Luke 5:20 And when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”

Matthew 12:36-37 I tell you, on the day of judgment, people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Luke 18:10-14 Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector,standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Luke 8:21 But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”

Luke 23:40-43  But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.”  And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”  And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Enjoy!

– Strings

PS: There are also those who think that things like baptism save you, and that being baptized is necessary for heaven. I’m …not even touching that. But you can start here if you must:

John 3:5, Acts 2:38, 1 Pete 3:21, Acts 22:16; Rom 5:1, Eph 2:8, 1 Cor 1:17, Luke 23:40-43

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Published in: on October 8, 2013 at 8:33 pm  Comments (1)  

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