Posts Tagged ‘Sola Fide’

In continuing my reading through CJPM, Hywel R. Jones makes the case that the Church’s identify is inextricably linked to its understanding and preaching of Justification by faith alone. In his chapter entitled ‘Preaching sola fide Better’, Jones emphasizes the importance for pastors to recognize that the “lifeblood” of their congregation depends on how well they understand (and proclaim) this vital doctrine. (p. 312)

One of his extended quotes is from Richard Lovelace:

Only a fraction of the present body of professing Christians are solidly appropriating the justifying work of Christ in their lives. Many have so light an apprehension of God’s holiness and of the extent and guilt for their sin that consciously they see little need for justification, although below the surface of their lives they are deeply guilt-ridden and insecure. Many others have theoretical commitment to this doctrine, but in their day to day existence they rely on their sanctification for justification drawing their assurance of acceptance with God from their sincerity, their past experience of conversion, their recent religious performance or the relative infrequency of their conscious, willful disobedience. Few know enough to start each day with a thoroughgoing stand on Luther’s platform; you are accepted, looking outward in faith and claiming the wholly alien righteousness of Christ as the only ground for acceptance, relaxing in the quality of trust which will produce increasing sanctification as faith is active in love and gratitude. (p. 310)

Jones writes:

…when ordinary folk possess the message of sola fide as their gospel–the light of their minds and the life of their souls–they will have a firm assurance of their salvation and make progress in holiness and evangelistic zeal. …the church’s worship will become more fervent and her orthodoxy will be guarded as offices bearers pay particular attention to the preservation of this biblical teaching, even initiating disciplinary procedures against any who present a revision of it. …a generation of preachers will be raised up who can declare the message well, promoting vigorous outreach into the world. If, as some argue, there is need for another reformation, then this is where one is greatly needed. Interestingly, it is also where the old one started! (p. 311)

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Well, there are certainly different ways one could answer that question.  But there are nevertheless a few underlying themes or central ideas which motivated the whole Reformation.   And one of those was the concept of salvation utterly and entirely (not just partly) by grace: Sola Gratia.  This glorious thought granted hope and comfort to weak and miserable souls free of charge, inviting them to look to Christ alone and receive his righteousness which comes only by faith (Phil 3:9).

Read some Horatius Bonar on the Reformation.

“The awakened conscience of the sixteenth century betook itself to “the righteousness of God.” There it found refuge, at once from condemnation and from impurity. Only by “righteousness” could it be pacified; and nothing less than that which is divine could meet the case. At the cross this “righteousness” was found; human, yet divine: provided for man, and presented to him by God, for relief of conscience and justification of life. On the one word τετέλεσται, “It is finished,” as on a heavenly resting place, weary souls sat down and were refreshed. The voice from the tree did not summon them to do, but to be satisfied with what was done. Millions of bruised consciences there found healing and peace.

The belief of that finished work brought the sinner into favour with God; nor did it leave him in uncertainty as to this. The justifying work of Calvary was God’s way, not only of bringing pardon, but of securing certainty. It was the only perfect thing which had ever been presented to God in man’s behalf; and so peculiar was this perfection, that it might be
used by man in his transactions with God, as if it were his own.

The knowledge of this sure justification was life from the dead to multitudes. All over Europe, from the Apennines to the Grampians, from the Pyrenees to the Carpathians, went the glad tidings that man is justified freely, and that God wishes him to know he is justified. It was not merely a new thought for man’s intellect, but a new discovery for his soul, (1) As to the true source of spiritual health, viz. the setting of man’s conscience right with God; (2) As to the continuation of that health, viz. the keeping of the conscience right.

The fruit of this was not merely a healthy personal religion, but a renovated intellect and a noble literature, and, above all, a pure worship. It was an era of resurrection. The graves were opened; and the congregation of the dead became the church of the living. Christendom awoke and arose. The resurrection-dew fell far and wide; nor has it yet ceased to fall.

For ages Christianity had groveled in the dust, smothered with semipagan rites; ready to die, if not already dead; bound hand and foot by a semi-idolatrous priesthood, unable to do aught for a world which it had been sent to regenerate. Now “it was lifted up from the earth, and made to stand upon its feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.” A new conscience was born; and with a new conscience came in new life and power. Nothing had been seen like this since the age of apostles.

The doctrine of another’s righteousness reckoned to us for justification before God is one of the links that knot together the first and the sixteenth centuries, the Apostles and the Reformers. The creeds of the Reformation overleap fifteen centuries, and land us at once in the Epistle to the Romans. Judicial and moral cleansing was what man needed; and in that epistle we have both the imputed and imparted righteousness; the former the root or foundation of the latter. Not the one without the other; both together, inseparable; but each in its own order.

It was not Luther merely who took up the old watchword, “The just shall live by faith,” and thus found the answer of a good conscience toward God. To thousands of hearts it came like a voice from heaven, they knew not how. Sunshine from above had fallen upon one grand text; the text which the age needed: men recognized the truth thus supernaturally lighted up. “The nations came to its light, and kings to the brightness of its rising.” The inquiring men of that age, though not borrowing from each other, betook themselves to this truth and text.
From every kingdom of Europe came the same voice; and every Protestant Confession bore witness to the unanimity of awakened Christendom. The long-needed, long-missing truth had been found; and eureka was the cry of gladness were heard announcing its discovery.

Our fathers saw that this truth was the basis of all real spiritual life. That which was superficial, and morbid, and puny, and second-rate, might do with some less deep, less broad foundation; but all that is healthy, and noble, and daring, and happy, and successful in religion must rest here. “The just shall live by faith.”

“Men with their feet firmly set on Luther’s rock, “the righteousness of God,” filled with the Spirit, and pervaded with the peace of God, do the great things in the church; others do the little. The men of robust spiritual health are they who, like Luther, have made sure of their filial relationship to God.”
– Taken from Everlasting Righteousness

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aalexander2This question, I think it is true to say, is probably on the minds of many more Christians than we would like to admit.  What must I do to be saved?  How can I know I am saved? And although I know some would not have us focus so much on this question (citing the morbid introspective individualism of our times) I would go so far as to say that this inherent heart-cry of the human soul before God, and the answer proclaimed in the gospel, lies at the very center of the Christian faith!

Oh, and the answer goes against every bone of contention in our body, every seeming rule of nature, and every preconception about reality.  And yet that answer is so wonderfully, beautifully, joyously, and rapturously simple.

Below is an account of one Archibald Alexander, who later went on to become the first professor at Princeton Seminary.  He describes the great labor and anguish in which he wrestled with this understanding.  The context is during the great awakenings, where the common expectations, in some places, was that you needed an ‘experience’ in order to be sure of your salvation. People were urged to look inwards instead of outward to Christ.  This only lead to deep spiritual confusion.  Please read.

Being much dissatisfied with my state of mind, and now sensible of the corruption of my heart, I resolved to enter on a new course, and determined to give up all reading except the Bible, and to devote myself entirely to prayer, fasting and the Scriptures, until I should arrive at greater hope. My life was spent almost entirely in religious company, but our conversation often degenerated into levity, which was succeeded by compunction [regret]. Telling over our private exercises was carried to an undue length, and instead of tending to edification, was often injurious. But reserve on this subject was considered a bad sign; and on meeting, the first inquiry after salutation was concerning the state of each other’s souls.

A young women of my acquaintance, who, with others, had gone over to Bedford, appeared more solemnly impressed than most of the company. All believed that if any one had experienced divine renewal, it was Mary Hanna. One afternoon, while reading a sermon of Tennent’s on the need of a legal work preparatory to conversion, she was seized with such apprehensions of her danger, that she began to tremble, and in attempting to reach the house, which was distant only a few steps, fell prostrate, and was taken up in a state of terrible convulsion. The news quickly spread, and in a short time most of the serious young people in the town were present. I mention this for the purpose of adding that I was at once struck with the conviction that I had received an irreparable injury from the clergyman who had persuaded me that no such conviction as this was necessary. I determined, therefore, to admit no hope until I should have the like experience.

I read all the religious narratives I could procure, and laboured much to put myself into the state in which they described themselves to have been, before enjoying hope. But all these efforts and desires proved abortive, and I began to see much more of the wickedness of my own heart than ever before. I was distressed and discouraged, and convinced that I had placed too much dependence on mere means, and on my own efforts. I therefore determined to give myself incessantly to prayer until I found mercy, or perished in the pursuit.

This Resolution was formed on a Sunday evening. The next morning I took my Bible and walked several miles into the dense wood of the Bushy Hills, which were then wholly uncultivated. Finding a place that pleased me, at the foot of a projecting rock, in a dark valley, I began with great earnestness the course which I had prescribed to myself. I prayed, and then read in the Bible, prayed and read, prayed and read, until my strength was exhausted; for I had taken no nourishment that day. But the more I strove the harder my heart became, and the more barren was my mind of every serious or tender feeling. I tasted then some of the bitterness of despair. It seemed to be my last resource, and now this had utterly failed.

I was about to desist from the endeavour, when the thought occurred to me, that though I was helpless, and my case was nearly desperate, yet it would be well to cry to God to help me in this extremity. I knelt upon the ground, and had poured out perhaps a single petition, or rather broken cry for help, when, in a moment, I had such a view of a crucified Saviour, as is without a parallel in my experience. The whole plan of grace appeared as clear as day. I was persuaded that God was willing to accept me, just as I was, and convinced that I had never before understood the freeness of salvation, but had always been striving to bring some price in my hand, or to prepare myself for receiving Christ. Now I discovered that I could receive him in all his offices at that very moment, which I was sure at the time I did. I felt truly a joy which was unspeakable and full of glory.

Charles Hodge, in his Memoir, comments.

There is another lesson of a different kind suggested by the account above given. How different are theory and experience! What becomes of the boasted power of man – of his ability, plenary or natural, to repent, believe, and change his own heart? Had any miserable sophist gone to the youthful subject of this memoir, lying on the ground in his agony in the depths of the forest, and told him, ‘You can if you will’, would it not have been as much a mockery as when Satan said to Adam and Eve, ‘Ye shall be as gods’? It is well enough for men in their studies to split hairs and quibble about ability and inability, can and can’t; but when it comes to the death-struggle, these distinctions are all discarded, and a solemn, fearful consciousness of absolute helplessness is produced. And until in one form or another this sense of impotence is experienced, there is no real apprehension of the help of Christ.

Then, again, when men tell us that conversion is effected when the soul summons all its powers and determines to make God its portion, or purposes the general good, how does this agree with the experience of God’s people? Is conversion, so far as it is a conscious process, a self-determination, [as] much as it is a beholding the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, as that glory is revealed to it through the word and by the Spirit, taking the whole soul captive in admiration, gratitude, love, and submission? Men do not create themselves; they do not come forth from the darkness of spiritual death, to behold the light of God’s countenance and the glories of the new creation, by any energy of their own. The whole change is one of which man is the subject, rather than the agent.

Taken from Princeton And Preaching by James M Garretson. (p 14-17)

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Is faith something that is merely ‘passive’ in nature? Or does it have an ‘active’ principle as well? What is the nature of saving faith itself? Is it something passive, where we merely receive the benefits of Christ gifted to us and poured out for our sakes? Or is it something more active, where we obediently, or faithfully, bring something to the table or add something to the mix?

Some might wonder whether this is even a valid distinction. “Why do you want to dig into this so bad?” one might ask.   I hear you. But first let’s look at the issue a little more.

I’ve recently read something by Mark Garcia where he gives a description of what he believes Calvin taught regarding the nature of faith. Here’s a quote from his book Life in Christ: Union with Christ and Twofold Grace in Calvin’s Theology.

“Unlike his Lutheran counterparts, Calvin did not ground good works in imputation or justification but in union with Christ. In contradistinction with Melanchthon, for example, Calvin argued a positive, soteric value of good works as the ordinary prerequisite for receiving eternal life. It appears that basic differences exist in their respective understandings of justifying faith: at the heart of the inseparability in Calvin’s unio Christi-duplex gratia formulation is a justifying faith defined not only passively, as resting on Christ alone, but actively, as an obedient faith that, resting on Christ alone, perseveres in the pursuit of holiness” (p. 260).
So, faith is (according to Garcia) defined not merely “passively,” but also “actively, as an obedient faith” (emphasis mine).
Now let us look at some passages from Calvin himself to see whether this is congruent with what the theologian actually taught. Timothy Massaro at Water is Thicker than Blood has compiled some quotes here, and here, from the French Reformer. Calvin writes:

“How would this argument be maintained otherwise than by agreeing that works do not enter the account of faith but must be utterly separated? The Law, he says, is different from faith. Why? Because to obtain justification by it, works are required; and hence it follows, that to obtain justification by the Gospel they are not required. From this statement, it appears that those who are justified by faith are justified independent of, nay, in the absence of the merit of works, because faith receives that righteousness which the Gospel bestows. But the Gospel differs from the Law in this, that it does not confine justification to works, but places it entirely in the mercy of God.” (Institutes, 3.11.18)

“But they observe not that in the antithesis between Legal and Gospel righteousness, which Paul elsewhere introduces, all kinds of works, with whatever name adorned, are excluded, (Galatians 3:11, 12. For he says that the righteousness of the Law consists in obtaining salvation by doing what the Law requires, but that the righteousness of faith consists in believing that Christ died and rose again, (Romans 10:5-9.) Moreover, we shall afterwards see, at the proper place, that the blessings of sanctification and justification, which we derive from Christ, are different. Hence it follows, that not even spiritual works are taken into account when the power of justifying is ascribed to faith.” (Institutes, 3.11.14)

And for Calvin’s short definition, he puts it very simply.

“Faith is something merely passive, bringing nothing of ours to the recovering of God’s favor but receiving from Christ that which we lack.” (Institutes 3.13.5)

There it is: “Merely passive”. Those are Calvin’s own words.  For it was his view.  One might think this sounds awful suspect, and like free-grace antinomianism.  But it’s not. This is the heart of the Gospel and the Reformed faith; by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone to the glory of God alone.  And what’s more, we see this same theology reflected in the different Reformed confessions as well.

Westminster Shorter Catechism

Q. 86. What is faith in Jesus Christ?
A. Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace, whereby we receive and rest upon him alone for salvation, as he is offered to us in the gospel.

Westminster Larger Catechism

Q. 72. What is justifying faith?

A. Justifying faith is a saving grace, wrought in the heart of a sinner by the Spirit and Word of God, whereby he, being convinced of his sin and misery, and of the disability in himself and all other creatures to recover him out of his lost condition, not only assents to the truth of the promise of the gospel, but receives and rests upon Christ and his righteousness, therein held forth, for pardon of sin, and for the accepting and accounting of his person righteous in the sight of God for salvation.

Westminster Confession of Faith Ch 14.2

“…the principal acts of saving faith are accepting, receiving, and resting upon Christ alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace”

Heidelberg Catechism

Question 21. What is true faith?

Answer: True faith is not only a certain knowledge, whereby I hold for truth all that God has revealed to us in his word, but also an assured confidence, which the Holy Ghost works by the gospel in my heart; that not only to others, but to me also, remission of sin, everlasting righteousness and salvation, are freely given by God, merely of grace, only for the sake of Christ’s merits.

Belgic Confession of Faith: Article 22: The Righteousness of Faith

We believe that for us to acquire the true knowledge of this great mystery the Holy Spirit kindles in our hearts a true faith that embraces Jesus Christ, with all his merits, and makes him its own, and no longer looks for anything apart from him.

For it must necessarily follow that either all that is required for our salvation is not in Christ or, if all is in him, then he who has Christ by faith has his salvation entirely.

Therefore, to say that Christ is not enough but that something else is needed as well is a most enormous blasphemy against God– for it then would follow that Jesus Christ is only half a Savior. And therefore we justly say with Paul that we are justified “by faith alone” or by faith “apart from works.”

However, we do not mean, properly speaking, that it is faith itself that justifies us– for faith is only the instrument by which we embrace Christ, our righteousness.

But Jesus Christ is our righteousness in making available to us all his merits and all the holy works he has done for us and in our place. And faith is the instrument that keeps us in communion with him and with all his benefits.

When those benefits are made ours they are more than enough to absolve us of our sins.

Now. What do we see in these definitions?  Do we see even an ounce of this ‘active’ principle or idea? No! In fact there is no concept whatsoever of obedience being intrinsic to faith whatsoever. And while we recognize that wherever there is true and vital (living) faith there will also be all other fruit of spiritual life as well (eg. repentance, obedience, good works etc), but faith by definition is something which receives. Faith apprehends. It in and of itself is the conduit by which the benefits of Christ are applied to the sinning soul.  It’s like pouring water from a pitcher through a funnel into our hearts. That funnel is our faith.  It doesn’t work.  For there’d be nothing left for it to do. Indeed, work adds nothing to our justification. Only Christ’s perfect merit means anything for justification; and it can only be applied by/though faith.  And therefor, necessarily, obedience is not in view. It is not the issue.

So this begs the question how and why could we ever be entertaining such notions which go contrary to the reformed faith.  There’s various reasons for this I’m sure.  One is that we (rightly) don’t want to fall into a ‘cheap grace’ antinomianism.  And that would be certainly bad, I agree.  But the answer isn’t in changing the message of the gospel.

In Romans 6, Paul didn’t change the message of the gospel when some people slandered him about how he was teaching it. He just told them they didn’t get it — they didn’t understand. Because if they had understood, they wouldn’t be asking the question: “should we sin more that grace may increase?”)

Finally, let us look at a one more confession — this time from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

143. By faith, man completely submits his intellect and his will to God. With his whole being man gives his assent to God the revealer. Sacred Scripture calls this human response to God, the author of revelation, “the obedience of faith”

The Obedience of Faith

144. To obey (from the Latin ob-audire, to “hear or listen to”) in faith is to submit freely to the word that has been heard, because its truth is guaranteed by God, who is Truth itself. Abraham is the model of such obedience offered us by Sacred Scripture. The Virgin Mary is its most perfect embodiment.

This “obedience of faith” sounds an awful lot like the “obedient faith” described above by Garcia.

Which leads me to my conclusion: Either (1) Calvin was a Catholic, or (2) Garcia is confusing things more than is necessary.

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Anselm_of_Canterbury“Come, then, while life remains in you. In his death alone place your whole trust; in nothing else place any trust;….with this alone cover yourself wholly; and if the Lord your God wills to judge you, say: Lord, between your judgment and me I present the death of our Lord Jesus Christ; in no other way can I contend with you. And if he shall say that you are a sinner, say: Lord, I interpose the death of our Lord Jesus Christ between my sins and you. If he should say that you deserve condemnation, say: Lord, I set the death of our Lord Jesus Christ between my evil deserts and you, and his merits I offer for those which I ought to have and have not. If he says that he is angry with you, say: Lord, I oppose the death of our Lord Jesus Christ between your wrath and me. And when you have completed this, say again: Lord, I set the death of our Lord Jesus Christ between me and you.” – Anselm of Canterbury (1033- 1109) 

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These are some great quotes on the nature of faith by Horatius Bonar. (HT: Shane Lems)

“Faith may seem a slight thing to some; and they may wonder how salvation can flow from [simply] believing.  Hence they try to magnify it, to adore it, to add to it, in order that it may appear some great thing, something worthy of having salvation as its reward.  In doing so, they are actually transforming faith into a work, and introducing salvation by works under the name of faith.  They show that they understand neither the nature nor the office of faith.”

“Faith saves, simply by handing us over to the Savior.  It saves, not on account of the good works which flow from it; not on account of the love which kindles it; not on account of the repentance which it produces; but solely because it connects us with the Saving One.  Its saving efficacy does not lie in its connection with [our] righteousness and holiness, but entirely in its connection with the Righteous and Holy One.”

Taken from ‘The Blood of the Cross’.

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Bellow is an excerpt from the Heidelberg Catechism.  And I must say, it clearly describes what it means to be justified before God.  And without this view of justification, I don’t think we will ever understand the gospel. In fact, if one’s idea of the gospel doesn’t include the following, I don’t think it is the gospel at all. Without this understanding, every false gospel which presents itself to men’s ears, despite it’s many features and allurements, will allow for no sinner to have real peace with God (Rom 5:1).

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

And how to we enter this blessed peace? This rest? Well the previous passage gives us the foundation, without which we have no hope.

“Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”” (Rom 4:4-8)

Perhaps a false-gospel may offer feigned peace, but no true rapture in the glory of the free grace of God in the face of Christ. Rather, every distorted gospel will ever keep human hearts in an endless mire of doubt, confusion, and fear. If not leading them into a legalistic form of works-righteousness, it will keep them in a laze fare, disinterested, agnostic, apathy regarding the whole issue.

To quote one of my beloved theologians:
“When the glow of justification is ascribed to another, and a snare is laid for the consciences of men, the Savior no longer occupies his place, and the doctrine of the gospel is utterly ruined.” – John Calvin

Read now the Heidelberg (w/scripture proofs)

60. How are you righteous before God?

Only by true faith in Jesus Christ:(1) that is, although my conscience accuses me, that I have grievously sinned against all the commandments of God, and have never kept any of them,(2) and am still prone always to all evil;(3) yet God, without any merit of mine,(4) of mere grace,(5) grants and imputes to me the perfect satisfaction,(6) righteousness, and holiness of Christ,(7) as if I had never committed nor had any sins, and had myself accomplished all the obedience which Christ has fulfilled for me;(8) if only I accept such benefit with a believing heart.(9)

(1) Rom 3:21-28; Gal 2:16; Eph 2:8-9; Php 3:8-11; (2) Rom 3:9-10; (3) Rom 7:23; (4) Dt 9:6; Ezek 36:22; Tit 3:4-5; (5) Rom 3:24; Eph 2:8; (6) 1 Jn 2:2; (7) Rom 4:3-5; 2 Cor 5:17-19; 1 Jn 2:1; (8) Rom 4:24-25; 2 Cor 5:21; (9) Jn 3:18; Acts 16:30-31; Rom 3:22, 28, 10:10

To quote on of my other favorite pastors:

“Righteousness without works to the sinner, simply on his acceptance of the Divine message concerning Jesus and His sufficiency,–this has been the burden of our good news…It is one message, one gospel, one cross, one sacrifice, from which nothing can be taken and to which nothing can be added. This is the…beginning and the ending of our ministry.” – Horatius Bonar.

John Calvin elsewhere points out:

“When Satan does not venture openly to attack doctrine, his next stratagem is to diminish its influence by indirect attacks.” –John Calvin

This is so much the case I believe in the Church today.  Few may outright deny the doctrine of justification by faith alone, yet overall it seems not many care about it.

And furthermore, from another modern pastor of whom I am quite fond:

“The strength or weakness of our grasp of justification by faith and it’s domination of our hearts is bound to be the index and the measure of the liberty of God’s children that we enjoy.” – Sinclair Ferguson

More quotes:

“Failure to distinguish between the gospel and all the effects of the gospel tends, on the long haul, to replace the good news as to what God has done with a moralism that is finally without the power and the glory of Christ crucified, resurrected, ascended, and reigning.” – D.A. Carson

Further Calvin quotes:

“The righteousness of God, therefore, shines in us in so far as He justifies us by faith in Christ, for Christ was given in vain for our righteousness, if there were no enjoyment of Him by faith.” – Calvin

“[God] deigns to embrace the sinner with his pure and freely given goodness, finding nothing in him except his miserable condition to prompt Him to mercy, since he sees man utterly void and bare of good works; and so he seeks in himself the reason to benefit man. Then God touches the sinner with a sense of his goodness in Read Moreorder that he, despairing of his own works, may ground the whole of his salvation in God’s mercy. This is the experience of faith through which the sinner comes into possession of his salvation when from the teaching of the gospel he acknowledges that he has been reconciled to God: that with Christ’s righteousness interceding and forgiveness of sins accomplished he is justified.” – Calvin

Lastly, since I believe this is such an central and imminent issue facing the church today, I will leave you with another quote from modern day preacher:

“Justifying faith is inseparable from the other graces of salvation, and yet faith is the alone instrument of justification. There is no other way, no other instrument whereby a sinner receives Christ for justification. Repentance does not justify. Our good works do not justify. Our obedience does not justify… God declares a sinner righteous by grace alone, through faith alone, on account of Christ alone. The church must gain a renewed appreciation and affection for this truth. For here is the heart of the gospel. If we lose it, or, worse, renounce it, then we will bring ruin to our churches and destruction to our own souls. May Christ grant us mercy to guard this truth against error, boldness to proclaim this truth in its fullness, and, most of all, grace for sinners to believe this truth unto justification and life.” -Stefan Lindblad ‘Justifying Faith and the Application of Salvation’ Banner of Truth issue 479-80, Aug-Sep. 2003, 20.

Soli Deo Gloria

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