Salvation by Faith Alone?


#1

We all know that the main theme of Martin Luther,the great reformer, and founder of “The Protestant Reformation” (though Catholics call it “The Protestant Revolution”) was “Salvation by faith alone.”

Indeed, Luther was so certain of this, that he even added the word “alone” to the word “faith” in Romans 3:28 in his translation.

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith alone apart from the deeds of the law.

When some one objected that Luther added a word that was not in the Greek text, he retorted that he was quite right in adding “alone” since that is what Paul meant.

As it turns out, there were people even in Tertullian’s day (A.D. 145-220) who proclaimed salvation by faith alone. Tertullian called them “miscreants.” In his treatise “On Baptism,” chapter 13 and 14, Tertullian wrote:


#2

Yep, but some like Tom Wright would maybe say it was the faith OF Christ as opposed to the faith IN Christ was the meaning of the scriptures…

Alas, I am sure that this has been talked about but I have not the time nor inclination to do a complete search :laughing:


#3

I’ve read a good portion of Concordia. While the Lutheran position might officially say salvation is by faith alone, there is a caveat to it that effectively renders salvation by “faith and works”. Concordia says good works manifest faith. So if a person doesn’t have good works, it would follow that he/she doesn’t have faith. In practice this amounts to salvation by faith and works. This is in contrast to Grace Evangelical Society (faithalone.org/) which teaches we don’t need good works to be saved.


#4

Martin Luther also thought that the book of James shouldn’t be in the Bible because it flatly contradicts faith alone. Yes we are justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law but we are not justified by faith alone:

We cannot earn our salvation by works and are therefore justified by faith. But we are not justified by faith alone.


#5

I believe that saving Faith is more than just belief. I believe that saving Faith is actually TRUST in God.

Adam and Eve DIDN’T Trust God - they surely believed in God but they didn’t TRUST what God said about taking and eating of the forbidden fruit.

Therefore, are we saved by TRUST alone - yes. But not by belief alone. TRUST is an EVIDENT attribute to ones character.

So while Adam and Eve sinned by distrust, God has provided through the second Adam (Jesus) reconciliation through Trust. Since Trust is an EVIDENT attribute, and possessing that trust means the person will be in obedience to the Law of God. Not the letter of the law but to the Holy Spirit.


#6

Paul reminds us of some sobering truths:

6 He will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For God shows no partiality. Romans 2, ESV

3 Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? 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? 5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

That is some strong medicine.


#7

Indeed, Luther was so certain of this, that he even added the word “alone” to the word “faith” in Romans 3:28 in his translation.

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith alone apart from the deeds of the law.

I think when Paul referred to “the law” he meant the Law of Moses but this is sometimes confused with good work generically. Obviously we need a faith that works, but not according to the Mosaic law but the “Law of Christ.”


#8

There is a good case to be made that Paul meant ‘faithfulness’ not just ‘faith’ - and really, when we think about it, what good is’faith’ - in fact is it even faith - without seeking to be faithful as well? Paul seems very clear in the Romans verses that God does judge us by our “works” (evidences that our faith is real) - not of Moses’ Law of course - but the works involved in seeking for immortality and honor.
And that God is not partial - every human being will give account of him/her self. to God.


#9

It it’s not by faith alone, then I’m toast. I not only have no virtues (fruit), I have only unrighteousness. Even my good acts are calculated for my benefit.


#10

So hey Dave… What is you view that this faith that Paul is talking about is the ‘the faith [size=150]of[/size] Christ’ as opposed to ‘the faith in Christ’ … So in other words Christ came and did what he did in spite of our belief or faith, he reconciled humanity with the Father even if they did not realize the event… :laughing:


#11

Well, I think Paul’s statement still stands. I’m not much a fan of the famous Reformed ‘solas’.


#12

Once again, what do you Dave need to do? That is the million dollar question. :open_mouth: Possibly, it is talking about folks there in that time and not us here. :wink:


#13

There are certainly some hints here:
6 He will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For God shows no partiality.

Dave has to understand that God will render to me according to my works - which are patient well-doing
Dave gets to seek for glory and honor and immortality, if Dave wants eternal life.
Dave cannot be self-seeking and disobedient to the truth.

etc.


#14

Please Brother don’t get mad at me as I say what I am going to say…

The alternative view is that Dave was never there, Dave has no dog in that hunt. An understanding of what went down was that God unilaterally through Christ rendered sin and death ‘null and void.’

The problem is that you have to be willing to look at it on a different level. You DaveB are totally taken care of by Christ.

I hope that is good news to you. :wink:


#15

Not the way I see it, friend Chad. I’m not earning salvation, just working it out.
I’ve tried looking at it your way, and Mike Williams’s way, and it is not my path. I think you are missing something big, and conversely, you believe, and perhaps correctly, that I am missing something big.
I’m already glad of the good news!! :laughing:

And for now, Paul is my guide, and he was preaching after Christ had ‘done it all’.


#16

I understand. Good luck and my prayers are with you. :smiley:


#17

But Chad - does this mean it’s OVER between us?? Is this it, the final straw? End of the line? A bridge too far? The nuclear option??


#18

No sir, if I can be blunt, I don’t care what you believe. You are who you are and I am what I am. I still love you and hope to meet you some day. Anyone who builds guitars is okay in my book!


#19

Good. It was exhausting trying to think of more silly metaphors for ‘breaking up’. :laughing:

I actually DO care what you believe, and not just you but others here as well. I find it stimulating/exhilarating/exhausting/irritating/nourishing/- did I already say irritating? :laughing:

Peace, and guitars.


#20

That makes me think of a great acoustic song about that subject…

youtube.com/watch?v=SU0lQsE0kU8

Have fun …