DETOUR: The 5 Solas - Sola Fide
"Through the Scriptures alone, we see that we are saved by Grace Alone through Faith Alone in Christ Alone to His Glory Alone."
Today Pastor Alex walked us through Sola Fide - Faith Alone. In other words, how can man be right with God? According to Luther, this was the "hinge" of the future of the church. The church rises and falls on this. For you see, the Roman Catholic church believed that it took faith AND works to work out your salvation, but Luther disagreed.
Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen - Hebrews 11. It is "a convicted trust, not a vague belief".
Luther had made the discovery that the biblical text from the Latin Vulgate, used to support the sacrament of penance (works), was a mistranslation. In Matthew 4:17, the Latin translation said to "do penance". On the other hand, the Greek New Testament of Erasmus stated that the original meant simply, "be penitent." Literally it meant, "change your mind". Jesus said, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."
Along with this, there was a linguistic trick that was going on. The Latin word for justification at the time was "justificare". It came from the Roman judicial system. The term justificare is made from justus - justice or righteousness, and facare - to make. And so, the Latin fathers understood the doctrine of justification is what happens when God, through the sacraments of the church and elsewhere, make unrighteous people righteous.
Luther was looking at the Greek word that was in the New Testament, not the Latin word. The word "dikaios" didn't mean "to make righteous", but instead meant "to regard as righteous, to count as righteous, and to declare as righteous". And this was the moment of awakening for Luther.
Justification is the gracious act of God by which He declares a sinner righteous solely through faith in Jesus Christ.
Imputation or Infusion?
The Catholic view of justification is infusion, a process in which God fills the human soul with His presence and therefore with His mercy, grace, and power. In this thinking, we are internally growing "more divine" through a process of daily sacraments and works.
On the other hand, the Protestant view of justification is imputation. Instead of salvation being poured into the soul over a lifetime, sanctification is a process of growing in holiness but that process does not affect the state of one's justification. Remember the example of marriage or adoption. The moment we place our faith in Christ as the only atonement for our sin, we are justified - finally and forever!
1. How do you "Live by Faith"? Habakkuk 2:4, Galatians 3:3 (Sola Fide is not just for justification but also for the reaffirmation of our justification in the ongoing work of sanctification.)
2. Have you ever had "an alarmed conscious" due to sin? If you are in Christ, how does that affect your salvation? (Hint - it doesn't!) Do you truly believe in your security as a believer of Jesus Christ? Does your life show it?
3. Memorize Romans 3:28 this week as a family