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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Justification By Faith Alone (Biblical Basis)

  • Introduction:
          -Sola Fide: faith alone saves a person when he or she places his or her trust in the sacrificial work of Christ.
          -The phrase "faith alone" does not mean faith apart from the presence of works (since works are the product of genuine faith in Jesus Christ), but faith apart from the merit of works.If works contribute to our salvation, then Jesus died on the cross in vain:
          -We cannot say,"I need the work of Christ plus XYZ" (since the work of Christ alone is ALREADY perfect). We are either saved by faith or by works.
          -Hebrews 10:14 declares,"We have been forever perfected by one offering..." and Ephesians 2:8 says,"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God...".
             +Thus, believing in the single perfect sacrifice made by our Lord Jesus Christ is sufficient to bring Christians to eternal salvation with God in heaven.
  • Bible Verses Demonstrating Salvation By Faith Alone (Sola Fide):
             -"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
             - "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:9-13)
        -"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." (Romans 3:20)
        - "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." (Romans 3:24)
        -"Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." (Romans 3:27-28)
        - "For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin." (Romans 4:2-8)
        -"To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins." (Acts 10:43)
        -"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:1)
        -"So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy." (Romans 9:16)
        -"For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." (1 Corinthians 1:21)
        -"Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." (Acts 16:29-31)
        -"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified." (Galatians 2:16)
        -"I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." (Galatians 2:21)
        - "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." (Titus 3:5-7)
       -"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
       -" Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began." (2 Timothy 1:9)
       -"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." (John 5:24)
       -" Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses." (Acts 13:38-39)
        -"Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting." (1 Timothy 1:16)
        -"And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." (2 Timothy 3:15)
        -"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." (John 1:12-13)
        -"And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they." (Acts 15:7-11)
        -"O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?" (Galatians 3:1-3)
        -"For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." (Galatians 3:10-14)
       -"Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:24-26)
       -"Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith." (Galatians 5:4-5)
       -"Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand." (2 Corinthians 1:24)
       -"And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith." (Philippians 3:9)
       - "Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement." (Romans 5:9-11)
  • The most important and comprehensive place in Scripture to read about justification by faith or "how to get it right with God" is found in Paul's epistle to the Romans chapters three through five.
  • A true, born-again Christian can be assured of his or her salvation (1 John 5:11-13).
  • The Gospel (Jesus dying for sins, rising, and appearing according to 1 Corinthians 15:1-8) is received by faith which leads to justification; not by faith and works:
            -"And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." (Mark 1:15)
            -"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." (Romans 1:16) 
            -"In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise." (Ephesians 1:13)
            -This point is significant because preaching a different gospel is condemned (Galatians 1:8-9).
  • The Classic Example of Sola Fide-The Thief On The Cross: 
            -"And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:42-43)
           +Notice that the man revealed the smallest particle of faith and Jesus Christ saved him from eternal damnation in hell. No sacrament, ritual, or work of any kind was needed for the sinner to inherit eternal salvation in heaven. 
  • Luke 18:9-14 And Contextual Evidence (The Parable Of The Pharisee And The Tax Collector):
           -"And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon 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 every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." (Luke 18:9-14)
              *Notice how the Pharisee relied on his good deed when he offered his prayers to God and the tax collector approached God with his faith. Jesus Christ said that the tax collector went home saved from eternal condemnation in Hades. How could this be possible, since advocates of a works-based salvation claim that good works contribute to our eternal salvation in heaven? The answer to this question is that we are saved by faith apart from meritorious works! Such a foolish idea flatly contradicts this Scripture passage and many others. The Lord finished His parable His parable by saying,"I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted" (v. 14). Thus, Jesus plainly taught that no man should depend on his own works of righteousness to be justified by God.

Is Sola Scriptura Based On Circular Reasoning?

  • Introduction:
         -Opponents of Sola Scriptura, which is simply the Latin abbreviation for the Protestant doctrine of the ultimate authority of the Bible, sometimes charge that this teaching is constructed on circular logic. But this objection would hold water only if we who uphold this position based our belief in the divine inspiration of Scripture solely on the basis that Scripture makes such claims.
  • Sola Scriptura is not circular reasoning because outside sources attest to the inspiration of Scripture. It has also "proven itself" to be true:
          -Historical or archaeological evidence backing up the existence of various cities, countries, prominent individuals, customs or traditions, and even major events mentioned in the Bible.
          -Geological accuracy
          -Excellent moral teaching
          -Incredible manuscript evidence for the authenticity of New Testament Scriptures:
             +There are literally thousands of manuscripts, which only contain a few deviations or minor differences in the usage of grammar. None of the possible "errors" affect doctrine and practically all of them can easily be corrected by the consensus of majority manuscripts. None other ancient document has as much manuscript support as the New Testament.
          -Scripture's fulfillment of prophecy points to its supernatural origin
          -The life transforming power of Scripture
  • Further Discussion On The Above Evidences For Biblical Inspiration:
         -Although none of the above evidences are considered infallible, we can still have more than sufficient certainty that the Bible is the written Word of God. It is therefore the greatest proof for His existence.
  • Circular Reasoning Is Somewhat Inevitable In Our Lives:
         -Some degree of circularity will always exist in the operational processes of any system that functions on a final stopping point or ultimate source of authority, whether it be Catholic, Protestant, Secular, or anything else.

  • Accepting The Inspiration Of Scripture:
         -If we can prove the infallibility of an authoritative source (i.e. the Bible), then it follows from the premise of that statement that everything set forth by that particular guide (i.e. the Bible) must also be true. So yes, we can accept the claims of the Bible "because it says so", for it has been proven beyond a shadow of a reasonable doubt to be the written Word of God.