Friday, August 31, 2018

Does Matthew 7:21 Nullify "Faith Alone?"

  • Scripture Passage Being Discussed:
           -“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter." (Matthew 7:21)
  • Comments On Matthew 7:21:
           -Justification is obtained by God's grace alone through faith alone in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ alone (Romans 4:2-8; Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:5-7). Sola Fide ("faith alone") simply means that justification takes place apart from the merit, not the presence, of good works. Our good works are the evidence, not the cause, of salvation. Good works do accompany faith, in that they are the product of a changed heart.
           -The context of Matthew 7 is about differentiating between true and false prophets. Jesus said, "So by their fruits you shall know them" (Matthew 7:20). Genuine believers will produce "good fruits" (works) because they are the result of salvation, not the cause. The "will of the Father" is for us to place our trust in Jesus Christ and His work (John 6:40). Genuine believers will not utter false prophecies and teach a false gospel.
           -Notice that in verses 22 and 23, professing Christians pointed to their own alleged works of righteousness and were still condemned by God. The problem for these people is that their hearts had not been changed. If anything, this passage only enhances the cause behind the "faith only" argument. Moral transformation takes place during justification, but it is not justification itself. That would be regeneration. Jesus had the self-righteous scribes and Pharisees in mind in uttering these words (Matthew 5:20).

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