Friday, August 31, 2018

Does Matthew 7:21 Nullify Justification By Faith Alone?

        “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)

        Sola Fide ("faith alone") simply means that justification takes place apart from the merit, not the presence, of good works. 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).

        The "will of the Father" is for us to place our trust in Jesus Christ and His work (John 6:40). True people of God will not utter false prophecies and teach a false gospel. Jesus had the self-righteous scribes and Pharisees in mind in uttering these words (Matthew 5:20).

        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 at all, then this passage only enhances the cause behind the "faith only" argument. Salvation involves moral transformation, but does not comprise the instance of justification itself.

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