The premise of our blog and ultimately our lives are based on these Latin words. This doctrine is foundational in orthodox Christianity. Martin Luther was so steeped in this truth that his nailing of the 95 theses to the Wittenberg Church door leading to his excommunication was necessary to make clear the gospel. And then there is Christ Jesus himself. In miraculous healings, he would conclude, “Your faith has made you well” (Matt. 9:22; Mk. 5:34; 10:52; Lk. 8:48; 17:19; 18:42). So why? What is it about faith alone that Luther was moved into reformational controversy for? Luke 18 provides a clear account of Sola Fide as the Pharisee and tax-collector go to the temple to pray. The Pharisee, in all his outer glory, declares his self-righteousness to the heavens while the tax-collector stands broken, proclaiming to God that he is indeed a sinner in need of mercy. Jesus says that it is this man, the tax-collector, that went to his house justified instead of the Pharisee.”For what does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.’ Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness” -Romans 4:3-5
Justification is by faith alone, provided by God alone. Throughout the ages this has always been true. What a beautiful reality. There is then no room for boasting, no glory in my actions, but instead my salvation and hope is entirely based on the bloodshed work of Jesus Christ on the cross and his resurrection. God has drawn me into fellowship with himself, making clear his sovereign grace. Constantly battling sin (though that is not at the center of Christian life), becoming increasingly aware of the residue of darkness in our hearts, and as Paul says, “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13b). So much truth, so much knowledge, so much worship and love to come to know and extend throughout the earth and above all toward God is often times overwhelming, yet this is what we gladly look to and live for.