Saturday, January 11, 2014

Justification By Faith

This is a powerful quote that was too long for twitter...

"Thus it is that justification is ascribed to faith, because it is by faith that we receive Christ; and thus it is by faith only, and not by any other grace.  Faith is peculiarly a receiving grace which none other is.  Were we said to be justified by repentance, by love, or by any other grace, it would convey to us the idea of something good in us being the consideration on which the blessing was bestowed; but justification by faith conveys no such idea"
-  Andrew Fuller  The Complete Works of Reverend Andrew Fuller, vol 1ed.

I came across this quote in the book "Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God" by John Piper and just had to share it.

Today it is so common to hear the refrain, "God will save those who are truly loving, or truly "this" or "that" "  Or some other sort of high ideal sounding gobbly goop.  What Fuller puts so succinctly here is that there is nothing we do(because there is nothing we CAN do) that is the basis of salvation.  Only by receiving, through Faith, the finished work of Christ will we be saved. 

So lets have quite enough of that watered down universalism that parades itself about as "caring" Christianity.  To love is to be truthful.  And the truth is only Faith in Christ can save.  Everything else leads to destruction.


  1. I don't understand the idea of "faith alone." The only place I can find the term "faith alone" in the Bible is James 2:24 "You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone."

    What am I missing?

  2. Some of the statements we use to describe Biblical truths are not always a word for word quote of "Jesus". But when we utilize a phrase, such as "Sola Fide", the question is; "Is this is an accurate reflection of the full testimony of scripture?"

    In this specific context, we see through out the New Testament continual references to salvation being a free gift through the finished work of Christ. And those who place their hope(faith) in Christ, confess with their lips He is Lord(a faith statement) they are saved.

    As far as James, the context of James' usage of "justified" is more appropriately understood as a picture of true Faith being exhibited through a Working Faith. Meaning, if one truly has faith, and a faith that brings with it the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, their lives are reflective of that in how they conduct themselves. Meaning, their saving Faith is observably "justified" by the confirming outworking of that faith.

    As Fuller points out in this quote I referenced...Anything else than "receiving" freely salvation would indicate that we "earned" something that God then would owe us based upon our own "goodness" Which quite simply, would fly in the face of everything scripture would teach about our nature and God's.

    So in a biblical sense, the full breadth of scripture points towards faith as the basis of salvation, not works. In a logical/philosophical sense it becomes untenable to go down a path by which we create an equation that claims to "earn" salvation in light of everything else scripture plainly says about our personal reality(dead sinners).