Faith Alone

FAITH ALONE

“To have the status of ‘righteous’ conferred upon oneself is quite amazing. When a judge declares a person innocent, it simply means he is not guilty of breaking the law. But if a judge declares a person righteous, it means that not only is he innocent of breaking the law but that he has also fulfilled the requirement of the law… By justification, a sinner is accepted as righteous, not just for one part of the law, but for the whole law—every single commandment, every single jot and tittle. He is counted as one who has kept every dimension of every law… The only means by which Christ’s perfect work is received is by faith alone—sola fide. We have no other embassy of peace to find shelter from the just wrath of God save for the perfect righteousness and suffering of Christ; and there is no other bridge between man and Christ but faith alone.” (J.V. Fesko)

For more on this subject, visit Ligonier Ministries.

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Pictures of Jesus

PICTURES OF JESUS

“Where in all of the Word of the Lord do we find one iota of a hint that we should draw or paint pictures of Jesus? The Second Commandment explicitly forbids such visual representations of God (Ex. 20:4, 5). Some say that this commandment forbids any and all visual art, or representations of false gods. Yet, the controlling context of the Second Commandment is the Preface of the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:1, 2), as well as the First Commandment (Ex. 20:3). This context clearly establishes that the parameters of reference for the Second Commandment have to do with the one true and living God. The First Commandment tells us to worship Him alone; the Second tells us to do so not by our own devisings, but by His self-disclosure contained in Scripture. Accordingly, the Larger Catechism teaches that the Second Commandment forbids ‘the making any representation of God, of all or any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image’ (WLC, Questions 107–110, especially 109).” (William Harrell)

For more on this subject, please visit the Systematic Theology page.

 

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The Foolishness of the Gospel

THE FOOLISHNESS OF THE GOSPEL

“Man’s part is only as the recipient of a gift, planned, purchased and provided by Divine initiative and action alone. When a sinner stands in the judgment, his only hope of salvation is found in the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ, imputed to him apart from any human effort or work. Justification is not the result of man’s co-operation with the grace of God; it is rather a result of divine initiative. It is reliance on Jesus Christ alone for salvation, by faith alone obtaining salvation. We receive the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, his holy obedience to the Law of God, in utter dependence upon his sacrifice for our sins made at Calvary.” (Jim Renihan)

For more on this subject, visit The Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies.

 

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The Doctrine of Justification

THE DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION

“There was a time, not so long ago, when the blessed truth of justification was one of the best known doctrines of the Christian faith, when it was regularly expounded by the preachers, and when the rank and file of church-goers were familiar with its leading aspects. But now, alas, a generation has arisen which is well-nigh totally ignorant of this precious theme, for with very rare exceptions it is no longer given a place in the pulpit, nor is scarcely anything written thereon in the religious magazines of our day; and, in consequence, comparatively few understand what the term itself connotes, still less are they clear as to the ground on which God justifies the ungodly… This blessed doctrine supplies the grand divine cordial to revive one whose soul is cast down and whose conscience is distressed by a felt sense of sin and guilt, and longs to know the way and means whereby he may obtain acceptance with God and the title unto the Heavenly inheritance. To one who is deeply convinced that he has been a life-long rebel against God, a constant transgressor of His holy law, and who realizes he is justly under His condemnation and wrath, no inquiry can be of such deep interest and pressing moment as that which relates to the means of restoring him to the divine favour, remitting his sins, and fitting him to stand unabashed in the divine presence: till this vital point has been cleared to the satisfaction of his heart, all other information concerning religion will be quite unavailing.” (A.W. Pink)

For more on this subject, please visit the Systematic Theology page.

 

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Faith and Repentance

FAITH AND REPENTANCE

“If God has revealed a plan of salvation for sinners, they must, in order to be saved, acquiesce in its provisions. By whatever name it may be called, the thing to be done, is to approve and accept of the terms of salvation presented in the gospel. As the plan of redemption is designed for sinners, the reception of that plan on our part implies an acknowledgment that we are sinners, and justly exposed to the displeasure of God. To those who have no such sense of guilt, it must appear foolishness and an offence. As it proceeds upon the assumption of the insufficiency of any obedience of our own to satisfy the demands of the law, acquiescence in it involves the renunciation of all dependence upon our own righteousness as the ground of our acceptance with God. If salvation is of grace, it must be received as such. To introduce our own merit, in any form or to any degree, is to reject it; because grace and works are essentially opposed; in trusting to the one, we renounce the other.” (Charles Hodge)

For more on this subject, please visit the Systematic Theology page.

 

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