Today the sermon at Covenant Church in Grove City was the third of the Five Solas series that Pastor Travis is focusing on during the month of January. The study today included a look at what it means to live by faith alone and the significance of justification in a life saved by faith.
The focus scripture today comes from Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For it is by grace you have been saved,through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
Sola Fide means faith alone and refers to the fact that we are saved by our faith and not our works (or good actions.) We are justified by our belief in God and our acceptance of his gift of grace. To receive justification means to be declared righteous. God justifies us when we put our faith in Jesus. This belief is the cornerstone of Christianity which sets this religion apart from all others. It is the only religion where salvation is not about what you do, but rather what is already done. It’s a simple acceptance of a gift that was purchased over two thousand years ago.
Five Reasons Why Works Cannot Save You:
- Good works cannot cancel your sin, but sin ruins your good works. (The only thing that can cancel your sins is the blood of Jesus)
- Good works cannot save you because God doesn’t grade on a curve. (His standard is perfection and not based on our works in comparison to others)
- Good works cannot save you because you can never be good enough for long enough. (We are still subject to sin because we live in a fallen world)
- Good works cannot save you because you can never be sure you’ve done enough. (It’s not about bondage and anxiety wondering if you’ve done enough to earn your spot in heaven.)
- Good works cannot save you because if they could, you wouldn’t need Jesus. (Before Jesus was taken to be crucified he spent time with God earnestly praying that if salvation could be done in any other way that God would not cause him to endure the pain that awaited him. We all know how that story ends. Jesus was crucified because it was the only way. If there had been another way -like good works- then Jesus would not have been crucified.)
Instead of being justified by our own righteousness we have been saved by alien righteousness. Alien righteousness is righteousness which comes from another place. In the case of our salvation our alien righteousness originates with Jesus as the source. Our salvation is completely outside of us. God calls us, draws us near, and all we have to do is accept that gift of grace by believing in him. Our faith alone is what saves us. There is nothing we can do to earn anything from God.
So, if our works cannot save us what is the function of performing good works or deeds?
- Good works are born of our love for God
- Good works are born of our desire to bring others to know God
For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. (Romans 3:28)