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Sola x5 March 19, 2014

Posted by JP in Bible Study, Discussion, Faith, Scripture.
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Sola Scriputura – Scripture alone.

Authority for teaching and the message of salvation are found in the Scriptures alone.  It is the teaching of Scripture that the Scripture is sufficient for all spiritual matters (cf. 2 Pet. 1:2). The Scriptures alone are sufficient for salvation, sanctification and proclamation (2 Timothy 3:14-4:5).

Too many appeal to experience, extra-biblical revelations, mysticism, pragmatism, tradition or philosophy in-order to claim and know spiritual truth is an evident attack against the truth of Sola Scriptura. Many seem to embrace many of the above categories before consulting the Scriptures or even embrace them above and in place of the Scriptures. Such trends sweep through the church and distort the biblical doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture. If we are going to know the truth about salvation and know the necessary spiritual truth for godliness we must know and protect this affirmation.

Sola Gratia – Grace alone.

Despite the effort of many people who try to obtain or maintain salvation by means of works, the words Sola Gratia destroy such a belief. They affirm that the only basis of salvation is the grace of God. The Scriptures are clear on this matter, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8). If one is to have a right standing with God, it cannot be achieved or inherited. Instead, it must be given by grace (cf.Rom. 3:24). Justification or the righteousness of God is a gracious gift given by God and there is no basis, ground or merits in ourselves that makes us deserving of justification. What is grace? The term “grace” refers to God’s favor towards those who do not deserve it.

Sola Fide – Faith alone

Saving faith does not trust in or rely on one’s own achievements; instead, the object of trust and reliance is the Lord Jesus Christ. Genuine saving faith is the recognition that we have nothing to offer God in-order to be forgiven of our sin and be saved. Faith is God’s appointed means in-order for us to receive salvation. Therefore, faith is coming to God on the grounds of grace – having nothing to offer – and trusting and adhering to Christ as Lord. Saving faith is a gift from God (cf. Phil. 1:29 and 2 Pet. 1:1), and with this gift we cling to His Son.

Sola Christus – Christ alone

Faith must be placed in Christ alone for salvation. Without faith “toward the Lord Jesus” (Philemon 5) there is no hope of salvation because He alone is “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6). There is only one saving and sure object of salvation, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ – “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Soli Deo Gloria – To God alone be the glory

At the end of Romans chapter 11, Paul proclaimed, “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen” (Rom. 11:36). In this verse God is seen as the source (“from Him“), sustainer (“through Him“) and goal (“to Him“) of “all things“. This is why He deserves all the glory. This is the recognition of those in Heaven, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created” (Rev. 4:11). Our response to this ought to be as follows, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). All social activities, work activities, play, Bible study, relationships, eating, talking – every activity we participate in is to be done to the glory of God. The Westminster Shorter Catechism opens with the question, “What is the chief end of man?” and it answers by saying, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”

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1. Theodore A. Jones - March 19, 2014

“For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.” Rom. 2:13 Tis a pitiful exercise to asset sola scriprura is your standard and then compromise it with sola gratia. No person has been granted the grace to disobey what God has demanded of him by a change of the law. Heb. 7:12

2. JP - March 19, 2014

“For there is no partiality with God. 12 For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law; and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; 13 for not the hearers of the Law are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, 16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus,” (Romans 2:11-16).

Verse 13 is often used by people (Roman Catholics, Mormons, etc.) to say that we must keep the Law (along with faith in Jesus) to be saved, but this isn’t so. Paul was talking to the Jews (Romans 2:17) about their judging of the Gentiles, and then points them to their own Law (standard of judgment) and hypocrisy and tells them that the doers of the Law are just before God (v. 13).

The standard they wanted to keep was the Law. Paul was telling them that they could be justified before God by keeping it. So, keep the Law. Keep all of it, but if you don’t you’re in trouble. It is the doers of the Law who are justified before God. He tells them that the Gentiles who didn’t have the Law according to the knowledge of the Jews were instinctively keeping the Law (v. 14) and will be judged accordingly. How much more the Jews?

Paul was showing the self-righteous Jews who judged the Gentiles that they were not able to keep a perfect standard. They were hypocrites. This is why Paul tells us in the very next chapter, in Romans 3:28, that we are justified by faith apart from the works of the Law – which includes the Law of loving God (Deut. 6:5), and loving your neighbor (Lev. 19:18). No one is able to keep the Law. If you fail even once, then you become guilty of it all.

James 2:10, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.”
Gal. 3:10, “For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them.”
The Jews (and anyone else) can be justified before God by keeping the Law, but he or she has to be perfect. A person can’t fail even once, ever. But since all fail, that is why we have the gospel that tells us Jesus kept the Law perfectly (1 Pet. 2:22), and that we can be justified before God by faith in Him (Romans 4:3,5; 5:1; John 1:12; 3:16).

“Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin,” (Rom. 3:20).

The Law is for those who are not under grace.
“Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God,” (Rom. 3:19).
“For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace,” (Rom. 6:14).


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