Justified by faith alone
Faith alone is the instrumental cause of our justification. All people who enter heaven do so because at some point during their life-time they turn to Christ and depend totally and wholly upon Him for their entitlement to eternal life. Evangelicals refer to this essential truth by a watchword that goes back to the Protestant Reformation:
Sola fide (by faith alone): this was the material cause of the Reformation. Rome makes God a liar by insisting that we are justified by faith plus. The plus is damnable.
Faith ALONE: this is proved as follows:
1. From the nature of faith itself, because faith is not of ourselves, it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8; Philippians 1:29). It is one of the fruits of the Spirit, and therefore cannot be meritorious (Galatians 5:22). Justifying faith terminates on Christ and in Christ, in his blood and sacrifice, and in the promises of God. Thus it involves trust and dependence, not on one's self, but objectively on Christ. Faith denies it own justifying value, and affirms the sole merit of that on which it trusts (Romans 3:25-26; 4:20-22; Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 1:12-13; 1 John 5:10).
2. The believer is justified without the deeds of the law, Romans 3:28; and God justifies the ungodly in Christ, Romans 4:50.
3. Justification is asserted to rest altogether upon a different foundation from works: It is in the name of Christ, 1 Corinthians 6:11; by his blood, Romans 5:9; freely, by his grace, by faith, Romans 3:24-28.
4. Instead of our being justified by good works, such works are rendered possible to us only in that new relationship to God into which we are introduced by justification (Ephesians 2;8-10; Romans. chapters 6 and 7).
Believers are accounted right with God through their simple trust in Christ alone. Christ alone is the object of justifying faith.
Solus Christus. This is proved thus:
1. Christ's competency as Redeemer and Saviour is beyond limit. His merits which he acquired for believers are infinite in value. If I have Christ, I do not need any other person, or any other thing for justification. (1 Corinthians 1:30-31).
2. Scripture never hints or alludes to any other object for our faith, except to Him. "I am God and besides me there is no Saviour." The gospel is good news about Christ and the successful accomplishment of his mission as Deliverer: as prophet, priest, and king. We need no other; and no other is suggested to us. Those who turn to others are branded as idolaters in Scripture.
3. The Scripture either assumes or else explicitly affirms that our faith is to be directed towards Christ (see, for instance, Romans 5:1; 6:23 - "through our Lord Jesus Christ."
4. The parallel drawn between Adam and Christ proves just this: that as we died in Adam (who was our representative head) we live and have the gift of righteousness in Christ (Romans 5:12-21). Our trust must therefore be in him, and no other, for it was He who rendered a perfect obedience as our Head and covenant representative, and his perfect righteousness, as imputed to us, is the sole and strictly legal ground of our justification. Thus he is made for us the end of the law for righteousness, and we are made the righteousness of God in him (Romans 3:24; 5:9,19; 8:1; 10:4; 1 Corinthians 1:31; 6:11; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9).
Do you have faith?
In whom is your faith?