Sola Fide - Only Faith
Posted by Brad Quiring on November 3, 2017
We are saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
We are saved by faith over works. We cannot escape God’s punishment for our sin through our own work. It is only through faith.
The first question is, what is faith?
Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Faith is a “firm persuasion”, a conviction based upon evidence. It’s not blind faith, it is based on something known and sure.
Faith is so much more than intellectual assent. Faith is trust based on trustworthiness and faithfulness and the content of what is believed. We place our faith in something real: God.
Faith has to do with a complete giving over of one’s self to God. To agree and submit mentally, morally, physically and spiritually because of a conviction that WHO God is and WHAT God has done and said is truth.
The Bible reveals the truth of God, Jesus, ourselves, sin and salvation. Therefore, The Bible is our primary source of the content of our faith. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth according to John 16, also works in our hearts and our minds to reveal the truth of God. We understand the Bible because of the Holy Spirit. Therefore we have a firm faith and conviction in God because we receive the Holy Spirit’s help and wisdom.
The very creation is physical evidence of the reality and truth of God. The creation, that which we see and experience, is the confirmation of what we already have in the Bible. Therefore we have another witness to reinforce our faith in a real God who is Truth.
How is it that we are saved by faith in Jesus?
Romans 3:20 (NIV2011)
20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
Being good and following God’s law will not save us.
First: It is humanly impossible to keep the Law, there are regulations about being clean and unclean before God that even have to do with our normal bodily functions.
Second: Truly keeping the Law goes far beyond the doing of that which is commanded and not doing that which is prohibited, it has to do with the motivations of our heart and the thoughts of our mind.
Third: The Law brings us to the conscious realization that we are sinners and that we commit sins. The Law identifies what is holy and good. It also identifies what is unholy, sinful and bad.
Why do we resist faith and insist on doing something? Because faith requires our complete recognition of who Jesus really. Jesus is God and Lord over all, therefore we must submit to him, and that is something we do not want or like. Therefore, we refuse to believe in Him and have faith.
In the end we need faith in Jesus:
Romans 3:21-22 (NIV2011)
21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,
Righteousness is the character and quality of being right and just, saying the right, correct things and doing the right action.
This righteousness is revealed apart from the Law, it isn’t the Law, but the Law points to it. It is directly from God and is revealed through faith in Jesus to all who BELIEVE, that is, those who have faith in Jesus.
Romans 3:23-26 (NIV2011)
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
God’s goal is HIS righteousness, his perfect character, wisdom and power and we ALL fall short of that in every way.
BUT, we are justified freely by grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus
Justified is to be declared innocent. It is done freely, without cost by the grace of God, the free, unearned gift of God.
The gift is free, but it is not cheap. There was a steep price that was paid: Jesus.
25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
How did Jesus pay the price? By being the sacrifice of atonement, that which was required to satisfy God and turn away God’s wrath and punishment.
Part of God’s plan willingly carried out by Jesus as a demonstration that God and Jesus are righteous, holy and perfect because Jesus was able to satisfy God’s demands.
God was patient with us, allowing people to sin without immediate punishment, and allowing the substitution of animals instead of people themselves.
God is just and fair. He made a legal demand and that demand was correctly satisfied by Jesus Himself. Because God is just and right in this decision, he therefore has the right to declare anyone just and righteous as well. That declaration is applied by God to anyone who has faith in Jesus.
John 3:16 (NKJV)
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.