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Posts Tagged ‘Sola Gratia’

The Wednesday Word: Grace! Grace! Grace! Part 3

In the entire Bible there is no scripture that indicates that we can be saved without Jesus Christ!

In the Old Testament, He is the coming Messiah. He is the promise of grace. In the New Testament, He is the realized Messiah who makes us alive by grace.

Grace always leads us to Christ Jesus who by grace procured our salvation (Romans 5:8).

He Himself is our salvation (John 11:25).

He Himself is the grace of God (Titus 2:11).

Grace is embedded in His very name, for the name of Jesus, means salvation. Do you remember this verse “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12)?

Grace leads the Lord’s people to Christ Jesus, and no one else. Grace enables us to “look unto Him” by faith to be saved.

But what about repentance brother? Yes what about it? Is it not important? Yes it is! But let me ask you…where do we get repentance? It’s the goodness of God exhibited in His Grace that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). Dear pastor, do you want to see genuine repentance in your church, then preach Christ crucified. There is no other way! It’s Grace, Grace, Grace! Sometimes we pastors find ourselves trying to motivate our listeners by the Law and its demands instead of by the Gospel. However, it takes no spirituality whatsoever to get behind the pulpit and demand change as we warn about bad habits and lax living. This is not Gospel preaching!

But I digress.

We can say that grace is:

1) Free Grace—the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8)

2) Saving Grace—it brings us to eternal salvation (Ephesians 2:8).

3) Sovereign Grace—not of ourselves, but by God’s sovereign will (Ephesians 2:8)

4) Sustaining Grace—created in Christ Jesus unto good works. He ordained beforehand that we should walk (move forward) in them (Ephesians 2:10).

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me

I once was lost, but now am found

Was blind, but now I see.

T’was grace that taught my heart to fear

And grace, my fears relieved.

How precious did that grace appear,

The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares

I have already come

‘Tis grace that brought me safe thus far,

And grace will lead me home

John Nelson, a preacher in the 18th century had been a stonemason before God saved him. And God used him mightily to lead people to Christ. One day he was talking to a self-righteous individual who said, “I don’t need your Saviour. I live right, and I’ve done good things. I’ll take my chances with the rest of the people.” Mr Nelson replied, “Well look here my good man, if God let you into heaven, you’d bring discord there, because all the others would be singing ‘worthy is the lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and blessing,’ and you’d be singing ‘worthy am I, glory to me, because I lived a consistent Christian life.’ He said, “If an angel heard you sing a song like that in heaven, why he’d throw you over the wall.” And the redeemed folks will all chime in and say, “My soul shall make her boast in the Lord, and nothing else.”

There’ll be nobody in heaven singing about what they have done

It’s Grace! Grace! Grace!

God saves us because He is gracious, not because He sees any goodness inherent in us!

It’s Grace! Grace! Grace!

Our certain hope stands on pure Grace, sovereign, unqualified Grace!

It’s Grace! Grace! Grace!

God saves us because He is good, not because we are!

It’s all of Grace.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

Sola Fide: Justification by Faith Alone (Sermon: London Baptist Confession)

Justification by Faith Alone

(The Relation of Faith to Justification)

Dr. Joel R. Beeke

Justification by faith alone was Martin Luther’s great spiritual and theological breakthrough. It did not come easily. He had tried everything from sleeping on hard floors and fasting to climbing a staircase in Rome while kneeling in prayer. Monasteries, disciplines, confessions, masses, absolutions, good works-all proved fruitless. Peace with God eluded him. The thought of the righteousness of God pursued him. He hated the very word “righteousness,” which he believed provided a divine mandate to condemn him.

Light finally dawned for Luther as he meditated on Romans 1:17, “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” He saw for the first time that the righteousness Paul had here in mind was not a punitive justice which condemns sinners but a perfect righteousness which God freely grants to sinners on the basis of Christ’s merits, and which sinners receive by faith. Luther saw that the doctrine of justification by grace alone (sola gratia) through faith alone (per solam fidem) because of Christ alone (solus Christus) was the heart of the gospel and became for him “an open door into paradise…. a gate to heaven.”

The phrase “justification by faith alone” was the key which unlocked the Bible for Luther.1 Each of these four words he came to understand in relation to the others by the light of Scripture and the Spirit. Elsewhere this volume deals with three words of Luther’s four-word rediscovery: justification, faith, alone. My task of expounding “by” may appear at first glance to be elementary, but around this deceptively simple preposition the heart of the Romanist-Protestant debate has raged. Let’s ask and answer several pertinent questions with regard to this critical preposition which will serve to highlight the relationship of faith to justification. We will consider the preposition “by” from four perspectives: first, scripturally, by considering the basic teaching of justification by faith, together with exegetical and etymological implications of the preposition; second, theologically, by grappling with the issue of faith as a possible “condition” of justification; third, experientially, by addressing how a sinner appropriates Christ by faith; fourth, polemically, by defending the Protestant View of justification, “by” faith against the views of Roman Catholicism, Arminianism, and Antinomianism.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Justification-Salvation is by Grace Through Faith

April 30, 2015 2 comments

by J.I. Packer

Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.” GALATIANS 3:11

The doctrine of justification, the storm center of the Reformation, was a major concern of the apostle Paul. For him it was the heart of the gospel (Rom. 1:17; 3:21-5:21; Gal. 2:15-5:1) shaping both his message (Acts 13:38-39) and his devotion and spiritual life (2 Cor. 5:13-21; Phil. 3:4-14). Though other New Testament writers affirm the same doctrine in substance, the terms in which Protestants have affirmed and defended it for almost five centuries are drawn primarily from Paul.

Justification is a judicial act of God pardoning sinners (wicked and ungodly persons, Rom. 4:5; 3:9-24), accepting them as just, and so putting permanently right their previously estranged relationship with himself. This justifying sentence is God’s gift of righteousness (Rom. 5:15-17), his bestowal of a status of acceptance for Jesus’ sake (2 Cor. 5:21).

God’s justifying judgment seems strange, for pronouncing sinners righteous may appear to be precisely the unjust action on the judge’s part that God’s own law forbade (Deut. 25:1; Prov. 17:15). Yet it is in fact a just judgment, for its basis is the righteousness of Jesus Christ who as “the last Adam” (1 Cor. 15:45), our representative head acting on our behalf, obeyed the law that bound us and endured the retribution for lawlessness that was our due and so (to use a medieval technical term) “merited” our justification. So we are justified justly, on the basis of justice done (Rom. 3:25-26) and Christ’s righteousness reckoned to our account (Rom. 5:18-19).

God’s justifying decision is the judgment of the Last Day, declaring where we shall spend eternity, brought forward into the present and pronounced here and now. It is the last judgment that will ever be passed on our destiny; God will never go back on it, however much Satan may appeal against God’s verdict (Zech. 3:1; Rev. 12:10; Rom. 8:33-34). To be justified is to be eternally secure (Rom. 5:1-5; 8:30).

The necessary means, or instrumental cause, of justification is personal faith in Jesus Christ as crucified Savior and risen Lord (Rom. 4:23-25; 10:8-13). This is because the meritorious ground of our justification is entirely in Christ. As we give ourselves in faith to Jesus, Jesus gives us his gift of righteousness, so that in the very act of “closing with Christ,” as older Reformed teachers put it, we receive divine pardon and acceptance which we could not otherwise have (Gal. 2:15-16; 3:24).

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Justification by Faith Alone: Nothing in My Hand I Bring

The Diet of Worms convened on April 18, 1521 to deal with one of the most pressing issues in the Holy Roman Empire: to deliberate what to do with a troublesome monk named Martin Luther. It had only been 3 ½ years since Luther had nailed his 95 theses to the church-door in Wittenburg. In that short time, he had sparked a great controversy within the Roman Catholic Church. Some of the most controversial of Luther’s theses were those in which he asserted that God justifies sinners based upon the merits of Jesus Christ alone and received by faith alone.

Martin Luther vs The Church of Rome

In contrast to Luther, the Roman Catholic Church taught that a sinner’s justification was not based upon another’s righteousness, but that it was based upon the inherent righteousness of the sinner. The Church essentially taught a salvation which was based upon works. And they refused to be corrected by Luther. Therefore, after administering much political pressure on the Emperor, Charles V, a diet was called to determine what to do with this controversial monk named Martin Luther.

 

 

 

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Federal Vision, New Perspective & Justification [Audio]

April 29, 2015 2 comments

Why is Denying Justification such a Serious Error?

April 28, 2015 5 comments

Posted on February 19th, 2015, by Tom Hicks

The doctrine of justification by faith alone on the ground of Christ’s imputed righteousness remains under direct attack in various quarters. As someone who wrote his PhD dissertation on the doctrines of justification in Richard Baxter and Benjamin Keach, I am convinced that modifying the biblical doctrine is a serious theological error. As a pastor of a local church, I have observed how the doctrine of justification humbles the proud, strengthens the fainthearted, gives assurance to the fearful, encourages vulnerable and motivates self-sacrificing love. To deny this doctrine is to deny the very heart and power of the gospel. May the Lord bring theological clarity on this doctrine for the sake of His own glory and for the good of His beloved bride.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.