Salvation by Faith Alone?

Discussions on the doctrine of salvation.

Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby Paidion » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:39 pm

We all know that the main theme of Martin Luther,the great reformer, and founder of "The Protestant Reformation" (though Catholics call it "The Protestant Revolution") was "Salvation by faith alone."

Indeed, Luther was so certain of this, that he even added the word "alone" to the word "faith" in Romans 3:28 in his translation.

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith alone apart from the deeds of the law.

When some one objected that Luther added a word that was not in the Greek text, he retorted that he was quite right in adding "alone" since that is what Paul meant.

As it turns out, there were people even in Tertullian's day (A.D. 145-220) who proclaimed salvation by faith alone. Tertullian called them "miscreants." In his treatise "On Baptism," chapter 13 and 14, Tertullian wrote:

Here then, those miscreants provoke questions. And so they say, "Baptism is not necessary for them to whom faith is sufficient; for withal Abraham pleased God by a sacrament of no water, but of faith." But in all cases it is the later things which have a conclusive force, and the subsequent which prevails over the antecedent. Grant that, in days gone by, there was salvation by means of bare faith, before the passion and resurrection of the Lord. But now that faith has been enlarged, and is become a faith which believes in his nativity, passion, and resurrection, there has been an amplification added with the sacrament, viz., the sealing act of baptism; the clothing in some sense, of the faith which before was bare, and which cannot exist now without its proper law. For the law of baptizing has been imposed, and the formula prescribed: "Go," He says, "teach the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." The comparison with this law of that definition, "Unless a man have been reborn of water and Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of the heavens," has tied faith to the necessity of baptism. Accordingly, all thereafter who became believers used to be baptized.Then it was,too, that Paul, when he believed, was baptized; and this is the meaning of the precept which the Lord had given him when smitten with the plague of loss of sight, saying, "Arise, and enter Damascus; there shall be demonstrated to you what you ought to do," to wit — be baptized, which was the only thing lacking to him. That point excepted, he had sufficiently learnt and believed "the Nazarene" to be "the Lord, the Son of God."

But they roll back an objection from that apostle himself, in that he said,"For Christ sent me not to baptize;" as if by this argument baptism were done away! For if so, why did he baptize Gaius, and Crispus, and the house of Stephanas? However, even if Christ had not sent him to baptize, yet He had given other apostles the precept to baptize...For preaching is the prior thing, baptizing the posterior.
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby maintenanceman » Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:31 pm

Yep, but some like Tom Wright would maybe say it was the faith OF Christ as opposed to the faith IN Christ was the meaning of the scriptures...

Alas, I am sure that this has been talked about but I have not the time nor inclination to do a complete search :lol:
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby qaz » Tue Oct 24, 2017 2:54 pm

I've read a good portion of Concordia. While the Lutheran position might officially say salvation is by faith alone, there is a caveat to it that effectively renders salvation by "faith and works". Concordia says good works manifest faith. So if a person doesn't have good works, it would follow that he/she doesn't have faith. In practice this amounts to salvation by faith and works. This is in contrast to Grace Evangelical Society (https://faithalone.org/) which teaches we don't need good works to be saved.
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby St. Michael » Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:44 pm

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith alone apart from the deeds of the law.



Martin Luther also thought that the book of James shouldn't be in the Bible because it flatly contradicts faith alone. Yes we are justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law but we are not justified by faith alone:


You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. ~~ James 2:24



We cannot earn our salvation by works and are therefore justified by faith. But we are not justified by faith alone.


Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. ~~ James 2:17
The eminently humble Christian is clothed with lowliness, mildness, meekness, gentleness of spirit and behavior. ~~ Jonathan Edwards
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby Hewillcome2040 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:54 am

I believe that saving Faith is more than just belief. I believe that saving Faith is actually TRUST in God.

Adam and Eve DIDN'T Trust God - they surely believed in God but they didn't TRUST what God said about taking and eating of the forbidden fruit.

Therefore, are we saved by TRUST alone - yes. But not by belief alone. TRUST is an EVIDENT attribute to ones character.

So while Adam and Eve sinned by distrust, God has provided through the second Adam (Jesus) reconciliation through Trust. Since Trust is an EVIDENT attribute, and possessing that trust means the person will be in obedience to the Law of God. Not the letter of the law but to the Holy Spirit.
Last edited by Hewillcome2040 on Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby DaveB » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:40 am

Paul reminds us of some sobering truths:

6 He will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For God shows no partiality. Romans 2, ESV

3 Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.


That is some strong medicine.
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby steve7150 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:49 am

Indeed, Luther was so certain of this, that he even added the word "alone" to the word "faith" in Romans 3:28 in his translation.

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith alone apart from the deeds of the law.










I think when Paul referred to "the law" he meant the Law of Moses but this is sometimes confused with good work generically. Obviously we need a faith that works, but not according to the Mosaic law but the "Law of Christ."
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby DaveB » Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:06 pm

There is a good case to be made that Paul meant 'faithfulness' not just 'faith' - and really, when we think about it, what good is'faith' - in fact is it even faith - without seeking to be faithful as well? Paul seems very clear in the Romans verses that God does judge us by our "works" (evidences that our faith is real) - not of Moses' Law of course - but the works involved in seeking for immortality and honor.
And that God is not partial - every human being will give account of him/her self. <gulp> to God.
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby AndreLinoge » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:51 pm

It it's not by faith alone, then I'm toast. I not only have no virtues (fruit), I have only unrighteousness. Even my good acts are calculated for my benefit.
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby maintenanceman » Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:54 pm

DaveB wrote:There is a good case to be made that Paul meant 'faithfulness' not just 'faith' - and really, when we think about it, what good is'faith' - in fact is it even faith - without seeking to be faithful as well? Paul seems very clear in the Romans verses that God does judge us by our "works" (evidences that our faith is real) - not of Moses' Law of course - but the works involved in seeking for immortality and honor.
And that God is not partial - every human being will give account of him/her self. <gulp> to God.


So hey Dave... What is you view that this faith that Paul is talking about is the 'the faith of Christ' as opposed to 'the faith in Christ' ... So in other words Christ came and did what he did in spite of our belief or faith, he reconciled humanity with the Father even if they did not realize the event.. :lol:
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby DaveB » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:05 pm

Well, I think Paul's statement still stands. I'm not much a fan of the famous Reformed 'solas'.
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby maintenanceman » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:29 pm

DaveB wrote:There is a good case to be made that Paul meant 'faithfulness' not just 'faith' - and really, when we think about it, what good is'faith' - in fact is it even faith - without seeking to be faithful as well? Paul seems very clear in the Romans verses that God does judge us by our "works" (evidences that our faith is real) - not of Moses' Law of course - but the works involved in seeking for immortality and honor.
And that God is not partial - every human being will give account of him/her self. <gulp> to God.

Once again, what do you Dave need to do? That is the million dollar question. :shock: Possibly, it is talking about folks there in that time and not us here. ;)
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby DaveB » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:58 pm

There are certainly some hints here:
6 He will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For God shows no partiality.

Dave has to understand that God will render to me according to my works - which are patient well-doing
Dave gets to seek for glory and honor and immortality, if Dave wants eternal life.
Dave cannot be self-seeking and disobedient to the truth.

etc.
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby maintenanceman » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:49 pm

Please Brother don't get mad at me as I say what I am going to say...

Dave has to understand that God will render to me according to my works - which are patient well-doing
Dave gets to seek for glory and honor and immortality, if Dave wants eternal life.
Dave cannot be self-seeking and disobedient to the truth.


The alternative view is that Dave was never there, Dave has no dog in that hunt. An understanding of what went down was that God unilaterally through Christ rendered sin and death 'null and void.'

The problem is that you have to be willing to look at it on a different level. You DaveB are totally taken care of by Christ.

I hope that is good news to you. ;)
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby DaveB » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:58 pm

Not the way I see it, friend Chad. I'm not earning salvation, just working it out.
I've tried looking at it your way, and Mike Williams's way, and it is not my path. I think you are missing something big, and conversely, you believe, and perhaps correctly, that I am missing something big.
I'm already glad of the good news!! :lol:

And for now, Paul is my guide, and he was preaching after Christ had 'done it all'.
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby maintenanceman » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:11 pm

I understand. Good luck and my prayers are with you. :D
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby DaveB » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:14 pm

But Chad - does this mean it's OVER between us?? Is this it, the final straw? End of the line? A bridge too far? The nuclear option??
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby maintenanceman » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:21 pm

DaveB wrote:But Chad - does this mean it's OVER between us?? Is this it, the final straw? End of the line? A bridge too far? The nuclear option??

No sir, if I can be blunt, I don't care what you believe. You are who you are and I am what I am. I still love you and hope to meet you some day. Anyone who builds guitars is okay in my book!
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby DaveB » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:26 pm

Good. It was exhausting trying to think of more silly metaphors for 'breaking up'. :lol:

I actually DO care what you believe, and not just you but others here as well. I find it stimulating/exhilarating/exhausting/irritating/nourishing/- did I already say irritating? :lol:

Peace, and guitars.
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby maintenanceman » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:35 pm

DaveB wrote:Good. It was exhausting trying to think of more silly metaphors for 'breaking up'. :lol:

I actually DO care what you believe, and not just you but others here as well. I find it stimulating/exhilarating/exhausting/irritating/nourishing/- did I already say irritating? :lol:

Peace, and guitars.


That makes me think of a great acoustic song about that subject..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SU0lQsE0kU8

Have fun ...
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby DaveB » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:03 pm

Good song/performance. That guy might have a future....
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby DaveB » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:11 pm

Chad - PM sent
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby Paidion » Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:17 pm

S. Michael wrote:Martin Luther also thought that the book of James shouldn't be in the Bible because it flatly contradicts faith alone. Yes we are justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law but we are not justified by faith alone:


If I remember correctly, Luther called the book of James "an epistle of straw."
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby DaveB » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:00 pm

Luther appears to me to be wrong. At least, I have found James to be a breath of fresh, no-nonsense air.
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby JamesAH81072 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:26 pm

Sorry to go off topic but Dave you make custom guitars?
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby DaveB » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:32 pm

PM sent
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby maintenanceman » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:38 pm

Paidion wrote:
S. Michael wrote:Martin Luther also thought that the book of James shouldn't be in the Bible because it flatly contradicts faith alone. Yes we are justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law but we are not justified by faith alone:


If I remember correctly, Luther called the book of James "an epistle of straw."


I think you are right. I think he was the first to translate the Bible into German. So you gotta wonder how much of his slant was put into his translation just as all translations. ;)
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby lancia » Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:41 pm

DaveB wrote:There is a good case to be made that Paul meant 'faithfulness' not just 'faith' - and really, when we think about it, what good is'faith' - in fact is it even faith - without seeking to be faithful as well? Paul seems very clear in the Romans verses that God does judge us by our "works" (evidences that our faith is real) - not of Moses' Law of course - but the works involved in seeking for immortality and honor.
And that God is not partial - every human being will give account of him/her self. <gulp> to God.


The Greek word translated as "faith" in Romans 3:28 and in many other places in the Bible is pistis. One of the two main definitions of pistis is indeed "faithfulness." And that definition helps remove the apparent if not real contradiction in the sheep and goats parable given by Jesus. In that parable, Jesus does not say a word about faith as saving the sheep. Instead he emphasizes that the sheep did good things for others in need. These things are precisely the sorts of things that Jesus himself did or would do. Having faithfulness in Jesus or being faithful to Jesus likely entails following his example or following his admonitions, e.g., loving others. Thus, the "faithfulness" definition of pistis makes the parable more compatible with the rest of scripture that emphasizes pistis. It's less compatible if "faith" were intended as the definition, for as you said, why would faith in Jesus necessarily lead to such admirable behavior?
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby DaveB » Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:48 pm

Yes, I agree. Regarding pistis as 'faithfulness' also sheds light on Paul's saying 'from pistis to pistis' - translating as 'faith' is difficult; but by using 'faithfulness' in each position gives us what probably is Paul's real meaning - that he, Paul, is laying out the utter faithfulness of God to the Abrahamic covenant even in the light of Jewish and gentile faithlessness, and that understanding of God's faithfulness leads us to faithfulness.
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby Paidion » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:34 pm

MM wrote:I think you are right. I think he was the first to translate the Bible into German. So you gotta wonder how much of his slant was put into his translation just as all translations. ;)


Luther's translation into German may be superior to most or at least many translations. Several times when I have pointed out specific passages in which the Greek text differs a lot from the King James translation, Mennonites who were present and who regularly use Luther's translation, have told me that the meaning in Greek that I pointed out, was the same as the meaning that comes out in Luther's translation. I can't vouch for the accuracy of that statement since I am not familiar with the German language.
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby maintenanceman » Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:55 pm

Paidion wrote:
MM wrote:I think you are right. I think he was the first to translate the Bible into German. So you gotta wonder how much of his slant was put into his translation just as all translations. ;)


Luther's translation into German may be superior to most or at least many translations. Several times when I have pointed out specific passages in which the Greek text differs a lot from the King James translation, Mennonites who were present and who regularly use Luther's translation, have told me that the meaning in Greek that I pointed out, was the same as the meaning that comes out in Luther's translation. I can't vouch for the accuracy of that statement since I am not familiar with the German language.


My reading of what Luther was like is that he was a very um,,, Very stoic, and he had very strong individualistic views. Maybe you have read differently :lol:
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby Paidion » Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:42 pm

Oh, I wasn't commenting on his character. He hated Jews and had Anabaptists put to death. Notwithstanding, he was an excellent Greek scholar.
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby Alexander » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:31 am

I think all men are saved, in terms of justification, from eternity but only realize this salvation upon faith.
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby Paidion » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:26 pm

Alexander, you wrote:I think all men are saved, in terms of justification, from eternity but only realize this salvation upon faith.


Saved from what?
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Re: Salvation by Faith Alone?

Postby Alexander » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:04 pm

Paidion wrote:
Alexander, you wrote:I think all men are saved, in terms of justification, from eternity but only realize this salvation upon faith.


Saved from what?


Saved from any sort of retributive or penal wrath on the part of God because they are all seen as righteous, from eternity. Furthermore, when they believe they are saved from the apprehension of wrath in their consciences.
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