Tag Archives: Sola Fide

"Saving Faith" was a sermon that was delivered on March 15, 1874 by Charles H. Spurgeon, the text of which is available here.

I tend to get all wrapped up in studies and debates (got a little OCD going on...) but God consistently uses them, not to "win" - since the battle is already won, but rather to solidify (or reveal) to me deeper things about Him. A while ago, I learned (through a Word-Faith debate) what faith is not. Now I am seeing, in more concrete ways, what faith is.

Luke 7:50 "And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace."
Luke 18:42 "And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee."

What was it that saved these two people? Christ said it was faith. Not love, not repentance, not works, not humility, not earnestness. Faith.


First of all, because God has a right to choose what way of salvation He pleases. He has chosen that man be saved, not by works, but by faith in His dear Son.

But more: the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace (Romans 4:16).

If our salvation is entirely by grace, it must be entirely through faith. If there is any of me, any works, any merit of my own, then it is no longer entirely by grace, but by grace and works. Spurgeon said, "Faith is chosen by Christ to wear the crown of salvation because it refuses to wear the crown."


No, faith is not salvation, it is the vehicle God has chosen to use. When we are hungry, we eat with our mouths, but it is not our mouth that fills us - it is the food. Our mouth is but the means by which to gain nurishment.

Just so, salvation is only by the grace of God - faith is the means by which to gain it.

All who are saved will travel a different road. Right now, I'm dreading facing my mom over an issue - but I'm not a cookie cutter Christian and I'm not going to try to be one anymore. My faith has traveled a different road.

Like the repentant woman and the blind man, faith is manifested in different ways and we must not measure ourselves by other Christians. Paul used meat as an example, "He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God." (Romans 14:6).

Where the Bible is silent, we have freedom. Thank God! Through faith, I can eat meat (or not).

For me, debates and controversy spark great amounts of self-examination and study.

Over the last few weeks, I've been studying the "Solas" - I've studied TULIP backward and forward, from an Arminian/Calvinist view, but not the Solas.

The first time I "did" TULIP, I changed religions (from a lifelong Arminian to Reformed). In the last four years I've learned to look deeper...but never at the Solas.

This study is taking me to some very interesting places, SOLA FIDE most of all.

The Reformed answer to Arminius' followers was capsulated in TULIP (and not all of the letters are the best ones they could have used, but the word works, especially coming out of Holland).

The SOLAS were a direct attempt to reform the Roman Catholic Church in western Europe, so they actually came first.

I've studied Catholic doctrine before, because of a familial relationship, but not as a direct study of the Reformation, or how Catholic doctrine and the Reformation interacted.

A week ago today I was challenged by a dear friend to examine my reasons for my tatoo - after much time spent in prayer and contemplation, the motives for the design are more firm in my mind. It is Christ/Kristos alone on that cross that delivers.

If I put Christ squarely on that cross, there is no room for my works being involved in my salvation, either getting it, or keeping it.

I watched a movie and a documentary last night that hit home so hard (hint: there's a review coming) that bad doctrine has bad consequences. When you mess around with the finished work of Christ on the cross, when you bring works into the equation - wicked things happen.

For me, I believe that the Solas will be more meaningful than TULIP...


Sola Scriptura
Solus Christus
Sola Gratia
Sola Fide

This "sola" doctrine drew much ire from the Roman Catholic Church and it was the doctrine that prompted Marin Luther, in his 95 Theses, to challenge the Roman Catholic doctine on "indulgences".

Sola Fide means that we are saved by faith alone, a faith that flows from the Grace, alone, of God. Sola Fide means a faith that does not require works to be (or stay) saved. We are dead in our sin (DEAD) and without the work of God, we are not able to generate a saving faith.

I'm discovering that, in some ways, Sola Fide is best illustrated alongside the Roman Catholic 1563 Council of Trent. The Roman Catholic doctrine comes first, followed by Scripture.

1. CANON 9: "If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own free will; let him be anathema."

"Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus," (Romans 3:24).

"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law," (Romans 3:28).

"For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness," (Romans 4:3).

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ," (Romans 5:1).

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God," (Eph. 2:8).

"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost," (Titus 3:5).

Canon 14: "If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because that he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema."

"For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness," (Roamns 4:3).

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ," (Romans 5:1).

Canon 24: "If any one saith, that the justice received is not preserved and also increased before God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of Justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let him be anathema."

"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law," (Gal 5:1-3)

Canon 30: "If any one saith, that, after the grace of Justification has been received, to every penitent sinner the guilt is remitted, and the debt of eternal punishment is blotted out in such wise, that there remains not any debt of temporal punishment to be discharged either in this world, or in the next in Purgatory, before the entrance to the kingdom of heaven can be opened (to him); let him be anathema."

"And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross," (Col. 2:13-14).

Canon 33: "If any one saith, that, by the Catholic doctrine touching Justification, by this holy Synod inset forth in this present decree, the glory of God, or the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ are in any way derogated from, and not rather that the truth of our faith, and the glory in fine of God and of Jesus Christ are rendered (more) illustrious; let him be anathema.

This council declares that if anyone disagrees with it, they are damned.