Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Response to Steve Ray on Salvation by Faith Alone

Steve Ray recently pointed out that the bible attributes salvation to things other than faith.  (link)
Salvation, taken narrowly, is a synonym for justification, but salvation also has a broad sense, including things like entrance into heaven itself.  We are justified by faith alone, but that does not mean we are saved (in the broad sense) by faith alone.  My ear alone hears, but if it’s torn from my head, it will no longer hear.  Likewise, faith, when not accompanied with works, baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and forgiving others, does not save.  In this sense, things besides faith are conditions for salvation, but they do not receive God’s free gift of justification – only faith does.

One of the categories of items Steve mentioned deserves special attention – God’s grace, the cross, Christ’s blood and His righteousness.  It’s wrong to oppose faith with God’s grace.  Faith does not earn but rather receives God’s gifts.

3 comments:

Pumice said...

I like the illustration of the ear and hearing.

I don't know if God laughs or cries at how we isolate a verse and then base everything on it.

Grace and Peace

Godismyjudge said...

Thanks Pumice! I agree about taking verses out of context.

God be with you,
Dan

De Maria said...

Hi,

You said:
Response to Steve Ray on Salvation by Faith Alone
Steve Ray recently pointed out that the bible attributes salvation to things other than faith. (link)
Salvation, taken narrowly, is a synonym for justification,


Agreed.

but salvation also has a broad sense, including things like entrance into heaven itself.

I like the way you put that.

We are justified by faith alone,

That is not what Scripture says:
James 2:24
Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

but that does not mean we are saved (in the broad sense) by faith alone.

This is true. I refer you to Matt 25:31-46.

My ear alone hears, but if it’s torn from my head, it will no longer hear.

Kind of a drastic analogy but I get the point.

Likewise, faith, when not accompanied with works, baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and forgiving others, does not save.

Amen! But Scripture says that it also does not justify:
Romans 2:13(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

In this sense, things besides faith are conditions for salvation, but they do not receive God’s free gift of justification – only faith does.

Faith accompanied by works. does. Faith alone, does not.

James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

One of the categories of items Steve mentioned deserves special attention – God’s grace, the cross, Christ’s blood and His righteousness. It’s wrong to oppose faith with God’s grace. Faith does not earn but rather receives God’s gifts.

The first grace, prevenient grace is given us before we have faith. But in order to merit any further graces, we must have faith:
Hebrews 11:6
King James Version (KJV)
6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Without that faith, meritorious works are not possible.

Sincerely,

De Maria