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.