You Might Be a Lutheran

I know this is off topic, but I found it and it’s too cute to pass up ……

The Five Solas, pt. 2

  • Sola Fide, by faith alone.
  • Sola Scriptura, by Scripture alone.
  • Solus Christus, through Christ alone.
  • Sola Gratia, by grace alone.
  • Soli Deo Gloria, glory to God alone.

Grace Alone

The second Sola I’m writing about is Grace Alone.  It goes with the Faith: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)  Gee, what else can I write, that about says it all.

God’s Grace is so amazing.  The ancient Hebrews built altars to sacrifice animals, birds and grain to atone for sins.  We have Christ, who sacrificed himself for us.  You see, there had to be sacrifice for the atonement of all mankind’s sins.  That is the way God first set it up.  So God sent his Son to do be the sacrifice for our sins and the sins of the world.

OK, you say, so everyone is saved.  Not quite.  That’s where the faith comes in.  We have to have the faith in Christ, believe that he died for us, to accept this gift that he gave us.  It’s like a billionaire giving away money.  If you were told that you could have an amount of money (let’s make it big, $100,000) for free, all you had to do is go and accept it, you’d do that, right?  Whooo Hoo, someone is giving away money, let’s go!!  If only we felt the same way about God’s wonderful and amazing gift.  We don’t need to do a thing, just accept it.

OK, you say, so I’ll just keep sinning to get more Grace.  It’s true, we are all sinners and we all sin each and every day.  But in his letter to the Romans, Paul address this:  “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?    By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?”  (Romans 6:1-2)  No, you will not want to sin anymore.  Once you’ve been given this gift you will not want to sin. 

So…  Grace Alone by Faith Alone.  We’re building to the best part: Christ Alone.

Saved by Grace

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God–not because of works, lest any man should boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:8-10

If I had to pick out one Bible verse to express the theology of the reformation, it would be this one.  As a Lutheran I’ve heard it over and over again as the foundation for our beliefs.

Christ didn’t save us because we are good:

“as it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one;  no one understands, no one speaks for God.  All have turned aside, together they have done wrong;  no one does good, not even one.'” Romans 3:10-12

He didn’t save us because we accepted Him:

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should bear fruit and that your fruit should abide …”John 15:16

He chose us for one reason only:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16

Notice that the verses from Ephesians and John emphasize that our works come from God as well.  He has chose and appointed them for us.

So, what do you think?  Are we saved by God’s grace alone? Send us your thoughts and comments.

 

 

Do You Really Want Free Will?

“I Don’t Want Free Will” by Martin Luther

luther23.jpg“I frankly confess that, for myself, even if it could be, I should not want “free-will” to be given me, nor anything to be left in my own hands to enable me to endeavour after salvation; not merely because in face of so many dangers, and adversities and assaults of devils, I could not stand my ground ; but because even were there no dangers. I should still be forced to labour with no guarantee of success.¦ But now that God has taken my salvation out of the control of my own will, and put it under the control of His, and promised to save me, not according to my working or running, but according to His own grace and mercy, I have the comfortable certainty that He is faithful and will not lie to me, and that He is also great and powerful, so that no devils or opposition can break Him or pluck me from Him. Furthermore, I have the comfortable certainty that I please God, not by reason of the merit of my works, but by reason of His merciful favour promised to me; so that, if I work too little, or badly, He does not impute it to me, but with fatherly compassion pardons me and makes me better. This is the glorying of all the saints in their God.” – Martin Luther, The Bondage of the Will (Grand Rapids: Revell, 1957), 313-314.