Faith alone in what? Sola Fide. Faith alone. It’s one of the five “Solas” of the protestant reformation. It communicates the idea that it’s our trust in Christ that saves us, and nothing else. But what exactly does that mean?
They Have Faith, But In What?
I was doing research recently on another group that claims to be connected to Christianity. One person defended their position by claiming that “Faith alone” is what saves us, and these people had faith. I immediately saw a flaw in his reasoning.
You see, the term “Faith Alone” is what is commonly referred to as a “Pastorism”. It’s a simplistic idea that’s easy to remember but may not be the most precise way of thinking of things. These ideas are helpful in communicating basic truths, but may need some additional fleshing out.
As I said, Sola Fide is one of the five solas. Those five together give us a more complete picture of obtaining salvation. The complete list of five is Sola Fide, Sola Christus, Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia and Sola Deo Gloria. In English, Faith alone, in Christ alone, by Scripture alone, by grace alone for the glory of God alone.
You see, the error that the person was making by saying people were saved by “Faith Alone”, was that he wasn’t completing the formula. Sure, we need faith alone. But faith in what? Simply having a generic faith isn’t sufficient to save anyone. It’s what, or more to the point, Who we are putting our faith in that saves us.
Just Believe….In Anything
This is a common error I see in thinking now days. Its popular to believe that just having faith in anything is good enough. God is really concerned with sincerity, not that messy theological stuff. Just give it your best shot, and God will be satisfied. That sounds all good and well, but one has to wonder where that idea came from. It certainly wasn’t from the Bible.
Jesus was very specific when talking about where our trust should lay. He even went out of His way to say that the way was narrow that leads to Heaven. “No one gets to the Father but through Me”. That seems to imply a specific path, and a specific person to put our trust in.
Rightly Focused Faith
Our trust needs to be focused in the right direction. Faith is all good and well, but putting our faith in something that is not true can be dangerous. People have faith that when they see a light at an intersection turn green, that the traffic coming from the opposite direction will have a red light. They have this assurance from previous experience. We can trust that the lights will behave in a predictable manor.
But what if instead of trusting in the lights, someone put their faith in counting seconds that the light was red? Once they reached 10 seconds of the light being red, they trusted that the traffic from the opposite direction would just stop if they proceeded into the intersection. What do you think would happen?
I imagine such a system would be fraught with danger! They would be putting their trust in a system that didn’t work. You can probably envision the terrible situation a person that made decisions this way would put themselves in!
This is why it’s so important to determine Who we are putting our trust in. Getting this wrong has eternal consequences. Having faith is not enough. We need to make sure we have put our trust in the right place. There is simply too much on the line.
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