Sermon Outline 5 Jun 2017 – Justification By Faith Alone
a. Meaning: Faith Alone
b. Faith is our activity of trusting in God and in His Son Jesus Christ for salvation.
c. The reformers taught that this is the only way to salvation. There is no way of earning salvation. Salvation is Christ’s work for sinners, and we are saved by trusting in Him. Faith lets go of self and trusts in Christ alone.
We can remember the meaning of Faith by the acronym “FAITH”: “Forsaking All I Trust Him”.
d. The reformers also taught that faith is not a good work that we do to merit God’s favor. Rather, faith includes repentance which relinquishes all my works as worthy and trusts in Christ’s work alone. Also, faith itself is a work of God in us, a gift from him to his chosen people.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” – Ephesians 2:8
If we were to die tonight & God ask us “Why should I let you into my heaven?”, how would we reply? “Well, I have been a good person, I am very religious, I go to church every Sunday, I give money away to worthy charities.”
Justification by Faith Alone in Reformation Thought
Luther said that justification is by faith alone, without works “the article upon which the standing church stands and the falling church falls.”
Calvin said that justification was the “main hinge upon which religion turns.”
The key question for Luther was, “How can I find a gracious God?” The answer was found in Romans 1:16-17.
Justification by Faith Alone in Scripture
The term “justification” is related in both the OT & the NT to “justice”, “righteousness”, “righteous,” “judgement,” and “vindication.” It is a term from the Law Court. Someone is justified in a law court when they are found “not guilty” or “vindicated.” See 1 Kings 3:16-28. So how can human beings be declared to be “in the right” in God’s Law Court on the Day of Judgement?
We are unrighteous rebels (Rom 1:18)
The good works of God’s Law cannot justify (Rom 3:9-20)
Christ’s death atones for our sins: He carries the punishment we deserve & so are forgiven & justified (Rom 3:21-24)
Faith grasps hold of Christ & covers us with Christ’s righteousness (1 Cor 1:30)
This means there is no condemnation for believers (Rom 8:1)
Living by Faith Alone Today
- Faith & Scripture
- Faith & God
- Faith & Christ
“Every week I preach justification by faith to my people, because every week they forget it.”
“The article of justification is fragile. Not in itself, of course, but in us. I know how quickly a person can forfeit the joy of the Gospel.”
“This doctrine (justification) is the head and the cornerstone. It alone begets, nourishes, builds, preserves, and defends the church of God and without it the church of God cannot exist for one hour.”
“Being by his faith replaced afresh in paradise and created anew, he (the believer) does not need works for his justification, but that he may not be idle, but that he may exercise his own body and preserve it. His works are to be done freely, with the sole object of pleasing God.”
1. In what ways are we ever tempted to justify ourselves by our good works and so add to faith?
2. Why does faith alone justify?
3. Why should God let you into heaven?