Faith "Alone"

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Jeff_B

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I’ve heard it said that Martin Luther had added the word
“alone”, or “apart from the works of the law”.
Are there any sources someone could point me to-
some that a 'bible believing Christian" would find hard
to refute?

Thanks, In Christ’s love

Jeff
 
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Jeff_B:
I’ve heard it said that Martin Luther had added the word
“alone”, or “apart from the works of the law”.
Are there any sources someone could point me to-
some that a 'bible believing Christian" would find hard
to refute?
You might perhaps try to read Luther’s own justification for what he did…

iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/luther/luther-translate.txt

ken
 
Yeah: Point them right to the Bible. There are many powerful verses that go against Luther’s false doctrine of Faith Alone. The best one being James 2:24 (and the whole 2nd chapter of James for that matter)

James 2:24 “See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.”

Many non-Catholic Christians adhere to the doctrine of “the Bible only”. If we were saved by faith alone the Bible would clearly teach this doctrine and we would be able to find this teaching easily in the scriptures. However, the Bible nowhere speaks about being saved by faith alone and instead has an awful lot to say about works:

Luke 10:25-28
"25 There was a scholar of the law 11 who stood up to test him and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” 27 He said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 He replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.”

1 John 5:3:
“3 For the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments.”

Sirach 16:12-14
“Great as his mercy is his punishment; he judges men, each according to his deeds…Whoever does good has his reward, which each receives according to his deeds.”

John 5:28-29:
“28 Do not be amazed at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and will come out, those who have done good deeds to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked deeds to the resurrection of condemnation.”

2 Cor. 5:10:
“10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.”

Heb. 10:26-29:
“26 If we sin deliberately after receiving knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains sacrifice for sins 27 but a fearful prospect of judgment and a flaming fire that is going to consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who rejects the law of Moses 15 is put to death without pity on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
29 Do you not think that a much worse punishment is due the one who has contempt for the Son of God, considers unclean the covenant-blood by which he was consecrated, and insults the spirit of grace?”

Romans 11:21-22:
“21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, (perhaps) he will not spare you either. 22 See, then, the kindness and severity of God: severity toward those who fell, but God’s kindness to you, provided you remain in his kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off.” (Read the many verses before vs 21 to get the whole picture.)

Mt. 12:36-37:
“36I tell you, on the day of judgment people will render an account for every careless word they speak. 37 By your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Phil. 2:12:
“12 So then, my beloved, obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”

If our salvation was by faith alone why would any of these verses be in the Bible?

Don’t be surprised though if whomever you share these verses with dismisses them and focuses on one or two verses that supposedly teach “faith alone”. That is a common tactic. Be sure to read all “faith alone” verses in context by reading the whole chapter or most of the verses before and after the one cited. In most cases they speak against works of the law, also known as the Law of Moses that was obeyed by the Jews and which is no longer necessary. It doesn’t refer to some obscure Catholic law.
 
iustificati igitur ex fide pacem habeamus ad Deum per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum

I don’t see “solus” in this verse, 5:1 (Therefore having been justified from faith we have peace to God through Our Lord Jesus Christ)

qui reddet unicuique secundum opera eius

opera – works (Romans 2:6) – NAB translates it “Who will repay everyone according to his works.”

A quick search of a Greek New Testament reveals no “alone” in Romans 5:1, either. Maybe an Apologist here can make it clearer.
 
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NWUArmyROTC:
iustificati igitur ex fide pacem habeamus ad Deum per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum

I don’t see “solus” in this verse, 5:1 (Therefore having been justified from faith we have peace to God through Our Lord Jesus Christ)

qui reddet unicuique secundum opera eius

opera – works (Romans 2:6) – NAB translates it “Who will repay everyone according to his works.”

A quick search of a Greek New Testament reveals no “alone” in Romans 5:1, either. Maybe an Apologist here can make it clearer.
Where do you get Roman 5:1?

Luther added the word “alone” on Romans 3:28.
 
Clarification is a good starting place. I wish I could remember where I heard this explained, (sorry to whomever I should be giving credit), but what appears to be a flat out contradiction is actually somewhat of a misunderstanding.

Most Christians agree on two things; (1) that faith is absolutely necessary for salvation, and (2) that we are absolutely commanded to do good works. Both of these points are unmistakably clear in Scripture. The problem is that the terms of the dispute are used in different senses. When Catholics say that we are “saved” by good works as well as faith, we mean by “salvation” the whole process by which God brings us to our eternal destiny. This process includes repentance, faith, hope, and charity (the works of love). Whereas, Protestants (non-Catholics) typically mean by the word “salvation”, being put right with God.

The word “faith” is also used in two different senses. Protestants use it in a broad sense of a person’s acceptance of God’s call to salvation, as it is used by St. Paul in Romans. But Catholics use it in the sense that Paul used it in 1 Cor 13, as one of the three theological virtues; with hope and charity being separate. In this sense, faith alone is not sufficient for salvation, because we also need hope and charity.

Catholics are describing faith as existing separate from actions. The Catholic Church describes faith as “an act of the intellect, prompted by the will, by which we believe what has been revealed on the grounds of the authority of God, who revealed it.” This is why St. James could say (of Abraham) “Can’t you see? His faith and his actions worked together: His faith was made perfect through his actions” (James 2, 22).

With a clear definition of terms, both Protestants and Catholics say basically the same thing. Protestants say “faith (which must include hope and charity) is sufficient for salvation”, whereas Catholics say, “faith (without hope and charity) is not sufficient for salvation”.

However many Christians have very different beliefs on two related Issues: (1) The reason for the good works. Is there any merit for them, or are they just a natural by-product of faith? (2) How should we look at the “assurance of salvation?”
 
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beng:
Where do you get Roman 5:1?

Luther added the word “alone” on Romans 3:28.
My mistake. Misinformed I was.

“3:28 arbitramur enim iustificari hominem per fidem sine operibus legis”

Still don’t see alone. Beng, thanks for setting me straight, I feel rather stupid right now.
 
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Jeff_B:
I’ve heard it said that Martin Luther had added the word
“alone”, or “apart from the works of the law”.
Are there any sources someone could point me to-
some that a 'bible believing Christian" would find hard
to refute?

Thanks, In Christ’s love

Jeff
I think there is a book out there called The Facts About Luther, which has qoutes from him that are very controversial. It might also show how he took out books from the new testament as well, including james, jude, revelation, and maybe a few more. They were left out for about a century until they were put back in. These are just guesses and I don’t know all of the exact details.
 
Beng,

Again, mea culpa on Romans 5:1, but I stand firm on Romans 2:6. In Romans 2:6 it sounds as if Paul argues that one’s works in life play some role in the Divine Judgement, what is your reading of that verse and the accompanying ones. Thanks.
 
You might perhaps try to read Luther’s own justification for what he did…

iclnet.org/pub/resources…r-translate.txt

Thanks Ken,
Haven’t read through the whole thing yet, but
My initial impression is that even if he had a couple of points
later on, he had a slight attitude problem.
not too arrogant!..

He definitely was a tortured soul, and I realize this
the more I read about him. He was also a rabid anti-semite
to boot.

Jeff
 
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MichelleTherese:
Yeah: Point them right to the Bible. There are many powerful verses that go against Luther’s false doctrine of Faith Alone. The best one being James 2:24 (and the whole 2nd chapter of James for that matter)

If our salvation was by faith alone why would any of these verses be in the Bible?

Thanks Michele, these are all great scriptures and they are
exactly why I myself began questioning this concept
of Sola fide.

Another cliche I am sick of hearing (from some) is
Since you can’t do anything to earn your salvation, there’s
nothing you can do to earn it.

This and my instinctive doubts about the other battle cry
of Sola Scriptura are what has led me to start exploring
Catholicism. I had questioned these from the beginning of
my Christian walk, without even knowing anything about
Catholic Apologetics, or such a thing as apologetics, period.
Ironically, it was Sola Scriptura–me, the bible, and the Holy
Spirit that led me to question some of what was taught or
proclaimed in the various churches I’ve been in.

Also, as an aside, and off-topic, was the mis-understanding,
and mis-representation of Jews and Judaism that seems to
be endemic in Christianity in general, and lately and awareness
of the same type of mis-understanding, and mis-representation
of Catholicism, that has brought me to starting this
new path I’m on.

Thanks, Michele,

Jeff
 
II Paradox II:
You might perhaps try to read Luther’s own justification for what he did…

iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/luther/luther-translate.txt

ken
Thanks for posting this link. That was an entertaining read. Couldn’t help but quote the following from it, although I’m not sure if Luther’s language is appropriate to this board:

So this can be the answer to your first question. Please do not give these asses any other answer to their useless braying about that word “sola” than simply “Luther will have it so, and he says that he is a doctor above all the papal doctors.” Let it remain at that. I will, from now on, hold them in contempt, and have already held them in contempt, as long as they are the kind of people that they are - asses, I should say.
And we thought that apologetical discourse in our own day could be a little over the top?

JimG
 
Can anyone verify for me please that the term ‘sola’ was never used by any writers in the church along with the word ‘faith’, not just in the Scripture verse listed? (I’m thinking back as far as the Patristic fathers) Or for that matter, was ‘sola’ ever used along with ‘faith’ in Romans 3:28 in a Catholic Bible prior to Luther? I ask because I believe I have (somewhere) the reference that at least two Catholic Bibles, and I think they were vernacular, used that specific translation prior to Luther and also, if I am correct, a translation right after Luther and before Trent. Was that phrase used in any of the theological writings by Catholics prior to the Reformation. I think many of us might be surpised at least a little at the answer, if my understanding is correct.
 
I’ve been reading the book “The Facts About Luther” and holy cow is it nuts! Any protestant that praises the Protestant Reformation in any way, big or small, needs to read this book and get the facts straight. Here’s a good one for you: We all know the “reason” for Luther’s 95 Thesis was the “abuse of indulgences”, right? Guess what? *There were no abuses of indulgences taking place!!! *Just another lie perpetuated through history, so much so that even Catholics repeat it. It’s insane.

Anyone that wants to really know the reasons for Luther’s revolt and anyone that wants to understand the Protestant Reformation (Revolt) should read “Facts about Luther” and “Characters of the Reformation”, both available from Tan Books.
 
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