Ep. 2 – Saved by Faith Alone, or Not?
Are we saved by faith alone? Greg Morse, a Content Strategist at Desiring God, published an article relating to the topic, titled, “How to Train Your Dragons.” It was a thought-proviking piece that got many people thinking. The big point being made in the article is this — kill your sin before it kills you.
I’m absolutely in 100% agreement that we must 100% repent of all sin. After all, I wrote an entire blog series on repentance and how it relates to salvation. I’m with Greg on that one. However, some of the things he put forth were troubling to me.
For instance, Greg wrote, “But what about being saved by faith alone? You’re not.” That’s a problem. In this episode of Discern Daily, let’s review the article and seek the truth together.
Desiring God is a great organization. I’m a big fan, but this article was unsettling for me.
Is salvation promised to those who merely have faith without a desire to repent of all their sin habits? Is our salvation dependent upon our killing of sin?
Morse makes a distinction between justification by faith and final salvation. But what about The Golden Chain of Redemption? “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified” (Romans 8:29-30).
Salvation comes when we place biblical faith in Christ. Repentance is produced out of that faith. Therefore, we really are saved by faith alone.
A Helpful Excerpt of Calvin
Now, since Christ confers upon us, and we obtain by faith, both free reconciliation and newness of life, reason and order require that I should here begin to treat of both. The shortest transition, however, will be from faith to repentance; for repentance being properly understood it will better appear how a man is justified freely by faith alone, and yet that holiness of life, real holiness, as it is called, is inseparable from the free imputation of righteousness. That repentance not only always follows faith, but is produced by it, ought to be without controversy. For since pardon and forgiveness are offered by the preaching of the Gospel, in order that the sinner, delivered from the tyranny of Satan, the yoke of sin, and the miserable bondage of iniquity, may pass into the kingdom of God, it is certain that no man can embrace the grace of the Gospel without retaking himself from the errors of his former life into the right path, and making it his whole study to practice repentance. Those who think that repentance precedes faith instead of flowing from, or being produced by it, as the fruit by the tree, have never understood its nature, and are moved to adopt that view on very insufficient grounds.
—John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion (Book 3, chapter 3, section 1).
Share Your Thoughts
What do you think about the article? What are your biblical convictions on the matter? None of us have a perfect theology, but together we can seek the truth and become sharper. Hope to connect with you.
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