March 19- Some bunny reading Hebrews & James with me?
I read something in James yesterday that got me thinking about the five Solas that came out of the Reformation. Are you familiar with those?
When protestants broke away from the Catholic Church, they claimed five Solas (Latin word for “Alone”); five core beliefs of the Christian faith.
God’s Word (Scripture) alone. (Meaning the Bible is the highest source of authority.)
Faith alone. (Being right with God only comes through faith in Jesus.)
Grace alone. (You can’t earn God’s grace by doing works.)
Christ alone. (No one can come to the Father except through Christ)
To the glory of God alone.(in all we do it should glorify God)
I love those and can get behind all of them perfectly! I guess that makes me Protestant. 😁
Recently I was in a conversation with a parent who insisted that his adult children were saved because they confessed a faith in Jesus. Yet, he admitted they didn’t live a life that would demonstrate that said belief. He went on to say that didn’t matter. He was taught “Faith Alone”, therefore, they’re in! End of story!
When boiling ideas down, using word play as the literary devise to remember the basics, the deeper meaning of the idea can get lost over time. It is essential to use the FULL COUNCIL of God (see point #1 above) OFTEN to maintain clarity. The friend I mentioned has gotten a little cloudy in his thinking and needs to jump into our reading of James.
Today I read, “You see then, that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone.” (James 2:24)
Doesn’t that seem in contradiction of point #2 of core beliefs?
Not at all.
Our faith is what gets us in right standing with God, but that faith is not mere words, but demonstratable faith (as James points out). “Faith actions” are actions that show obedience to Christ.
So the friend I mentioned is missing part of the equation to what true faith entails.
The “faith and works” idea got twisted up during the years of Catholic church dominance up to the 1500’s, so a reset button, so to speak, was hit, getting the focus back on faith for salvation, not “man-made” works for salvation.
As much as I like the simpleness of the 5 Solas, I think the reset button needs to be hit again to clarify “faith alone”.
Maybe change it to something like, “demonstrate-able faith alone”? I don’t know.
What do you think?
What I appreciate about this reading plan is that getting the full cousel of God brings such clarity!!! Love it!!!