with october 31st coming up this week (the anniversary of the protestant reformation), it is fitting that one of the chief battle cries of the reformation- “sola fide” or “faith alone” is the next article from the cambridge declaration.  rather than providing a commentary for this article, i have highlighted a few sentences because the authors of this document say it better than i could.

Sola Fide: The Erosion of The Chief Article

Justification is by grace alone through faith alone
because of Christ alone. This is the article by which
the church stands or falls
.

Today this article is oftenignored, distorted or sometimes
even denied by leaders,scholars and pastors who claim to
be evangelical.
Although fallen human nature has
always recoiled from
recognizing its need for Christ’s imputed righteousness,
modernity greatly fuels the fires of this discontent with the
biblical Gospel. We have allowed this discontent to dictate
the nature of our ministry and what it is we are preaching.

Many in the church growth movement believe that
sociological understanding of those in the pew is as
important to the success of the gospel as is the biblical
truth which is proclaimed. As a result, theological convictions
are frequently divorced from the work of the ministry.

The marketing orientation in many churches takes
this even further,erasing the distinction between
the biblical Word and the world, robbing Christ’s
cross of its offense, and reducing Christian faith
to the principles and methods which bring success
to secular corporations.

While the theology of the cross may be believed, these
movements are actually emptying it of its meaning.
There is no gospel except that of Christ’s
substitution in our place whereby God imputed
to him our sin and imputed to us his righteousness
.
Because he bore our judgment, we now walk in his grace as
those who are forever pardoned, accepted and adopted as God’s
children.
There is no basis for our acceptance before God
except in Christ’s saving work,not in our patriotism,
churchly devotion or moral decency.

The gospel declares what God has done for us in Christ.
It is not about what we can do to reach him.

 

Thesis Four: Sola Fide
We reaffirm that justification is by grace alone through faith alone
because of Christ alone. In justification Christ’s righteousness is
imputed to us as the only possible satisfaction of God’s
perfect justice
.

We deny
that justification rests on any merit to be found in us,
or upon the grounds of an infusion of Christ’s righteousness in us,
or that an institution claiming to be a church that denies
or condemns sola fide can be recognized as a legitimate church.
 
 
 

 

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