Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Faith =/+/- works?

She'd never justify anybody!
     Check out these great, succinct equations for varying views of justification;  R.C. Sproul used these in his "Luther and the Reformation" series (I'd give out a link, but Ligonier no longer offers the free download... I don't want to get in trouble!).  Remember, justification is the legal declaration of righteousness.  So when does that happen?

First the Roman Catholic view:

       Faith + Works = Justification
     R.C. extensively goes into the Roman view:  briefly, a person is given faith at baptism, and the effort that person expends toward holiness accrues merit toward becoming righteous;  when a person becomes righteous (and only then!), God acknowledges it by justifying them.  Notice works are on the left side of the equation; Rome teaches they are an essential component of justification.

Then the Antinomian (now known as Free Grace) view:

       Faith = Justification - Works  

     This view holds that bare mental assent in the historic facts of the Gospel is all that God requires;  obviously, we can hope that a person's lifestyle progresses towards obedience to God's commands, but if they don't, no connection can or should be made to their conversion (or lack thereof).  Whether or not a person is justified is completely disassociated from their works.

Lastly, the biblical, Reformation view:

       Faith = Justification + Works

     So this view acknowledges there is a connection between justification and works, but not a consequential one;  works are on the right side of the equation, meaning they are a product of the divine gift of faith.  A person believes in Christ, and God justifies them AND begins to radically change their lifestyle, making a new creature.  I pray this helps you as much as it did me!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please keep your comments worthy of the calling with which Christ calls us!