Faith Alone (Part 1): What is Reformed Theology? with R.C. Sproul



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Regarding salvation, what is the fundamental difference between true Christianity and all the other religions of the world? Considering the question of salvation from the historical and theological framework of the Protestant Reformation, Dr. Sproul looks at “Faith Alone.”

This is the 4th in a series of messages by Dr. Sproul on Reformed theology. See other videos in the series:

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13 thoughts on “Faith Alone (Part 1): What is Reformed Theology? with R.C. Sproul

  1. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    FAITH ALONE doctrine has more to do with "SALVATION WITHOUT WORKS" than the word "ALONE". 
    ALONE means WITHOUT WORKS.

    Act 16:30 And he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
    Act 16:31 So they said, " Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household."
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    SOLA FIDE (FAITH ALONE)

    Sola Fide means salvation by grace through faith without earning through any works

    Bible is clear about salvation by grace through faith apart from works

    John 3:16
    Romans 4 and 5
    Eph 2:8-10
    Gal 3:1-5
    Romans 10: 9-10
    Titus 3:5
    2 Tim 1:9
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bible is clear we are not saved by works. Not by works of law, not by works of righteousness, not good works.

    If it's works, it's no longer grace.

    NOT GOOD WORKS
    2Ti 1:9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,
    Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
    Eph 2:9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

    NOT WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
    Tit 3:5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,

    NOT WORKS OF THE LAW
    Gal 2:16 knowing that a man is not [i]justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

    BLESSEDNESS APART FROM WORKS
    Rom 4:6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:

    IF IT IS WORKS, IT’S NO LONGER GRACE
    Rom 11:6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

    Rom 4:4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.
    Rom 4:5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  2. Faith alone is unbiblical.

    "You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone." -James 2:24
    "For by grace you have been saved….not of works…." -Ephesians 2:8-9

  3. Only reason anyone goes to Hell forever is for Unbelief in Jesus Christ. He didn't come to condemn but to Save that which is lost. One must be Born Again of God. It's Not You and Jesus. It's You OR Jesus. If you have the love of this world in you then the Love of the Father isn't in you. A person is just not in the world….they are the WORLD! And the world doesn't go to heaven.It's not You and Jesus. It's You OR Jesus. If you have ears to hear then hear…
    To Trust in, Believe on Jesus is to go THROUGH HIM. The eye of the needle. The narrow way. Nothing will fit through but your Trusting in Him…all else stays behind. Eveything else is dung when it comes to Salvation. If you have something in your heart that you are holding dear to…world's wisdom, favorite memories, family, your proud identity("born in the USA"),etc. it won't fit through the eye of the needle. Just trusting Jesus fits the eye of the needle. That's it. Nothing else. The death of yourself and world. It's not I used to smoke and now I don't. It's a death of even that! It's Christ within.

  4. From the day when the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles, Christianity has spread allover the world. This could not happen without the works of the apostles, their successors, and those who followed Jesus. Their works of spreading the Good News were surely not by faith alone but by faith shown through their works. So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. James 2:17. And if this is not enough, then “Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith.” James 2:18

  5. Would we be "justified" to God if we chose to continue in sin rather than turn from sin? Jesus said "except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3,5). Faith alone is not enough. It is through faith that we realize we must make a decision: to obey God and seek to do His will, or else to remain separate from God and continue on our own path. It is faith that makes the choice real to us, then we must choose. The verses below feature obedience, not "faith alone":

    "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" (1 Peter 4:17)

    "In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Thessalonians 1:8)

    Abraham's example illustrates the difference between "faith alone" and faith followed by obedience. Abraham was promised blessings if he would leave home and journey to the promised land. Without any faith, he would have shrugged off the promises as unreal and that would have been the end of the story.

    But even with faith Abraham could have said to himself, "Well, even though I trust God's promises I'd really rather stay home, in my comfort zone, so I'm not leaving." Would he have received the promised blessings? Of course not.

    Abraham obeyed. He acted on his faith. He left home, journeyed to the promised land and received the blessings:

    "By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went" (Hebrews 11:8).

    By or through faith he realized he had a real choice to make, and he chose to obey. The Lord explained to Abraham's son Isaac that Abraham received the promised blessings because of his obedience:

    "Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws" (Genesis 26:5).

    The apostle James wrote "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only" (James 2:24). Abraham's obedience was his "works." He believed in the true, complete sense of the word believe: he committed himself, he acted on his faith. In the source New Testament Greek texts, "faith" and "believe" are different words; "faith" (pistis) is a noun, "believe" (pisteuō) is a verb.

    "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also" (James 2:26). Faith without commitment, without action, is useless. Nothing changes. If Abraham had stayed home, his faith would have been dead, useless. Abraham acted on his faith; his works, his obedience brought life and completion to his faith, making him a believer. James wrote:

    "Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God." (James 2:22,23)

    So what does God want us to do today? How do we believe, how do we "act" on our faith? God "now commands all men every where to repent" (Acts 17:30). This is how we can receive mercy:

    "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy." (Proverbs 28:13)

    With the ransom Jesus made available on the cross, we can be redeemed from the death penalty (Romans 6:23) we have earned for our past sins. That redemption is mercy and is available by grace IF we'll choose to turn from sin, turn from sin that earned us the death penalty to begin with.

    If we choose not to turn from sin, we'll remain unredeemed from the death penalty earned for our past sins and will surely perish in death for those sins. That's why Jesus warned, "except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3,5).

    At first glance "except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" appears to contradict John 3:16 which says we have to believe in Him: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

    If "believeth" means no more than "have faith," or think something is true, then there certainly is a contradiction with "except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." But "believeth" goes beyond just "have faith." It is through faith that we realize we have a real choice to make: whether or not to believe, to commit ourselves and act and obey. We must truly "believe," we must act on our faith, obey and repent to avoid perishing.

  6. Frankly, I think a lot of our Calvinist heavyweights, and I include Sproul, MacArthur, and Lawson, may be missing the point on what James was speaking of when he said "Faith without Works is Dead." I believe James gave us valuable insight into HOW to apply Christ's command of "love each other." These are not Catholic, or Mosaic works, these are acts of love, as were commanded by Christ. Sure we are saved, but James is saying, 'Okay, now it's time to get off your butts and minister to those in need.

    "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 7:12.

    "A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35.

    "So too, faith by itself, if it is not complemented by action, is dead." James 2:17.

    "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." James 2:26.

    "And our people must also learn to devote themselves to good works in order to meet the pressing needs of others, so that they will not be unfruitful." Titus 3:14.

    "Share with the saints who are in need. Practice hospitality." Romans 12:13

    "Bear you one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2.

    "For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities and continue to grow in them, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."
    2 Peter 1:5-8.

    "Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25:44-46.

  7. 2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, in accordance with the things which he did, whether good or bad. Mat 7:21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Mat 7:24 "Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and does them, I will compare him to a wise man who built his house upon the rock: Jas 2:17 Thus also that faith, if it does not have works, is dead, being by itself
    Jas 2:18 But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by means of my works.
    Jas 2:19 You believe God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe–and they shudder!
    Jas 2:20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?

  8. I know Im not perfect, but I know Im forgiven. There is a knowing that occurs when God  calls you. When you know you have just been saved, God opens your eyes and ears, and gives you understanding. I am always being judged by the Baptists over my smoking habit. I think I keep smoking just to spite them. I may smoke, but I never saw how that could affect my salvation. Is it better to ostracize someone because they smoke? To look down upon someone or exclude them from the group because they smoke. At our church picnics it wasn't enough to walk away to have a smoke even though we were outdoors, but it was very much a division brought on by the judgement of men. At least the smokers did not mind to be the last one served at lunch, and it wasn't just because of the smoking, but we were busy having real conversations about life. Sometimes about what was said in church, or about who is ill, or who is having problems, and who could use some help. So if someone joined by us and asked for a smoke, someone always gave one or more, and we joined in conversation with that person. Introductions and smiles and laughs and that person was included in our conversation. Our little group of smokers took the time to communicate. I value this over being the first one to overfill my plate at the buffet only to throw out most of it after meals end. I see my smoking as a way to point out their hypocracy. I asked the pastor why he bought these platter sized plates when there is so much wasted food being thrown out. I asked him if I could be in charge of putting in a community garden on part of the land that he had to mow weekly, since they had a emergency food pantry, and fresh vegatables would surely be a good thing to be able to offer. It could also be used for preparing the luncheon. People could come tend a little patch if they felt like it…a good excuse to get out and talk with others. So many live alone and would love to have a reason to get out of the house for a little bit.
    Everyone knows smoking isn't heathy, and I don't advise anyone to start, but how many times will a non-smoker point out that fact? Not once, not twice, but every time you see them…..and that is the extent of their conversation. I think there is more hypocracy in the church today than in most bars. At least the folks at the bar know they're sinners, while most in church think they are holier than thou.  🙂 lol   I don't go to bars anymore so stop that thought right there….besides everything in moderation right?

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