A Call To Arms

October 31, 2015

boxing

The Vatican II documents as well as the new Catechism of the Catholic Church reinvoke the theological position of the Council of Trent, condemning the gospel of justification by an imputed righteousness.

 

Evangelicalism is redefining itself doctrinally. From its views of the self (77% of Evangelicals say that man is basically good by nature) to its views of salvation (87% insist that, in salvation, God helps those who help themselves).

 

The gospel defines the church, not vice versa. sola Scriptura, (only the scriptures)and the material principle of sola fide. (only faith).

 

Luther called justification by faith alone “the article upon which the church stands or falls” (articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesiae). This strong assertion of the central importance of justification was linked to Luther’s identification of justification by faith alone (sola fide) with the gospel. The “good news” of the New Testament includes not only an announcement of the person of Christ and his work in our behalf, but a declaration of how the benefits of Christ’s work are appropriated by, in, and for the believer.

 

The issue of how justification and salvation are received became the paramount point of debate. Luther’s insistence on sola fide was based on the conviction that the “how” of justification is integral and essential to the gospel itself. He viewed justification by faith alone as necessary and essential to the gospel and to salvation. Since the gospel stands at the heart of Christian faith, Luther and other Reformers regarded the debate concerning justification as one involving an essential truth of Christianity, a doctrine no less essential than the Trinity or the dual natures of Christ. Without the gospel the church falls. Without the gospel the church is no longer the church.

 

Justification by faith alone is essential to the gospel. The gospel is essential to Christianity and to salvation. The gospel is essential to a church’s being a true church.

 

To reject justification by faith alone is to reject the gospel and to fall as a church. The Reformers concluded that when Rome rejected and condemned sola fide, it condemned itself, in effect, and ceased to be a true church.

 

Men are justified by faith alone,” wrote an old Puritan divine, “but the faith that justifies is never alone.” This is a succinct statement of the truth articulated by Paul, under the inspiration of the Spirit, in Ephesians 2:8–10: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.” Men are saved by God’s grace alone apart from any meritorious work. Salvation is “not of works.” Yet, at the same time, men are saved with a view to a transformed life. Salvation is “unto good works.” A true, saving experience of Jesus Christ carries within it the germ of a transformed life … and the transformed life is the chief evidence of the genuineness of a man’s profession

 

It is upon this premise that we must once again have not a revival but another reformation in the basic tenets of Christianity. It is no longer acceptable if we are going to see the Evangelical church survive, to be tolerant and sit at the table of the ecumenical and placate everyone by saying all roads lead to heaven, when Jesus said he was the only way and the only truth.

 

If someone presents themselves as Christians and confess anything other than by faith alone then they are not Christians, plain and simple.

 

The problem today is the message, everyone is to play nice and there is to be no conflict, no disagreements. As we see the landscape of religion change in America, along with everything else, it is fear that makes us drop what makes us different and unique and we seek a larger tribe with similar values just to makes us feel like the world hasn’t changed that much.

 

We are asked to give up our theological tenets and make social needs greater than gospel needs; let’s homogenize the Christian Church and blend it with everything and everyone else yet still call it Christian. And there’s the rub; it cannot be done.

 

Dr. Walter Martin, author of “The Kingdom of the Cults” writes early in his book that the principle means of success in determining who is like us in our theology and justified by faith, we must agree that our words all mean the same thing. And that’s the trick, people are using the same phrases but it doesn’t mean the same thing, and we can only be sure if we know the difference if we know our own faith and doctrine.

 

Hopefully this sounds like a call to arms, it is, the Christian faith needs new hero’s.

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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