“Faith comes into us without any work and power of our own, solely through God’s grace.
In Latin, faith alone is translated ‘Sola Fide”. This was an idea that separated the teachings of Luther from those of the Catholic church to which he once belonged. It posits that we are made right with God on the basis of faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. No amount of good works can help us gain heaven, rather they are a symptom of a steadfast faith.
On top of this, says Luther, faith is not something we can attain on our own. It is a gift of God bestowed onto us by the work of His Holy Spirit. From Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is a gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
At the time of Luther, this was groundbreaking. Over the centuries the church had taught the need for works to attain salvation and Luther came to realize through Scripture that this idea contradicts what the Bible teaches. Again, from Romans 3:28, “For we hold that one is justified by faith alone apart from the works of the law.”
In your life, faith alone in Christ alone carries that same promise of grace. No amount of works can gain for you everlasting life. The person with the greatest church attendance does not, by virtue of their steadfastness, attain justification. Only faith in Christ Jesus imparted by the Holy Spirit can achieve for you the greatest rewards.
This is a faith that is freely given to all those who surrender their battle against God. It will never be forced upon you, nor will it be kept from you. It is a gift given to anyone who seeks the narrow path to heaven.
Today, surrender yourself totally to the only one who can take you from your earthly life to the next more meaningful and fulfilling heavenly life awaiting you. Allow for the Holy Spirit to open up your heart to the love of God. Trust in God in all things and come to serve Him, not to gain heaven, but to glorify Him in every way.
Our Prayer: Dearest Father in Heaven, thank you for the gift of faith. Instill it into our troubled hearts and help us to see what true faith can do. Forgive us for our lack of faithfulness and build us up to remain faithful in the face of trials. Amen.