SALVATION BY FAITH
By grace ye are saved through faith (Ephesians 2:8)
Grace (the undeserved favor of God) is the source of salvation. Faith is the condition of salvation.
But what faith is it that saves us? Faith that God exists will not save you. Nor will faith in the right set of doctrines. Indeed, not even genuine and positive interest in the person of Christ will save you. It is faith in Christ that saves you. Most specifically, it is faith in the purpose of his death and the power of his resurrection. And it is not just mental assent, but also a hearty trust in him.
What, though, is meant by the term salvation? We are saved from sin. We are saved from the guilt that it brought upon us and from the power that it has on us. We are so saved from the power of sin, in fact, that a person of faith ceases to continually sin, to willfully sin, or to desire sin. The faithful person is free from sin.
There are all sorts of objections one could make against this doctrine. Doesn’t it make works too unnecessary? Doesn’t it make salvation too easy? Only misunderstood versions of the doctrine are subject to such critique.
In the end, salvation by faith is the root of our Reformation faith. The enemy hates this truth and tried to stifle those who revived it, but to no avail. Thanks be to God for salvation by faith!