Paul a number of times in the New Testament clearly states that Christians are justified by faith alone (, ). Basically what this means is that it is through faith in Jesus Christ alone that we are declared righteous before our holy God and are therefore ‘justified’. It’s in the work that Jesus did on the cross for all of us in taking the punishment for our sins in death, even though He was without blemish, so that through His sacrifice alone we could be justly forgiven by our righteous God who will not allow sin to go unpunished.
Ok, so if we have faith in Jesus, and are therefore declared righteous with God, how does that help us in following Jesus? Jesus says if we love Him we will keep His commandments (). Paul says to work out your salvation with fear and trembling (). Work??!! We are saved through faith in Jesus alone… why do we need to work out our salvation? Jesus has done it for us. If we are saved by grace alone, does it really matter what we do because we are going to be justified before God as long as we believe in Christ… right??
These are questions that are often asked and understandably so. I want to ask an even more practical question: How does being saved through faith in Christ alone help me become more like Christ? I am still a sinful person! I struggle with sin every day! I always seem to be trying to ‘not sin’. It’s like a tug of war within our souls! So how does being saved by faith alone help us in our daily walk with Jesus? How does it help us to reflect Him more and more in our lives? How does it help us stop trying to go against God in our lives?
28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.
5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
16 yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”
24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,