Have you ever heard someone say: “The Bible never says we’re saved by faith alone!”
Let’s admit, they’re right. That phrase doesn’t appear in the NT. Martin Luther, the great Reformer, added the word “alone” to his translation of Rom 3:28. Here is what Paul said:
For we conclude that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law (Rom 3:28).
Technically, Paul didn’t have the word alone. But that’s what he meant!
Saying we’re justified by faith alone doesn’t falsify or distort Paul’s meaning but clarifies and emphasizes it.
Paul said you’re justified by faith “apart from the works of the law,” or more simply, “apart from works” (cf. Gal 2:16; Eph 2:8-9). In other words, you’re justified through faith in Christ apart from anything else you might do.
Salvation and justification are not by faith plus circumcision, faith plus baptism, faith plus taking care of the poor, or faith plus anything else. Instead, it is through faith alone.
Faith is adequate all by itself because Christ’s death and resurrection were completed works. Finished works. Perfect works. No other work can add to what Christ has done.
Thought for the day: Salvation is through faith alone because Christ’s perfect work stands alone.