I struggle with the idea of ‘faith alone,’ because it’s hard to believe I don’t have to do anything to earn my salvation but have faith. It seems as if there are an awful lot of rules that can be broken that would eliminate me as a candidate for righteousness.
The book of James in particular has troubled me. For example:
James 1:22: ‘But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.’
So, we have to be doers? What about Ephesians 2:7-8?
‘For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—’
I think I found something that makes sense to me in Jeremiah:
‘This is what the LORD says: Look, I am presenting to you the way of life and the way of death. 9 Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine, and plague, but whoever goes out and surrenders to the Chaldeans who are besieging you will live and will retain his life like the spoils of war’
First, God here presents to this people the way of death and life. He is exceedingly fair. He shows them their choices: death or life.
How do you know the believers? They are the ones out of the city. I think it’s like like having fruit. Jesus says, “16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Matthew 7:16. Good fruit grows when the tree is well tended by the farmer. The idea of faith alone is one that giants in the faith wrestle with, and I know I do, but sometimes a simple illustration helps me to understand it a little better.
The Holy Bible: Holman Christian standard version. (2009). (Je 21:8–9). Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers.
The Holy Bible: Holman Christian standard version. (2009). (Eph 2:7–8). Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Jas 1:22). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.