The Legacy of Martin Luther’s Sola Fide

It is by accepting God’s GRACE that I am saved.
How about the rest of you?
Many of you have verbalized this truth a number of times elsewhere
during Chat Times.
Even the Israelites when they offered a huge cow, a sheep, a goat,
or even an insignificant dove were accepting God’s GRACE through
the gift.
When they brought “fine flour”, other elements from nature, they were
accepting God’s GRACE through the gift.


Yes, God’s way was always the grace way: during OT and NT times and now and ever.


Kate, God’s way has always been Grace. It is important to see salvation as unmerited favor towards mankind. Grace also includes instruction. The Reformers, Calvin & Luther, talk of in the realm of instruction the “3 uses of the law.” God’s grace in Christ includes both unmerited salvation and instruction. The 3 uses of the law…none of which Justify…but are related to purposes and uses of law for sanctification.

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.” Titus 2:11-14. NASB

1)> The Civil Use of The Law (1st Use of The Law): God’s laws serve all humanity by restraining sin, setting moral and ethical boundaries for humans in society. This use of the law allows humans to enjoy a limited measure of order and justice in this life.
2)> The Pedagogical Use of The Law (2nd Use of The Law): God’s laws show the perfection of God’s character and thus reveal people’s sinfulness in contrast to his righteousness. By so doing, it enables us to realize our need for mercy and grace from outside ourselves. It gives the lie to all efforts at self-justification.

3)> The Normative Use of The Law (3rd Use of The Law): Though God’s laws cannot justify us, grant us forgiveness of sins, or bring us new life, for the Christian God’s laws serve as a guide to show us how to live. The Law sets before us a norm of conduct and instructs those who have been saved by grace through faith regarding the good works that should follow salvation. The Christian, therefore, is called to love God’s laws and obey them.

Patrick, why is it that every time one mentions grace, another one has to add instruction/law? Can’t we just be happy about grace for salvation for a sec?

But I get your point. Thank you for specifying the three uses of the law for the Reformers! Really interesting. I would have another focus, instead of “law” now “Christ” as the culmination of all OT, though. He is the lens of interpreting all OT and NT. He brings old and new, fills the law up to a higher standard, the originally intended one. This is my POV at the moment.

Let me quote myself: :grin:

Grace the whole way. And yes, even instruction is part of the grace way.


Simply pointing out that as Titus said, Grace includes instruction. What Law did Christ not keep? What Law did He see inconsistent with love and what He accomplished for us. Paul as Paul notes in Rom.13:9
But, NEVER, is the believer Justified by Law keeping. And, Torah as such is not “holistically binding” in the NT, “we gentiles” and NT church church as it applied to OT Israel. for we are gentiles. I think it is important to recognize it was God’s Spirit that instructed the OT prophets just as He makes known Christ to us. There are legitimate differences and applications in the two. The NT makes known to us what those differences are. The Judaizers wanted it to be the same…not so says Paul and the council.

Pat, I think we say quite similar things if I understand you correctly.
And btw I love the Titus verses, they have a sticky note in my bible for quite a while. Tell me about coincidences.

1 Like

I am a “rabid” JBF “alone” guy. When we are afraid to mention law we actually weaken the need for grace…I suggest.
Conviction of our need leads to Christ where we are saved/justified apart from law…
I’m done. :slight_smile: Except to say I am not as “biblically loving” as I should be either. :slight_smile:

1 Like

The Catholic position is that Protestants are missing something, or at least Sola Fide is missing something.

The Catholic position is that:

We are saved by grace,
which comes through faith,
which is brought to life by good works,
and those are brought about by christian love and charity.

In this formula the latter items, good works and love and charity are outcomes of the salvation attained in the first two items.

I rather like the idea.

…it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. - Ephesians 2: 5b - 9


This is what I said, Kate.
So carefully explain what you mean.

I said “The (moral) law is our schoolmaster to lead us to Christ, and remains our schoolmaster to keep us in Christ.”

And all I got was massive denial from the posters on this forum.

Patrick Travis affirmed my comment.

But you all seem bound to attack this concept “Obey and live, disobey and die.” This challenge has never been negated by any new covenant mandate.
Grace did not do away with the law so love could take its place.
Love is the motive, not the form. The form is the 10 commandments.

Horatius Bonar made this plain in his book, “God’s way of Holiness”.
And he was not a SDA. He was a classic Protestant defending the law against antinomian apostate Protestants who seem to reflect the view on this forum.

Love does not take the place of the objective law that defines how we must respond to be members of God’s family. The moral law is the family law of heaven. And yes, angels are governed by it.
It is God’s stated will that we could not know unless He told us.
Love does not tell us what the will of God is. Nor are we free to decide for ourselves just how love should act.

So as Pat pointed out, all true believers are “under the law” as the rule of life, and when Paul says, “Examine yourselves, to see if you are in the faith” He tells us we must see if we are in harmony with the 10 commandments.

We are not “sanctified by faith alone” as Morris Venden falsely affirmed. And then the church spread his false doctrine all over church as though he was some wonderful theologian.

We don’t judge people, but we do judge their doctrine and what they teach.

1 Like

The Defense of the Augsburg Confession, III, Reply to the Arguments of the Adversaries [130] includes the following satisfying note:
He who has faith and good works is righteous, not indeed, on account of the works, but for Christ’s sake, through faith. And as a good tree should bring forth good fruit, and yet the fruit does not make the tree good, so good works must follow the new birth, although they do not make man accepted before God; but as the tree must first be good, so also must man be first accepted before God by faith for Christ’s sake. The works are too insignificant to render God gracious to us for their sake, if He were not gracious to us for Christ’s sake. Therefore James does not contradict St. Paul, and does not say that by our works we merit…:”


Just going to re-post this here as we’ve been down this road many times…
John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
John 14:21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father , and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
John 15:10 If you keep My commandments , you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you…17 These things I command you , that you love one another.

If the commandments were the same and necessary why wouldn’t He just say “keep My Father’s commandments as I did”?
And of course these commands would be incorporated into the new covenant, replacing the old yet covering with love, post cross. The gospel of Christ as Savior was not yet understood when He said these things. It would not be possible to grasp the meaning until after He died and arose, the first resurrection.

1 Like

Right, because that is seen as wrong. Here’s Paul disagreeing with that idea:

"Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.

"Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. So the law was our guardian [or schoolmaster/trainer/tutor] until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.

“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” - Galatians 3:21 - 29


Mel – like the illustration of one being a “good tree” [healthy],
and one bears good fruit because God made the “tree good” [healthy].
Reminds me of a “Tree story” Jesus told.
A “sick tree”, the gardener asked for more time to “Doctor” it. Water,
and “food” to the roots.
We should never give up on “undesirable” persons. Feed and Water
as one can.


You are putting this in quotes, as if this is from scripture. It’s not. You are totally changing the verses.

It says, "24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

You said from another thread,

This is why we are told not to add, nor subtract from what “God had said.”

You are changing the verses. We shouldn’t add, subtract, or change scripture.


I grew up watching/listening to Morris Venden sitting in the pews of La Sierra. Of all the Adventist pastors I have heard I think he had the greatest understanding of the pure gospel than anyone this side of Des Ford. His son Lee was my summer camp counselor and now a very good speaker as well. Morry did confound many an Adventist on law vs grace. I appreciated him.

Thinking there’s some warnings about that somewhere? :thinking:
Maybe he quoted the “Clear Word”?

5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? 2 Cor 13:5

Where did “He tells us we must see if we are in harmony with the 10 commandments” come from? Are you adding this idea to the actual text that you quoted?

1 Like

Or, he has his own version…“The Bill Bible”.


Tim that is fine you accept their view. I accept the view of Luther and Calvin who maintain that JBF means to reckon righteous and not make righteous. But, don’t diminish the difference, it is great.

I did not confirm your contention. It is one thing to say “the Law” convicts of sin, remains a guide as taught of the Spirit … than than saying it somehow necessitates a certain level of moral “perfection” in order to be Justified.
Completely different. We are to grow in holiness but we are never justified by our inward holiness. Sorry thief on the cross not fit enough.

1 Like