Stephen Burch / September 20, 2017
J.I. Packer once wrote, “The doctrine of justification by faith is like Atlas. It bears a whole world on its shoulders, the entire evangelical knowledge of God the Saviour.” Indeed, the metanarrative and doctrines of Scripture must be interpreted through the correct understanding of Sola Fide, justification by faith alone.
For centuries, this crucial doctrine had been skewed, tainted, and for the most part hidden. However, lying dormant in the pages of the biblical manuscripts was this explosive truth, “the just shall live by faith.” While studying Paul’s epistle to the Romans, Martin Luther was struck with the words of Romans 1:16-17, especially verse 17: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’” (ESV)
Luther, like many living during the Middle Ages, had struggled and despaired for years, never knowing his standing before a holy God. The Scripture made it plain that salvation is not acquired by good works or any other human means; it is granted by God to those who simply believe the gospel of Jesus Christ! Armed with this truth, Luther, and others, shook the established religion of Europe, and ultimately the world.
The celebration of the Reformation is the celebration of Sola Fide!