It’s Not the Doctrine of Justification by Faith Alone that Saves—It’s Christ Who Saves
Just this week I was reading Facebook and reading people’s comments on social media. I read at least three times, statements by people, who are saying that we are not saved by believing in doctrine. We’re not saved by believing specifically in the doctrine of justification by faith alone. This particular critique, which I’ve read frequently in recent months, has been charged and leveled against those who espouse what we call Reformed theology. And I just want to say, by way of introduction, in my life and teaching of over a period of 50 years, I’ve not one time ever heard a Reformed theologian or a Reformed person ever say that you’re saved by believing the doctrine of justification by faith alone.
In fact, if there’s anything that would refute the idea that you can be saved by believing in the doctrine of justification by faith alone would be the doctrine of justification by faith alone. Because the doctrine of justification by faith alone precludes the idea that you could be saved by believing other than believing in Christ alone. It’s not the doctrine that saves; it’s Christ who saves. And what the church is trying to explain in terms of the doctrine of justification by faith alone is to explain how Christ saves His people. And what we’re saying is that justification is by putting our trust in Christ and in Christ alone, not in our theology textbooks, not in our Creeds—as important as they may be—not in our confessions but in our actual faith whose object is Christ, not the doctrine about Christ. You see the difference I hope.