Sola Fide – Justification by faith alone ~ The Roman Road

As much as I love my Catholic and Eastern Orthodox brothers and sisters in Christ, I am unashamedly Protestant. Sola Fide was one of the foundational truths fueling the Reformation in the 16th century. Romans 10 gives us some interesting insight into this doctrine. Let’s explore three aspects of justification by faith alone.⠀⠀

His righteousness, not ours

First, we cannot establish our own righteousness. Christ is the end of the law and we need HIS righteousness. This doesn’t mean we don’t do good works as Christians. Of course, we do! But they do not determine our salvation or establish righteousness. Rather, they are the fruit of righteousness working in us.⠀

“For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” 

Romans 10:3-4 ESV⠀⠀

It is a response of faith

Second, Romans 10 makes it clear we need to confess with our mouths and believe in our hearts to receive salvation i.e. righteousness. This is a work of faith and a response to the mercy of God extended to us through Christ.⠀⠀

“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation.”

Romans 10:9-10 NKJV⠀

Faith comes by hearing

Finally, the faith which justifies comes from continually hearing the word of Christ. This is the message of the gospel. Why do I use the word continually? It is because the Greek word for ‘hearing’ in the passage below is an active, present participle. This implies we keep on hearing and hence continue to receive our righteousness by grace through faith.⠀

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”

Romans 8:17 ESV⠀

The more I study this, the more I find common ground with my Catholic and Orthodox friends. However, I do not believe in eternal insecurity and maintain we can do NOTHING but RECEIVE righteousness by faith. The only thing we DO is to access God’s grace by faith. We are justified by faith alone–sola fide. Do you agree? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Drop us a comment…

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