Sola Fide • West Campus
In his 82nd Thesis, the Augustinian Monk, Martin Luther asked the question, "Why does not the pope liberate everyone from Purgatory for the sake of love (a most holy thing) and because of the supreme necessity of their souls?" He was troubled that the Roman Church called for the works of man to be added to the work of Jesus in order to be justified, or declared righteous before God. For Luther and the Reformers, justification was a work of God and not of men. They defended and declared that justification as a work of God, was received by faith alone (Sola Fide).
As a part of the "3 fights" we looked closely at our 3rd fight, which is a modern fight of reductionism & relativism. We defined these terms as follows:
Reductionism: reducing the Gospel to be absent of the need of Jesus' work on the cross and His call to come and die.
Relativism: establishing our own standards of righteousness or how an individual is made right with God.
- Do you have a tendency to approach how we are made right with God from reductionistic perspective or from a relativistic perspective? How so?
In our story we saw how we tend to understand our justification with God through 3 ways:
1. Some of us believe we are justified by our circumstances.
• What about your circumstances, (family, nationality, race, economic class, political position), causes you to assume you are "ok" with God?
• How does this effect the way you engage with others who are not like you?
2. Some of us believe we are justified by our conduct.
• We tend to believe we are "good people" and don't need God a much as others. How do you struggle to understand your sin and the truth that you are a sinner in need of a savior?
• In what ways do you struggle with your conduct when comparing yourself to others?
3. Some of us believe we are justified by God's character.
• We talked about focusing the way God interacts with us through only one aspect of His character, His love. Why do we as a people do this?
• How is it damaging to our understanding of God and His relationship with us?
In Gospel Practice we made the statement that we are "saved by faith alone, but not by a faith that is alone". We then laid out 3 ways we can live this out:
1. Have assurance in the righteousness of Christ and rest.
• Why do we continue to work for God to love us even after we have been saved through faith in Jesus?
2. Work, in partnership with the Spirit, to see the image of Christ renewed in you.
• How dependent are we on the Holy Spirit in our everyday life to have God's image renewed in us?
3. Demonstrate a life of obedience, so that God may be glorified among the earth.
• Where do you often struggle to obedient to Jesus and His word?