Sola Fide Missing

If I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. (1Co 13:2)

Faith without love is nothing. Maybe this is obvious. After all, St. James wrote, “Even the demons believe—and shudder” (2:19). Clearly then, as two apostles tell us, faith by itself is nothing.

How then is it that Protestants say that we are saved by faith alone? St. Paul says that without love faith is nothing; St. James says even the demons believe. So how can a Protestant appeal to faith alone?

Clearly something more than mere faith is necessary. St. James says elsewhere in chapter 2 that faith must be accompanied by good works. St. Paul makes it pretty clear in 1 Corinthians 13 that love is essential. I think that there is a sense in which the two (love and good works) go together. The Lord Jesus said (John 14:15), “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” Love for God results in and is demonstrated by our obedience. This is what ties together what St. Paul and St. James have said.

St. John says pretty much the same things in his first epistle.

He who does not love does not know God; for God is love. (4:8)

If any one says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannoth love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him, that he who loves God should love his brother also. (4:20-21)

In short, St. John says that love of God does not exist in the man who hates his brother!

Does this sound as though one is saved by the Protestant principle of sola fide?

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Posted in Apologetics, Charity, Faith, Justification, Sola Fide

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