Another sola fide holiday

Here is another passage from the gospels that I honestly do not know how to fit into the Protestant sola fide model of justification:

Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. Anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it. What, then, will anyone gain by winning the whole world and forfeiting his life? Or what can anyone offer in exchange for his life? ‘For the Son of man is going to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will reward each one according to his behaviour. (Matthew 16:24-27, NJB; emphasis added)

Notice the two things that I have highlighted in this passage. First, Jesus does not in any way refer to sola fide when He tells us what is necessary to be His disciple. On the contrary He tells us things to do. We must forsake our attachments to this life, prepare to suffer, and follow Him (to the Crucifixion? Hmmm…) And in case anyone is missing the point, at the end He says that He “will reward each one according to his behaviour.” Note: He does not say that faith will even be among the categories for judgment. There will be a single category according to which we shall be judged: our behavior.

What we do matters. Our sins must be forgiven in Christ, but we are not free to live however we wish after that. If we love Him, we will keep His commandments.

[Update, 23 March 2016]

Here is the one passage I have come across in which Jesus says something akin to the notion of sola fide (if there are others, I have missed them; feel free to supply my deficit in the comments below):

Do not be afraid; just have faith. (Mark 5:36)

Of course, we must do more than simply read that short sentence. We must consider the context. And the context is the death of the synagogue official’s daughter, which was just reported to the official as he was on his way home with Jesus in the hope that the Lord would heal her. In context then what Jesus was encouraging was not so much sola fide but rather He was encouraging the father to not despair that it was too late for his daughter. In short, Jesus is not talking about how one is justified and saved here.

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Apologetics, Obedience, Sola Fide, Suffering

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 146 other subscribers
%d bloggers like this: