Friday, December 25, 2009

Archibald Alexander: Without "Sola Fide," the whole Christian system is lost, echoing Luther

Archibald Alexnader explains the central importance of justification by faith alone within Christian theology:

"How shall a man be just with God?" is surely the most important question which can possibly be conceived. … On some other points error may exist, and yet the state of the person entertaining it may notwithstanding be safe; he may still be in the right way to heaven. But a mistake, as to the method of acceptance with God, must be exceedingly dangerous: it must mislead the inquirer from the way of salvation. Let every man, then, as he regards his own eternal happiness, beware of embracing a false doctrine on this subject. … Wherever, and whenever, justification by faith, has been given up, obscured, or neglected to be preached, then and there, other errors have come in like a flood, and true religion has declined. … [Luther’s] pithy and striking declaration, that it was "the article of a standing or falling church," has often been cited; but another saying of this great reformer, equally pithy and important, is less known. "The doctrine of justification being lost," says he "the whole system of Christian doctrine is lost." (Archibald Alexander, A Treatise on Justification by Faith Alone)

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