For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV
If you were to die today and stand before God and He asked, ‘Why should I let you into My heaven?’ what would you say?” In other words- “What are you trusting in for eternal life?” As fallen creatures, we humans have a natural impulse to save ourselves, to atone for our own sins and TRY to earn favor with God. This impulse lies at the heart of every religious system outside of the Bible. Religion is man’s attempt to GET TO GOD!
Leader, at the time of the Reformation, the church had existed for about 15 centuries. It had grown from a persecuted minority in the Middle East, to become the dominant cultural force in Europe. It had accrued beliefs and practices that were neither taught in the Scriptures nor in harmony with them. In fact, the church had come to regard its own traditions, as well as the rulings of its councils and leaders, to have equal authority with Scripture. The Church had become WORKS based, which negated CHRIST and the CROSS.
Conduit, the Gospel declares that we’re accepted by God not because of what we’ve done but because of what Christ has done for us on the Cross. We’re justified (declared righteous by God) on the basis of Christ’s sacrifice, and we receive this BY FAITH –by simply trusting Him for it (Matthew 20:28, 26:27-28; John 6:25-58; Acts 10:43; Romans 3:9-5:1; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21). God opened Martin Luther’s eyes to the implications of Romans 1:17 – “the righteous shall live by faith”! The Bible is God’s immutable written Word, it is the church’s sole authority for faith and practice. The 66 books of the Bible aren’t an exhaustive catalogue of all knowledge. However, by the light of the Holy Spirit, they contain all that’s necessary for individuals to know God and understand His will for them. Know HIS WAY by knowing HIS WORD!