Salvation by Grace Alone Through Faith Alone in Christ Alone
People are rightly considered “lost sinners” in need of salvation because, due to the fall of Adam–our federal head according to God’s original creation–we have inherited a nature corrupt and wholly opposed to God and His Law, and we are under condemnation. As soon as people become capable of moral action, we become actual transgressors. (Gen 3:4-7; Rom 3:23; Eph 2:1-3) Due to our radically corrupt nature, we can in no way contribute to our own salvation, but we are entirely dependent upon grace alone: God’s contra-merited favor. Due to our sins, we deserve nothing from God except His anger and judgment. But, though justice would consign every sinner to Hell, God has chosen to extend love and mercy.
Sinners receive God’s mercy as we are justified–counted right in God’s sight–through faith alone. Saving faith is a gift from God, which consists of knowing the gospel, assenting to the truth of the gospel, and trusting in the gospel. The gospel is the good news of what the Lord Jesus Christ did on our behalf. He lived the perfect life that Adam and all others failed to live. He died upon the Cross as an act of penal substitutionary atonement, He was buried, and He rose from the grave on the third day, conquering sin, death, and Hell. Jesus is the only divinely appointed mediator between God and Man (1 Tim 2:5) and has been established as the federal head of the new creation that God is bringing about by His grace. For these reasons and others, salvation is in Christ alone.
Labels: Reformation Theology