Let me guess: you clicked on this post to see if I had gone off the heretical deep end. Am I right? I mean, to say that I’m not saved by faith…
…them’s burning at the stake words.
After all, Sola Fide (faith alone) is a pillar of Reformed doctrine.
Your heresy hackles are raised and you’re currently at DEFCON 4.
To quote today’s hip, cool, totally modern youth, of which I am totally a part, “Slow your roll.” (Side note: I don’t actually understand what that phrase means. I think I’m using it correctly.)
I’ve used the phrase, “Saved by faith,” hundreds of times, and I’m not against it, per se. It’s shorthand for saying I’m not saved by works. By grace, through faith, etc.
But lately, I’ve started to realize that saying that I’m saved by faith somewhat shortchanges the staggering, glorious reality of what Christ has accomplished on my behalf.
Not Saved By Faith, Saved By Christ
Yes, I realize that I sound like that guy. The “technically” guy. Every church has at least one.
You’re in small group, and you make a theological statement that isn’t 100 percent precise. It’s not exactly wrong, but it’s not as biblically sharp as it could be.
Technically guy clears his throat, pushes up his glasses (which I do frequently because I am a nerd), and says, “Wellllll, technically that’s not quite right.”
Then, to the great dismay of the group, he takes the next 45 minutes to explain that you shouldn’t use the word “resurrection” when referring to Lazarus being raised from the dead.
Is he right? Yes (that’s for another post). Should he monopolize the group to dissect this point? Probably not. He probably should write a 10,000-word blog post about it.
I have been Technically Guy. I don’t like Technically Guy. We have met the enemy, and the enemy is us. Or something like that.
But in this case, I’ve realized that the stakes are much higher, at least for me.
Here’s why: when I say that I’m saved by faith, I’m unintentionally driving a wedge between the saving work of Christ and Christ himself. I am speaking as if things like justification and forgiveness and adoption are separate from Jesus himself.
See, here’s the thing…
…I’m NOT saved by faith, I’m saved by being united to Christ.
This may seem like splitting hairs, but it’s huge. Gigantic. Enormous. The more I understand what it means to be united to Christ, the more staggered I am by the person and work of Christ.
The Glory of Being In Christ
In Ephesians 1:7, Paul puts it this way, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace…”