Keynotes – December 2017

Sola – Alone
Is being alone something good or something bad? A good Lutheran answer to such a question is either, “That depends” or “Yes.” Either and both answers are correct in the right situation.
If you are in need of some restoration,being alone by yourself may be very good and necessary. If you are trying to grow the Kingdom of God being alone is very bad. If you are preparing for a test some people study best alone while others do far better in groups.
In October we looked at the three “Sola’s” Martin Luther used to help define our understanding of God’s revelation to His people. We are saved by Grace Alone, through Faith Alone and Scripture Alone.
The easiest way to see how important it is that these stand alone is to look at what I would mean if they didn’t stand alone. (That sounds confusing!)
If we are NOT saved from our sins by Grace Alone then there is something else that is needed to be saved other than God’s love. Who would supply that? Doesn’t that mean that we need to do something so that we can be saved? If it is left up to us, how much is enough? Who gets to decide what is enough? Praise God that we ARE saved by the love of God and His
generous gift of His Son, Jesus, as payment for our sins!
The same applies to being saved by Faith Alone. If we are NOT saved by faith alone then what else is required? Who needs to supply the rest of what is needed? Who says what is enough? Where is that documented? Was it a writing of God or a writing of man?
“For it is by Grace that you have been saved, through Faith—and this not of from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:8-10.
Where do we learn about this fabulous message? Scripture Alone!
Once we start to add anything other than the pure Word of God we are subject to the whims of mankind. We need to have a solid foundation to be unshakable. When doubts creep into our salvation it’s because we are standing on a foundation that isn’t as strong as a marshmallow!
But, when faith takes over; when we are filled with the Grace of God and our feet are firmly planted in the Word of God; then there is nothing that can take away what we have in Christ Jesus our Lord!
Keep studying God’s Word with one another. Even when God has you turning to verses that are unfamiliar and unclear, pray asking for the Holy Spirit to sort out what God wants you hear. The verse may not be clear, but God will be delighted to hear from you and He will guide
you! Don’t feel guided yet? Keep reading / keep listening as you read. He wants to hear from you and you will want to hear from Him as well.
May our Lord bless us as we strive with renewed effort to hear him in the 501st year of the Reformation.