So when I die God is just going to weigh the good things in my life against the bad things and if I did more good than bad then I’m in right? That statement actually couldn’t be further from the truth. The second sola is Sola Fide, or literally “By Faith Alone”. This doctrine simply says that we are saved or made right with God through Jesus and apart from anything (bad or good) that we have or ever will do. This was the central issue for Martin Luther and many other reformers, and also the main doctrine that separates Protestant churches from Catholicism. Luther said that this was the doctrine “by which the church stands or falls.”
The Gospel found in the Bible is that we all have done wrong things or sinned in our lifetime, and because of that are at enmity with God. But God loved us so much that he sent his very own Son to die on the cross. This was Jesus, who was born a baby, who grew up, lived a perfect, sinless life, and was crucified and humiliated on a cross. Three days later he rose from death and is now ruling and reigning as King. He did all of this for a theological term called justification or the doctrine of Sola Fide.
Justification is just a fancy term for our legal standing before God. It is as if God looks down on us as if we had never sinned. A common analogy goes like this: Lets say a teenager is standing before a judge in the courtroom and is guilty of stealing a car. The judge happens to be the boys very own father but he knows that to be fair he must enact a punishment equal to the crime. As hard as it is the judge declares that his very own son is guilty of the crime and will have to pay. But he does something that you wouldn’t expect. When the gavel is about to drop and the sentence announced, the judge stands up, gets down from his chair, crosses the bar and says that the boy is free to go and that the judge himself will take the punishment for the crime in his place.
This is exactly what Sola Fide or justification is. Jesus came down to earth and was condemned in our place for our sins. And he does not save us for the good things that we do, but simply by us placing our Faith in Him and saying sorry for our sins. The Bible in Ephesians 2.8 says “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.”
Many of us spend countless hours planning a vacation or what we will do for a career but we won’t take an hour to spend some time researching and to think about what will happen when we die one day. If you have never done so already, spend some time today and really think about and weigh out exactly what you believe.