How are we justified before God?

Galatians 3:6-14ESV
[6] just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”? [7] Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. [8] And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” [9] So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. [10] For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” [11] Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” [12] But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” [13] Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us-for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”- [14] so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. Continue reading “How are we justified before God?”

Ikthus Villa Angela Sermon (August 4, 2013)


(James 2:14-26)

INTRODUCTION:    The Epistle of James has been something of a problem for Protestants – Luther called it “an epistle full of straw” – mainly because James seems to contradict Paul’s teaching that salvation or justification is by faith alone and not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9). But the contradiction is more apparent than real. My task this morning is to show that there is no contradiction between James and Paul, and that there is a need for us to heed James’ teaching in order to counteract some people’s abuse or misinterpretation of Paul’s teaching. I will in this message reaffirm what Paul has to say about salvation or justification, that it is by faith alone from first to last, never by works; but at the same I will also uphold what James has to say, that faith without works is dead, and dead faith cannot save anyone. In order to do that we will have to distinguish between three kinds of faith as taught in this passage. Two of them cannot save; only one does. Continue reading “Ikthus Villa Angela Sermon (August 4, 2013)”