In 2 Kings 18, we read that the forces of Sennacherib (which means “Sin [the name of Assyria’s moon god] sends many brothers”), the king of Assyria, came up against Judah. The Assyrian king demanded tribute, which Hezekiah (meaning, “Jehovah is my strength”), king of Judah, gave him, but the scoundrel wanted more. He sent a delegation, headed by Rabshakeh (not really a name but a position meaning “chief cupbearer”).
As pointed out in the last installment of this series, five of the central beliefs of the Reformation took expression in what have been called the Five Solas: 1. Sola Scriptura—”By Scripture Alone,” 2. Sola fide—”by faith alone,” 3. Sola gratia—”by grace alone,” 4. Solus Christus or Solo Christo—”Christ alone” or “through Christ alone,” 5. Soli Deo Gloria—”glory to God alone.” As might be expected given enough time, over the years individuals and individual churches that once adhered to the Five Solas have wandered from them. In many cases, the wandering has resulted in a return to Catholic doctrine, the false doctrine the Reformers were challenging.
A. In James 2:21, James says, “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?” But Paul, in Romans 4:1-5 says,
What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
An employee is charging personal items to her work expense account. A boy who is supposed to be asleep is reading with a flashlight under the covers. An adolescent girl who told her parents she would be sleeping over at her girlfriend’s house is checking into a motel with her boyfriend. A wife enjoying the attentions of a young man at work continues to lead him on by flirting. A husband on a business trip asks a woman he meets in the hotel bar up to his room. What do these people have in common? They have all broken trust with people who are expecting them to be trustworthy.
This article appeared in a publication called Supplement to the British Flag published February 1, 1862. The British Flag was billed as "A Journal for Soldiers and Sailors." It was published by the United British Army Scripture Readers' and Soldiers' Friend Society. No author's name was listed with the article. The article addresses three general and very common errors: 1) "My works prove I am saved," 2) "My works prove I am not saved," and 3) "Christ has surely saved His people, but how do I know whether that includes me?" These three errors are so common, and so frequently instigated by preachers, that I believe that just about every reader can benefit from reading this article. Aside from breaking the first paragraph into four shorter ones for the sake of eye appeal, I have not edited the article; all emphases are in the original. –PD
Christ is the great and proper object of faith. My faith, therefore, should rest on Him—not on myself nor anything in myself. He that trusts in himself, or in his righteousness or holiness, is a Pharisee, not a Christian.