Just for Catholics

Justified by Faith Alone

Question: Prove that the doctrine of "Justification by Faith Alone" is scriptural.

Answer: Justification is the judicial sentence of God in favour of the believer. The believer is acquitted, set free from every charge against him, and declared to be "righteous." This blessing is received by faith and not on account of personal righteousness that comes from obedience to the law. To prove that justification is by faith alone we need to show that the Bible:

  1. teaches that a person is justified by faith

  2. excludes personal works as the ground for justification.

The Bible states that "everyone who believes is justified" (Acts 13:39), the sinner is justified “through faith” (Romans 3:25), “justified by faith” (Romans 3:28), God justifies “by faith” and “through faith” (Romans 3:30), “justified by faith” (Romans 5:1); a man is justified “by faith” and “justified by faith” (Galatians 2:16), God justifies “by faith” (Galatians 3:8), righteousness is “through faith” and “by faith” (Philippians 3:9).

We are not justified "because of" faith, as if faith has any merit in itself. We are justified "by" and "through" faith - resting, relying, depending, trusting in Another. Faith unites us to Christ, the Source of every spiritual blessing. The believer is justified because of His sacrifice and righteousness.

On the other hand, the Bible states that a man is justified “apart from the deeds of the law” (Romans 3:28), God “imputes (credits) righteousness apart from works” (Romans 4:6), righteousness is not attained “by the works of the law” (Romans 10:32), “a man is not justified by the works of the law” and “by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified” (Galatians 2:16), “if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain” (Galatians 2:21), “no one is justified by the law in the sight of God” (Galatians 3:11), a man is not justified on account of his “own righteousness, which is from the law” (Philippians 3:6).

I plead with you to prayerfully read and study the relevant Bible passages that explain the doctrine of justification (at least Romans chapters 1 to 4; Letter to Galatians and Philippians chapter 3). I pray that you will understand the Gospel of justification by faith alone, so that you would throw away the crutches of human works and merit, and with the hands of faith embrace the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour. There is no other way to be right with God.

Copyright Dr Joe Mizzi. Permission to copy and distribute this article without textual changes. < BACK TO Q&A