Four Vital Choices

ewfattyWhen I returned from a weekend trip I found this  gracEmail from Edward Fudge ( I quote it here and solicit your comments.

For Christians other than Lutherans and Calvinists, the four gospel slogans: “grace alone, Christ alone, faith alone, Scripture alone,” might sound less than obvious. The third expression (“faith alone”) sometimes even provokes a vigorous denial. But properly understood, the four Reformation motto’s well summarize biblical teaching about our salvation. How would you complete each of the following sentences?

* * *

1. God saves us as a matter of: (a) grace alone (wholly a gift)? (b) grace partially (somewhat a gift; somewhat merited)? or (c) grace not at all (wholly merited)? We affirm that God saves us as a matter of grace alone (wholly a gift). Luke 17:10; Romans 5:8-10.

2. God is gracious to us because of the pleasing activity of: (a) Christ alone, as our representative (entirely his obedience)? (b) Christ partially (partly Christ’s obedience; partly our obedience)? or (c) Christ not at all (entirely our obedience)? We affirm that God is gracious to us because of the obedience of Christ alone as our representative (entirely his obedience). 2 Corinthians 5:18-21; Colossians 1:19-22; Titus 3:4-7; Hebrews 10:5-10, 14.

3. We receive, experience and enjoy God’s gracious favor and salvation through: (a) faith alone (wholly relying on God for it)? (b) faith partially (somewhat relying on God for it; somewhat relying on something else)? or (c) faith not at all (wholly relying on something/someone other than God)? We affirm that we receive, experience and enjoy God’s gracious favor and salvation through faith alone (wholly relying on God for it.). Romans 3:21-27; Romans 4:1-5, 23-25.

4. These principles are true because they rest on the authority of: (a) Scripture alone (our only appeal is to the Bible)? (b) Scripture partially (we appeal to the Bible in part; to other authorities in part)? or (c) Scripture not at all (our only appeal is to authorities besides the Bible)? We affirm that these principles are true because they rest on the authority of Scripture alone (our only appeal is to the Bible.). 2 Timothy 3:14-15; 2 Peter 1:16-21.


Copyright 2009 by Edward Fudge. Permission hereby given to forward, copy and distribute in any quantity, so long as no changes are made, this paragraph is included, and no financial profit is involved.

I’m curious, how do you respond to these four statements and the questions Edward Fudge asks?

Some church of Christ people will balk at the word “Reformed” and dismiss the whole because of that one word. Do I believe what I believe because I have found it in Scripture or because someone said it’s true? I fear that far too many fall into the latter category.

Your thoughts?


Why I believe righteousness is by faith and not by works.

“1What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? 2For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” 4Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 6just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:
 7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
   and whose sins are covered;
8blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”

 9Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. 10How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. 11 He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, 12and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.

The Promise Realized Through Faith

 13For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.

 16That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” 19He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead ( since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. 20No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 23But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.”

(Romans 1 ESV)

If you disagree you can reach God 24/7. Its His truth, I just believe it.