“When Luther declared the biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone, he said, “Justification is by faith alone, but not by a faith that is alone.” James had said it earlier in a different way. He said that “faith without deeds is dead.” (James 2:26). True faith, or saving faith, is what Luther called a fides viva, “a living faith”. It is a faith that immediately brings forth the fruits of repentance and righteousness. If we say we have faith, but no works follow, that is clear evidence that our faith is not genuine. True faith always produces real conformity to Christ. If justification happens to us, then sanctification will surely follow. If there is no sanctification, it means that there never was any justification.”
This is a portion of an article from the January 2008 issue of TableTalk magazine.
“Young Christian, the world despises the Gospel in its simplicity and disdains the vessels entrusted to carry and proclaim it. But there is power under the hood. Live the Gospel, believe and preach the whole Gospel — the Gospel blessings that declare who you are in Christ, the Gospel imperatives that call you to your new life for Christ. This Gospel transforms the hearts, minds, and wills of sinners. Thankfully, it continues to transform mine. Preach it to yourself, to each other, and to the lost, and know the joys of the Gospel-driven life. ”