SGBC Modesto


March 28, 2024 by

William Heinrich

Today, with churches so bent on “breaking down the walls,” fewer and fewer people even know what ever erected them. Central to the difference in churches is the doctrine of God and His salvation of man. Since Scripture teaches that one who brings a gospel other than the true gospel is to be accursed (Galatians 1:8), these walls were erected for good reasons. Man is born a sinner and commits personal sins. His sins separate him from God, so a rescue had to be made by God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Through this rescue (salvation), the wrong was made right, or righteousness. Was this righteousness done by infusion, as the Roman Catholic hold, or by imputation, held by Luther and the Protestants? Does Christ’s sinless, righteous life become mine by imputation through faith, or is His righteousness infused in me as I keep the law, and through my keeping the sacraments through faith? For Rome, the wrong are made right by infusion, or, faith plus works; and for Luther and the Protestants it is by imputation, or faith plus nothing. The concern has been about the right place of works. The antinomianism teaches justification by faith, minus works. Rome teaches justification by faith, plus works; and the Bible teaches that justification (righteousness) is the result of faith alone, and true faith always produces works.

Today even this is shrugged off with, “It doesn’t matter as long as you are sincere,” or “Just so we love Jesus.” So, what God calls “accursed” is something the church is willing to ignore. In the 16th Century, Rome condemned the Protestant doctrine of justification by faith alone and declared it anathema. They were convinced it was “another gospel” and a distortion of the true gospel. If, however, faith only in Christ is the true gospel, then Rome condemned themselves. There is only one gospel of the grace (unmerited favor) of Christ, not two. It is totally apart from anything we do (works), “For by grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.”

For, me the walls will remain until we at least agree totally on the doctrine of God and His salvation of man.