“For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law.” vs. 28
It’s pretty much agreed among followers of Jesus that all sinners are justified, i.e. made righteous, by grace through faith. But then a sometimes heated conversation can occur. Which of those two words, grace or faith, shall get the emphasis? It can make a difference. Those who emphasize grace tend to focus on God’s initiative in salvation. They happily baptize babies knowing that this is the very best way to demonstrate that everything is done by God…the child’s part is pretty obviously passive. Of course there will be a response of faith at some later point, perhaps the rite of confirmation, but that’s simply saying “Amen” to what has already been done. Some Christians however, those emphasizing faith, teach that what really counts in salvation is the human response. For them baptism itself is an act of faith and is only appropriate for those who are already believers. Of course they believe in grace…but without faith God’s gift is inaccessible. For many such people the most important day of a person’s life is the moment of decision, that hour when a sinner accepts Jesus as Savior. Sadly, folks having these different views have had a hard time with unity down through the years. What a blessing it is when we can embrace our differences and stop insisting on our own way! In the end, grace and faith are both gifts from God and are intended to promote unity, not division.
Thought for the Day: Am I more of a “grace” or “faith” person?