Monday, 5 January 2015

Justification by faith, stated.

Lady Jane Grey (source: wikipedia)
Lady Jane Grey. A young lady who had an adamantium conviction regarding the authority of Scriptures and salvation by faith alone.
In a conference (a conversation or a dialogue) with a Roman Catholic monk, Dr. Feckenham, she states what the doctrine of Justification by Faith Alone means.

Feckenham: What thing is required in a Christian?
Jane: To believe in God the Father, in God the Son, in God the Holy Ghost, three persons and one God.
Feckenham: Is there nothing else required in a Christian, but to believe in God?
Jane. Yes: We must believe in him, we must love him, with all our heart, with all our soul, and all our mind, and our neighbour as ourself.
Feckenham: Why then faith justifieth not, nor saveth not?
Jane: Yes, verily, faith (as St. Paul saith) only justifieth.
Feckenham: Why St. Paul saith, if I have all the faith of the world, without love, it is nothing.
Jane: True it is, for how can I love him I trust not, or how can I trust in him whom I love not; faith and love ever agree together, and yet love is comprehended in faith.
Feckenham: How shall we love our neighbour?
Jane: To love our neighbour, is to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and to give drink to the thirsty, and to do to him as we would do to ourselves.
Feckenham: Why, then it is necessary to salvation to do good works, and it is not sufficient to believe?
Jane: I deny that, I affirm that faith only saveth; for it is meet for all Christians, in token that they follow their master Christ, to do good works; yet may we not say, nor in any wise believe, that they profit to salvation: for although we have done all that we can, yet we are unprofitable servants, and the faith we have only in Christ’s blood and his merits, saveth. 
 -- from The Literary Remains of Lady Jane Grey, as quoted on Lady Jane Grey Reference Guide (bold mine)
She was only 16 (or 17 at most) when she said this. And that was in a prison. Admittedly, she possessed an exceptional intellect, but more than that, she was possessed by the grace of God that gave her unwavering convictions. After some time, she was beheaded at the age of 17.

Will I have such clarity in my knowledge of God? Will I persevere with such an unwavering conviction? I pray that I will. How about you?

(I was first introduced to Lady Jane Grey and this quote by an online resource called Reformation Profiles from Ligonier Ministries.)

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