=fxcc;6903125]Thank you for your good comments.
AQnd I thank you for yours.
Here’s all the proof **I **need to reject sola fide. And it’s so simple!
There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?”
He said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
He replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.”
But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus replied, “A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.
A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight.
He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn and cared for him.
The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.’
Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”
He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
The priest and the Levite both (assumedly) had faith, but **principally **because Jewish law did not permit touching of corpses, they did not stop to help a man they suspected could be dead. Indeed, they both passed him “on the other side of the road”, to avoid any risk of defilement. Contrasting this, the Samaritan - a “faithless” man, arguably - under no strictures of the law, undertook a work of love. Jesus uses this parable to teach a man who Scripture tells us “wished to justify himself” - i.e. someone who wanted to be (or at least be seen to be) right with God. In this lesson on true justification, Jesus clearly emphasises the good work of the Samaritan - without giving any noticeable credit to the faith (and adherence to works of law) of the priest and the Levite.
The other day, I was reading Matthew 25 when a word jumped straight out at me - the word “righteous”. The ones who did the good works are described as “righteous” (verses 37 and 46). They are led into heaven, while the rest are described as “accursed”. Pretty strong stuff, eh? There’s nothing in the entire story about the ones who had faith (let alone “faith alone”) also being led into heaven along with the doers of works of love.
Jesus came to earth principally to do. We too are here principally to do. The man who has little or no faith but instinctively does the will of God (which is the natural law of love, written on every human heart) has a far better chance of being found just before God than someone who believes that by a mere confession of faith (which is sadly, all too often, just cheap or emotional self talk) one is guaranteed to be viewed by the Father as just and deserving of heaven. Of course, all the believing &/or doing of good works are made possible only by grace, a free gift from God to **all **men. This is why the Church teaches that even those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ, can be saved. Precisely the Good Samaritans, the doers of good works. Their **actions **testify to grace led beliefs which they themselves probably don’t always know they have!!!
In many ways, I agree. If one things they can profess faith, and not do good works, they are mistaken. When Lutherans speak of faith, we speak of an active, living faith. A faith that has no works, as exampled by the levite and the priest, is a dead faith, and not a saving faith.
“But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.”