Sola Fide in scripture


I know there must be dozens of threads regarding this subject. I couldn’t find any references to these verses.

I am in the middle of a discussion about this. A protestant (appears to be a minister) argues with scripture the sola fide dilemma.

This is what he writes:

"“And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was IMPUTED unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God” (James 2:23). Would you like to be the friend of God? It all begins when you receive Jesus as your Savior. Jesus earnestly wants to impute your sin to His record and impute His righteousness to your record. All you must do to be saved is admit your guilty condition before God for violating His holy Law (Romans 3:19), and then believe that Jesus died, was buried and rose again for your sins (the gospel, 1st Corinthians 15:1-4). Believe the gospel! Trust upon the Son of God to wash away your sins with His shed blood that was shed at Calvary.

If you come as a sinner and trust upon the Savior Who died, was buried and bodily arose again, then you are saved my friend. We go to Heaven because we trust what Christ did for us; and not because of what we can do for Him. Our best righteousness is filth to God (Isaiah 64:6). We need HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, that is, Christ’s imputed righteousness (Matthew 6:33; 2nd Corinthians 5:21).

A demon’s favorite activity is to make an unsaved person feel religious. Religion is the worst thing that ever happened to this world, because Satan uses it to blind men (2nd Corinthians 4:4). Religion says that everything is ok while a person is headed for Hell forever. My friend, everything is wrong if you’ve never been born-again. You need He Who is the beginning, Jesus, born in you (Revelation 1:8). That’s what it means to be “born again”… being born anew by the Holy Spirit of God, by the seed of the Word of God (1st Peter 1:23).

No amount of personal effort can undo our sins. Isaiah 64:6 proclaims that even our BEST self-righteousness is vile filth to God. We are sinful by nature, by behavior, by motive and even by virtue. James 2:10 teaches that to commit even one sin is to become guilty of all in God’s sight, because even one sin makes us unfit for the kingdom of God. That’s why God sent His only begotten Son into the world to pay for our sins by His death, burial and resurrection. If you receive what Christ did as payment for your sins, then you are saved!!!

Christ’s righteousness has been imputed (placed) upon your record, and your sins have been placed upon Christ at Calvary. This is Biblical salvation! Jesus paid a debt that He did not owe, because we owed a debt of sin that we could not pay. The Lamb of God was crucified for you and me, and His blood shed for our sins. It’s all paid in full. Amen! Eternal life is a free gift based upon the PROMISES of God (Titus 1:2); not a reward dependent upon the performance of man (Ephesians 2:8-9). You simply receive the gift of eternal life by faith in THE GOSPEL (death, burial and resurrection) of Jesus Christ to have it (Galatians 3:26); you don’t hope to merit eternal life by working for it.

There’s only two religions in the world: DO and DONE. Most religions teach that to get to Heaven you must DO this and DO that; but the Gospel of Jesus Christ simply says that it’s all DONE, Jesus has paid for our sins by His precious blood. 1st Peter 1:18-19, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

What precious assurance knowing that God has placed Christ’s righteousness upon us, and has laid our sins upon His Son (2nd Corinthians 5:21). Romans 8:32, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” 1st John 3:5, “And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.” What an awesome God!"

I would like to give him a more educated answer to the entire dilemma using scripture and countering his interpretation of it based on the verses above.


Well I am not Catholic, I had to look up sola fide to see what it was,…
Scripture speaks that Abraham received righteousness, it was credited to him just for believing.
Scripture also says we can have the righteousness of God given to us, we become one with it, because Jesus became sin, for us, for us to become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
God declared Abraham righteous and declares us righteous too.

One reason I am on this board is to find out where and why Catholics differ from me in doctrine.

The above declaration and crediting gives us God’s own righteousness in a legal action,…
on the earth, we cooperate with grace and walk toward the choices that are right, AFTER our new birth.(This may not be baptism = the new birth) Yes I know Catholics believe initially baptism is, however, there is more required along the way, because the Catholic being baptised is usually a baby. This person as adult needs to choose God and walk in His ways too.

The new birth and resulting commitment and walk must be done by the adult.

God declares us righteous with the righteousness of God, but afterward we have to walk that out like Paul wrote about. Also, if and when we sin, ‘if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ Here, after we are cleansed, we return to being the righteousness of God.

We are righteous by faith, and God wants us to live holy too, and increase in holiness, etc.

Is this what you meant, that you were looking for?

This is exactly what I would like more info on too, so could a Catholic scholar give info here from Cath teaching?


Well as to asking a Catholic scholar to give you information, there is a section on here called Ask an apologist. Right above the apologist of scripture. You can ask your question directly to them.

My understanding is that Luther came up with that phrase of sola fide (only faith) for salvation.

I actually found this incredible article by these guys here on Catholic Answers about it.

Here is another scholar that can explain you all the questions you have about what the Church teaches.

After that, if you have more questions, you might want to ask in the section of “ask an apologist” in this same forum.


How I would explain it (and someone, please correct me if I’m wrong):

Catholics, in a way, agree that we’re justified by faith. It’s just that our definition of salvific faith necessarily includes works. So while a Protestant would write it Faith -> Works + Salvation, a Catholic would write it Faith + Works -> Salvation.



I am a Protestant
I believe this following from scripture, what I have been taught

  1. you must be born again (this is the new creation, in Christ Jesus-quoting Paul)
    this is more than baby baptism, because an adult has to commit, pray to receive it,
    and follow the Lord in it) (although I am not saying babies cannot have the new birth
    only God knows, but adults are the ones that follow God, not babies)

  2. you must have a personal relationship with God, from the Holy Spirit and scriptures,

  3. you must obey the scripture, and also obey what the H. Sp. individually tells you

  4. there are works that God has prepared for you to do, that He wants you to do,
    and you must do them…

  5. I have been declared righteous, with the righteousness of God Himself, in a judicial
    declaration or swearing,…this is the same kind of righteousness that Abraham received
    simply by believing God, and mine comes the same way, by believing God when He
    tells me through Paul, that I have this. This is the result of the cleansing of the blood
    of Jesus, and the washing of the water of the word. I have the holiness of God himself
    as my own. If I sin, I confess my sin, and He is faithful and just, to forgive me
    my sin and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness. (bible quote) I then return
    to Being the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, as Paul wrote about.

    This is a legal righteousness that has nothing to do with right and wrong, in that
    my old connection with right and wrong was severed at my baptism. Paul wrote that
    I was married to the law, and I died with Jesus as I went under the water in baptism,
    the bad news was transferred to Mr. Law, letting him know that his wife was dead.
    Then as I came up out of the water, alive anew, Paul writes that I am Free to Marry Another, and He is Jesus Christ. and I do, becoming, Mrs. Jesus Christ!

    Paul writes further that ‘the law can have no more "intercourse’ with me, and I guess not!:nope::bigyikes:
    because “I am married to another”.
    So, did the law change? no
    My relationship with the law changed. It can no longer have me, because Another has me fully, in His Embrace.!

Paul the apostle explained this above, check out in Bible.:yup:


Baby baptism takes away original sin. We have confirmation.

The other points indicate that it is not just faith. Especially point number 4. Correct.

Didn’t God ask Abraham to prove his faith with an act?


My father tells me that I should go to be intellectual, educated because I will be rewarded. If I say I believe you and I acknowledge you are right but not proceed and go to school then I would be just talking and not acting on the belief and subsequently not be rewarded with a higher education, etc.

And I think that is the major difference and misconception of what not only is in the Bible but also how for the first 400 years people believed by actions. In fact it wasn’t till Luther came up with the concept of sola fide in the 1600’s that people never equated believing without action.


Confirmation happens for children who may not really be walking with God or understand it yet.

Adults need confirmation and then wholehearted committment

Prove his faith? God did ask Abe. to sacrifice his son, which was unusual, although done by the people around where Abe lived.

Abe’s faith increased enough to receive a baby by faith, like Mary did, when God changed his name to describe the promise so everytime Abe introduced himself or someone called his name, Abe heard the promise of God, over and over again, and he said it himself.

Abram (old name) to Abraham, ‘father of nations’.


Since sola fide is in another language, its clearer if you say, by faith alone. This is clearer for me because I am not Italian nor speak latin or whatever language that is in, if this is the true meaning of the statement.

Can you explain again, what you said above, use another anology and add a bit to it, to make the picture clearer that you were using above to describe, i guess it is salvation.

do you agree with my points listed then, ?


I think you got it wrong about confirmation.

I think the misinterpretation of belief is a grave error that leads, as it is happening in the 33k denominations, to think that hell, consequence of sin, spiritual warfare, weakness of men, don’t exist.

I don’t think that you would agree that someone chanting they believe exempts them from not obeying the commandments. And what happens if we don’t? Jesus himself told us.

So there you have actions that we must do or not do with our free will in order to get saved.

“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.”

Now can we just say we believe in Jesus as our savior and not do anything on our part and be guaranteed beatific vision? Nope

Jesus tells us works to do in order to get saved. Listen to Him.

Continue to read the entire Beatitudes and you will see that it takes action works for our rewards.

And the more grace we have the more we can follow His law and see His love.


I agree with point 4 as it indicates that we must obey God’s law which is an action.

Sola fide literally means only faith. A term predominately used by Luther but it is Latin

Sola scriptura literally means only scripture.

Sola gracia literally means only grace.

The analogy I’m telling you is:

Say, my father tells me that education is rewarded. I say to him I believe you and I acknowledge you are 100% right about that. But if I end up not getting an education then I won’t see the reward, will I?

Meaning that belief is accompanied with actions otherwise is nothing other than just empty talk. Well intentioned but not rewarding.


Actually, the Catholic view is that we are saved by the sanctifying grace of God, poured out by the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. Through baptism, our previous sins (including original sin) are washed away and we are made open to receiving God’s graces. Among the graces we receive when we are baptized are the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity (that is, agape, or sacrificial love of God and neighbor).

Faith is the acceptance of the graces of God - in otherwords, the acceptance of salvation. It is not simply believing, “Jesus died for my sins, I accept Him as my Saviour, and now I can do whatever I want!” Paul himself condemned such thoughts, stating that those who have been saved by faith (those who are of the Spirit) ought to act like it! He condemns the Corinthians for tolerating a man living in an incestuous relationship with his step-mother. And he states that murderers, adulterers, fornicators, etc. have no place in Heaven! In addition, Jesus Himself states that if we neglect the needs of our neighbor, we will be sent to Gehenna (Hell).

Hope is the virtue that allows us to have a reason for existence in the first place - allowing to strive to make our current world better to make it as best as we can to match the eternal Kingdom of God. It is hope that allows us to even believe in Heaven and in the Resurrection of not only Jesus, but of our own bodies at the Second Coming. Without hope, there is only despair.

Charity/Love is the most important of all graces imparted by baptism. Without charity, our faith is nothing. Our good works done out of faith but not driven by love are abhorrent to God, and count for nothing. It is this love that is most important, and truly the driving force for our salvation. Love, in fact, is what allows for hope, and it is hope that allows faith. One cannot truly call Jesus His personal Lord and Savior if one does not strive to love the way that Jesus loved. Jesus showed His love for us by carrying His cross and being crucified. Though not all of us will be forced into true martyrdom, we are all called to carry our own crosses, to die to our own selfish desires, and place God’s will for us above all else. This is what it is meant to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. And loving our neighbors as ourselves means that we are to put the needs (physical and spiritual) of our fellow person ahead of our own. Sometimes, that means giving a hungry person a meal now, then giving that person the skills to feed himself/herself. And sometimes, that means telling a person gently that what he/she is doing is not in accordance with God’s will - in fact, that what he/she is doing is wrong.

But we can damage our ability to love. Any and all sins done after one is saved through baptism damage our ability to love. Certain sins, which are of a serious matter, done in full knowledge of the gravity, and through full consent, cause us to not be able to truly love at all. Such sins are called mortal, because they are a complete rejection of God’s saving grace. One can be forgiven of such sins, but they require us to ask Jesus for forgiveness, which Catholics believe is done in the sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession). If one dies while in a state of mortal sin (in other words, if one dies without asking Jesus for forgiveness for what he/she has done), he/she has completely and forever rejected God’s saving grace and condemns himself/herself to Hell.

In essence, Catholics do not believe that accepting Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior is a one-time event - it is a continuous, daily, hourly, by-the-minute, by-the-second journey which starts at baptism and ends at one’s death and judgment. We can lose our salvation at any point along the way by committing a mortal sin, thus cutting off God’s graces, rejecting God’s salvation, and losing the ability to love. However, we can regain God’s grace, the ability to love, and reaccept God’s salvation for us by being truly sorry for our sins and going to Confession.


Thanks for putting it so clearly. I could have never done that as English is my 3rd language. I tried though xD


I just got what you meant here, above,…your second line of typing,…
you are not exactly correct,…point number 4 is about works, but these are works God has prepared for us, (this is bible quote) and they come after new birth and being declared righteous,…by God.
If we do not do the works prepared, for us, I dont know what happens, if we can lose out with God, by this, or if we will be the one whose works ‘burn up’ scripture, when tested with fire,.so we have no works so nothing to burn and we escape just barely.

Your last line of text, is about if Abraham had to do any works along with faith. No, by faith ONLY, at the first when God declared him righteous, ALL HE HAD TO DO WAS BELIEVE WHAT GOD TOLD HIM AND HE DID AND BIBLE SAYS, ‘GOD CREDITED IT TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS’.

Bible also says God made Abe ‘very very wealthy’. Later on, after his miracle baby was finally born, God asked ABe to sacrifice the son (baby) By this time Abe belived so much in God that he immediately prepared, and even though the promise God made him hinged on the boy lviing, Bible says Abe believed so much that he knew God would bring the boy back to life, even from death, to make the promise happen, to Abe. So Abe began to sacrifice the boy, and God stopped him.

Abe believed only, and by faith only, received righteousness from God, as a credit simply for believing and apostle Paul writes, we do the same, we receive ‘righteousness as credit’ for believing God, this is a legal declaration from God himself, about us. Then we walk our earth walk, in our legal righteousness and as we walk, and commune with Him and eat scripture and grow in faith and in love, etc.we become more like him, more righteous, as we go. If we sin, we confess, and ‘he is faithful and just to not only forgive but to completely cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.’


I have two questions that I ask all Protestants

1)Which of these doesn’t denote an action on our part?

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.a

  • Blessed are they who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.

  • Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the land.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,* for they will be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.

  • Blessed are the clean of heart,
    for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,*for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

  1. Which of these doesn’t tell you consequences of our actions?

“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.’*

  • But I say to you, whoever is angry* with his brother will be liable to judgment,o and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.


1)to your first question, I put inside the quote with here.
poor in spirit, meek, clean of heart, and hunger and thirst for righteousness-all don’t involve
action, necessarily, but are states of the heart,…

answer to 2)
both sentences tell of consequences to actions,


Yes right
So it takes works through faith to get saved.

  1. how can one not involve action/works exactly?


If what you seem to be trying to say is right, what happened to all that I typed to
you, right from bible, Abe and apostle Paul, what is the meaning of what is written from them, then?

I feel confused.:confused:
not just confused,…
I am afraid…
especially because I don’t really understand…

the other scriptures say what they do and they cant be thrown out…

how can I be judged for my sin, if jesus forgives and cleanses?and when would I be judged for it?


Jesus forgives and cleanses you when you repent. If you deliberately sin gravely again, you have to repent again. The idea that Jesus forgives sins in advance is not Scriptural. It’s a Protestant invention read into Scripture.

Also, there are a number of Biblical scholars (the so-called “New Perspective on Paul”) who argue that Protestants have misinterpreted Paul. On of these scholars, N. T. Wright, is himself an evangelical Protestant (and a retired Anglican bishop). His book Justification works out the exegetical case for his view in detail (in response to the conservative Calvinist theologian John Piper, who has criticized Wright for undermining Protestant doctrine–ironically, I think Piper is right and Wright is wrong about the implications of Wright’s teaching for Protestantism, although I think Wright is more correct in his reading of Paul!).



The problem is not that the Bible is contradictory. The problem is in the interpretation.

The sermon on the mount indicate works through faith.

Then one sees other verses that taken out of context it says faith alone, however when put into context they don’t really.

“For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead” James 2:26

Love of God and neighbor is a matter of life and death (Dt 30), for even though a person has divine faith as a free commitment to Christ, if he has not charity/love and the deeds of charity where need requires and capacity exist he cannot be saved (Mt 7:22ff; Jn 15:2; 1 Cor 6:9-11; Gal 5:19-21; Jas 2:17)

They are both linked. Faith alone doesn’t exist without the actions that faith brings.

The more faith we have the more works we will do.

Here is one that helped me. True faith is a living faith. The form of faith is the works (charity/love).

Meaning it is not a one time ordeal but a constant ordeal. Every instant, for the free will never ceases to exist. Laws were not abolished because Christ came to save us. Christ came to open the door and we must work our way to the door.

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