Fourth, we stand on the doctrine of Faith Alone…
Sola Fide Defined
“We are forgiven our sins and counted righteous in God’s sight solely by trusting in Christ.”
Romans 5:1 states that we are “justified by faith”—this is a ‘forensic’ justification: a legal declaration by the divine judge, namely God the Father.
The ground of justification is not infused righteousness (our own righteousness) but rather imputed righteousness (not our own righteousness, but Christ’s). We deny that the instrument of justification is faith plus works but rather we affirm justification is faith alone.
According to the Scriptures, one is fully justified before God from the first moment of faith in Christ. A genuine saving faith in Christ is sufficient for full and final salvation (cf. Romans 8:30).
It is futile to put trust in our own works, merit, or efforts to secure our own salvation
The Bible teaches and we affirm that mankind is fallen in sin and all our moral efforts are tainted by sin. Therefore, we cannot be counted righteous (justified) before God on the ground of our own righteousness. Therefore, we can only be counted righteous (justified) before God on the ground of an ‘alien’ righteousness, a righteousness that Luther called extra nos, a righteousness that is outside of ourselves, namely, Christ’s righteousness. This righteousness is imputed or credited to all who trust Christ by faith alone (2 Corinthians 5:21).
“Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as he due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness...”(Romans 4:4-5)
Sola definitions taken from Tiffin’s professor of Systematic Theology, Dr. James Anderson of Reformed Theological Seminary
Martin Luther as quoted Heiko Oberman, “Luther: Man between God and the Devil”
Definition of Penal Substitution taken from “Pierced for Our Transgressions” p. 103