500 years ago today, Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517. This marked the beginning of the Protestant Reformation

Luther’s Sola Fide

Posted: 31 Oct 2017 02:06 AM PDT
500 years ago today, Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517. This marked the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. In his publication, Luther criticized the sale of indulgences, the papal pardons which reduced the amount of punishment for sins in Purgatory. We can all appreciate Luther’s challenge to papal authority, specifically toward the Roman Catholic Church about the selling of papal pardons to rebuild St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. But did the Reformation get us back to biblical Christianity?
The Protestant position would come to incorporate doctrinal changes such as sola fide, or justification by faith alone. Sola fide has been a hallmark of Protestant theology since the beginning of the Reformation. For Luther, faith alone is specifically contrasted with good works. In his preface to Romans, Luther said, “faith alone makes someone just and fulfills the law.” By “faith alone” the Reformers clearly meant belief or trust, apart from anything else. According to Luther, good works have nothing to do with our salvation other than being the result of saving faith. Sola fide is thus formulated in the Augsburg Confession of Faith as follows:
[T]his faith is bound to bring forth good fruits, and that it is necessary to do good works commanded by God, because of God’s will, but that we should not rely on those works to merit justification before God. For remission of sins and justification is apprehended by faith, as also the voice of Christ attests: When ye shall have done all these things, say: We are unprofitable servants. Luke 17:10. The same is also taught by the Fathers. For Ambrose says: It is ordained of God that he who believes in Christ is saved, freely receiving remission of sins, without works, by faith alone. (Augsburg Confession of Faith, Article VI)
Luther was so insistent that justification was by faith alone and not works that, when translating Romans 3:28 into German, he added the word allein (“alone”), so that the verse would read: “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith [alone] without the deeds of the law.” But the word “alone” is not present in the Greek text. This also brought Paul in direct contradiction to James. Church Historian Philip Schaff summarized:
The most important example of dogmatic influence in Luther’s version is the famous interpolation of the word alone in Rom. 3:28, by which he intended to emphasize his solifidian doctrine of justification, on the plea that the German idiom required the insertion for the sake of clearness. But he thereby brought Paul into direct verbal conflict with James, who says (James 2:24), “by works a man is justified, and not only by faith.” It is well known that Luther deemed it impossible to harmonize the two apostles in this article, and characterized the Epistle of James as an “epistle of straw,” because it had no evangelical character. (History of the Christian Church, Book 7, Chapter 4)
Ironically, the only place “faith alone” appears as a phrase in the New Testament is in James 2:24: “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone” (NET, or “faith only” in the KJV). James also says: “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone” (James 2:17). In context, James wrote:
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 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. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:14-26)
Most Protestants argue that James is merely attacking an empty faith. In order to agree with Luther, they say, “Faith alone saves, but the faith that saves is not alone.” But here is an obvious contradiction of terms in order to agree with Luther’s interpretation of Romans 3:28. In the end, an “empty faith” is nothing other than “faith alone” or “faith without works.” And James tells us that “faith alone” cannot save.
Taken at face value, James 2:14-26 contradicts Martin Luther’s doctrine of sola fide. How did Luther reconcile this glaring conflict? He sought to expel the Epistle of James from the New Testament canon. In his Preface to the Epistles of St. James and St. Jude, Luther said that the Epistle of James was “not the writing of any apostle.” Luther went on to question the authority of James:
Flatly against St. Paul and all the rest of Scripture, it ascribes righteousness to works, and says that Abraham was justified by his works, in that he offered his son Isaac, though St. Paul, on the contrary, teaches, in Romans 4:2, that Abraham was justified without works, by faith alone, before he offered his son, and proves it by Moses in Genesis 15:6. . . .
I cannot put him [James] among the chief books, though I would not thereby prevent anyone from putting him where he pleases and estimating him as he pleases; for there are many good sayings in him.
Luther not only questioned the authority of James, but also of Jude, Hebrews, and Revelation. Moreover, in his Preface to the New Testament, Martin Luther wrote:
In a word, St. John’s Gospel and his first Epistle, St. Paul’s Epistles, especially Romans, Galatians and Ephesians, and St. Peter’s first Epistle are the books that show you Christ and teach you all that it is necessary and good for you to know, even though you were never to see or hear any other book or doctrine. Therefore St. James’ Epistle is really an epistle of straw, compared to them; for it has nothing of the nature of the Gospel about it.
But Paul doesn’t have to conflict with James. The most satisfactory solution to the alleged contradiction between Paul and James is that Paul was referring to the “works” of the Law of Moses, especially circumcision (cf. Romans 4:2, 6, 9-12; Galatians 2:6-10, 12, 16; 3:2, 5, 10). On the other hand, James was referring to good “works” or works of obedience to God (James 2:14, 17-18, 20-22, 24). The raging issue for the first century Church was whether or not Gentiles needed to keep the works of the Law of Moses, i.e., circumcision (Acts 15). Preaching at Antioch, Paul said, “And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:39).
The Scriptures have a much broader view of justification than Luther’s doctrine of sola fide. The Greek word dikaioō (translated “justified” throughout Romans 3 and James 2) also occurs in other passages without reference to faith. For example, Jesus said, “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matthew 12:37). Even Paul said, “For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified” (Romans 2:13).
Again, James also says, “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? . . . Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?” (James 2:21, 24-25).
The Greek words dikaioō (“justified”) and dikaiosynē (“righteousness”) both come from the root word dikaios which is normally translated “righteous” or “just.” In this broader sense, justification is the righteousness acceptable to God, more in line with the use of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).
John says: “If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him” (1 John 2:29); “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous” (1 John 3:7); “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother” (1 John 3:10).
The Scriptures deny that one is justified by faith alone. Indeed, “by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Though our good works do not earn or merit our salvation, our obedience is in cooperation with divine grace, working together with God for our salvation (see Philippians 2:12-13).
On the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, we can appreciate Martin Luther for his challenge to reform the Roman Catholic Church and papal abuses. But we must not simply reject the infallibility of the Pope in order to embrace the infallibility of the Reformer. Pope Leo X was not infallible, and neither is Luther. Unfortunately, many Protestants hold to Luther’s doctrine of sola fide as if it were an infallible interpretation of the Scriptures. Let’s be honest with what the Scriptures actually say and reform our own lives accordingly, by the grace of God.
Faith & Works – Harmonizing Paul & James
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The above is very good theology.  My simple mind interprets it succinctly as follows:  We are saved by our faith in Jesus Christ (II Corinthians 5:17,21; Ephesians 2:8-10), but a genuine saving faith is always accompanied by works.  Specifically, please note Ephesians 2:10.  It is true that Martin Luther is NOT a Protestant Pope, and he erred in his disparaging comments in reference to the book of James.  A genuine saving faith and works are like a horse and carriage or love and marriage.  They mesh together beautifully and naturally.  You cannot have one without the other.  Should not the numerous exploits of the faithful saints described graphically in the “Hall of Faith,” Hebrews 11, convince us of this?   Pastor Steve   <><


False Prophet Rick Warren Exposed!

These lengthly videos record many of Rick Warren’s false teachings, including Chrislam, his worldwide P.E.A.C.E. Plan, Catholicism, allegiance with the Pope, Mariolatry, universalism, promotion of the New World Order (NWO), his disparagement of Christian Fundamentalists, easy believism, no repentance required and all inclusive salvation, no mention of sin or condemnation, and much more.  Among the authors on these videos are John MacArthur, Phil Johnson, James Sundquist, Scott Johnson, Gary Gilley and Jack Van Impe.  Rick Warren is a litmus test.  Are you a Berean or a Laodicean?

In Christ, Pastor Steve

Beware Of The False Gospel Of Rick Warren


Pope Francis Goes Apostate…

The Following is a quotation and synopsis of Pope Francis’ evolving view of marriage…

“Pope Francis insists individual conscience should be guiding principle for Catholics negotiating complexities of sex, marriage and family life in major document that rejects emphasis on black-and white rules for faithful…  In 256 page document titled “The Joy Of Love,” Pontiff makes no change in church doctrine, but makes clear Francis wants enormous change in way priests instruct Catholics…  Francis says church must no longer sit in judgment and “throw stones” at those who fail to live up to Gospel’s ideals of marriage and family life.”


The Bible leaves no “complexities” regarding family life and marriage.  It is very, very black and white.  Instead of submitting in faithfulness to the Word of God, Pope Francis’ philosophy is “if you can’t beat ’em, join them.”  The aforementioned quotation of the pontiff rings with the New World Order.  It also emphasizes the Catholic belief that when the Pope speaks “Ex Cathedra,” his word is divine and can even supersede the Holy Scriptures!  Should the individual conscience be in charge of spiritual issues?  According to the pope, your conscience triumphs over Holy Writ.  Although we love those who are sinners, we do NOT amend our beliefs in order to accommodate their perverted life styles.  No one is throwing stones at those who do not obey the commandments- they simply need to repent like everyone else.  The Lord has no other side roads to heaven, and His Word says “…to obey is better than sacrifice…”  (I Samuel 15:22).  Jesus’ Word says to “…repent or perish…”  (Luke 13:3, Luke 13:5).   “Complexities” is a very Politically Correct (PC) word choice that simply circumvents the clarity of the Scriptures.  i.e.  Pope Francis ignores the Biblical mandate for the sinner to repent.  In my opinion, this watered down “Gospel” is classic doctrine in the “Seeker Friendly Church,” the “Emerging Church,” and the Catholic teaching that papal dogma ecilipses the Bible!  In Christ, Pastor Steve

Quotable Quotations ~ John MacArthur

“The doctrinal ignorance of the evangelical church is shocking.  Matched only by its’ cowardice I fear.”

-John MacArthur

Spoken in a message concerning the apostasy of the Roman Catholic Church, and the desire of many evangelical leaders to compromise with Catholicism, trampling on the blood of the fearless martyrs throughout the church age-  Hus, Tyndale, Luther, Wycliffe, etc., etc.

John MacArthur On Roman Catholicism And The Truth About Hell

Note the thorough exegesis of Roman Catholicism by John MacArthur in the first message, which followed the pope’s recent arrival in America.  Protestant pastors use to all have a copy of “The Two Babylons” by Alexander Hislop (I have one).  In this book the author reveals the commonality of Roman Catholicism and the ancient religion of Babylon.  Note the peculiar garb, especially the hat, flamboyant robe and crooked crucifix of the pope.  Have you ever wondered what it has to do with Christianity or where it came from?  The ancient Babylonian priests wore this clothing, replicated on stone and woodcuts for us to see and compare.  A careful examination of Catholicism will reveal it to be another religion than Christianity.  Listen to MacArthur expound on this truism:





The New Pope Is A Jesuit. Do You Know The Origin Of The Jesuits?

Pope Francis is the first pope who is a Jesuit. When the Jesuits were first founded, they had three goals in mind:

1)To found schools in Europe in order to solidify their clergy.

2)The conversion of non Catholics to their religion.

3)Last, but definately not least, they were a Counter-Reformation to the Protestant Reformation, and their goal was to stop the spread of Protestantism. Depending upon the influence they wielded at particular times throughout history, their opposition to Protestantism ranged from outright persecution to infiltration, but there was always an element resisting the growth of Protestant believers and churches. For instance, in a very famous and lengthly quotation, Abraham Lincoln attributed the support of the South in the Civil War to the Vatican, Popery, and the Roman Catholic Church. Common sense would dictate that the Jesuits would be estatic about the Civil War, whereby this unique Protestant nation (the United States of America was 98.6% Protestant at the signing of the Declaration of Independence) was fighting against and killing each other. The Vatican supported the South, believing that prolonging the war would obviously be to their advantage. Yes indeed, as a history major I have always found fact to be stranger than fiction.

Because Of Him, Pastor Steve <><

Catholic Dogma And Doctrine

Since we are right on the heals of a new pope, it would be a good time to consider the teachings of Roman Catholicsm. How did this church originate? In the early church, several bishops took up prominent seats in large cities such as Ephesus, Corinth, Thessalonica and Rome. The Roman leadership became stronger and eventually dominated as the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. Interestingly, when the Babylonian Empire crumbled, the priests of their nation went to Persia. When Alexander the Great overcame the Persians several centuries later, many of the priests from these two previous empires went to Rome. Hence one can observe the mysterious blend and belief system incorporated into the Catholic Church to this very day. It is a blend of the ancient Babylonian priestcraft, ancient Judaism, church tradition, and the Bible. On the other hand, in the Protestant Church the teachings come primarily from the Bible, and our differences are usually because of our respective interpretations of it. Catholic teachings that are contrary to the Bible, gradually infiltrated the church throughout the Middle Ages. Their watered down, unbiblical doctrine was not a blow out, but a slow leak. Their choke hold was so strong in Europe, that to speak or do anything contrary to the Roman Church often resulted in death. God raised up two firebrands who countered the dominance of popery during this time. One was Martin Luther who nailed his ninety five thesis on the church door in Wittenburg and the rest is history. The other was a political adversary and an immoral man himself, nonetheless, God still used him: Henry the Eighth of England threw off any kind of submission to the pope so he could divorce and remarry. Although Henry himself was guilty of running off, and even killing his wives who produced no heir, the Lord worked through him in order to introduce Protestantism to the British Isles. Other prominent Biblical theologians in Europe soon to follow were Hus, Calvin, Knox, Zwingli, Wycliffe, etc., etc. As mentioned, many of the bizarre beliefs of Catholicism can be easily traced to the priests from Babylon. The best comprehensive classic work that exhausts this subject is Alexander Hislop’s “The Two Babylons.” May we examine just a few of the unbiblical teachings of the Catholic Church:

1)The Protestant Church has pastors, deacons and elders, all who are found in the Bible. The Catholic Church has priests, cardinals, popes, monks and nuns, none of whom are scriptural. The Old Testament priest, of course, is replaced by Jesus Christ, who is our Great High Priest.

2)We view Mary as a beautiful and pure woman who God enabled to carry the Messiah in her womb, conceived through the Holy Spirit. Mary was a sinner like all of us, yet she was very pleasing to God. The Catholic Church hails Mary, prays to Mary and worships Mary, even calling her “the mother of God.” They even claim she was without sin! This form of worship goes back to the Babylonian deity Semiramis, Nimrod’s wife/mother. Various other false religions had different names for the same false goddess: Venus, Diana, Aphrodite, Isis, etc., etc. The ancient title given to this pagan theology from which the worship of Mary originated is “The Queen Of Heaven.” So one can easily see where Maryolatry commenced and progressed from.

3)Catholics are taught to address their priests as “Father,” even though Jesus instructed us to call no man father except for the Father who is it heaven.

4)The pope can speak “Ex Cathedra,” meaning his words are even above Bible canon and inspired by God Himself! Yes, they can take the place of and even supercede the scriptures. Protestants believe that the Bible is inspired, but NOT the words of ANY fallen man. What does the Bible say? “Let God be true and every man a liar.”

5)The Catholics teach the so called Seven Saving Sacraments, none of which save. They attempt to make their church the institution of salvation, rather than faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Catholicism is all about ritual, priestcraft and sacraments. The true church is all about Jesus Christ and His atoning blood— John 3:16, 36; 14:6; Acts 4:12.

6)The homilies were read in Latin for centuries so that no one could understand them. If anyone was in possession of a copy of the Word of God, they could be executed! This is but a short thumb nail sketch of some the false teachings of Catholicism. The pattern continues throughout all of their often bizarre and unbiblical dogma.

Having said all of this, it is important to note the tremendous value of the people from the Catholic Church. If I was brought up within such a false religious system, I too would be taught that it is true. I have heard countless times, that Catholics who have left the Catholic Church and joined up with a Christ exalting and Bible based church that is true to the Word, make the strongest of believers! We have had numerous ex Catholics come through our vineyard and I have found this to be true. Praise God for His truth which is found in the written Word the Bible, and in the living Word His Son.

To Him be the glory, Pastor Steve

1.2 Billion Catholics Have A New Pope…..

…..and he is Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina. He is a 76 year old Jesuit from Buenos Aires, and has taken the name of Pope Francis. The Jesuits were formed centuries ago to persecute whenever possible, and counter the Protestant Reformation. They are usually seen as hardliners within Catholicism. Yet this Pope seems to be a mixed bag, since he took on the name of Francis, reflective of the Franciscan Order that dates to Francis of Assisi. This particular sect of Catholicism represent beliefs that are closer to the Protestant understanding of the Bible. Pope Francis has tended to and fed HIV patients in Buenos Aires. He is also one who the Catholic Church and Cardinals believe can unite the Cartel in the Vatican. The Cartel is basically best summed up as the Vatican bureaucracy and leadership.