This is a picture of a Reformation Church I visited in Germany.
“But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.” – Romans 3:21-31
We should never, ever surrender the truth of the Gospel for the sake of political correctness. Nor, for the sake of some false sense of unity with those who reject the supremacy of Christ. Jesus Christ alone is the source of eternal life.
Before the death and resurrection of Jesus all humanity was alienated from God the Father. God sent his Son to reconcile those who would believe back to himself. While the Jews had a sacrificial system, none of those sacrifices could permanently atone for their sins. True reconciliation with God was accomplished by Jesus’ death on the cross, and his resurrection from the dead. Jesus paid the sin debt of a rebellious and broken humanity with his blood. All previous sacrifices pointed to the ultimate sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. After Christ ascended back to the Father he sent the Holy Spirit to live in our hearts.
True believers are filled with the Holy Spirit to be witnesses of this truth, to a hostile and unbelieving world. We’re filled to live a life empowered by the Spirit, which produces holiness in our lives. The Father sets us apart for himself, so that we can bear witness to the truth of his Son.
At the point of new birth we were justified by faith in Christ alone. Our justification is not progressive, it’s instantaneous. Sanctification is the progressive part that the Holy Spirit does along with our cooperation, that changes us into His image.
We must not lose the truth of our Justification by faith alone, or we will go back to the works-based religion of medieval times. If the devil can keep us doubting our right standing with God, we will live in fear of hell all of our lives. We cannot afford to lose what Martin Luther and the reformers rediscovered. Without the rediscovery of the truth of justification by faith alone, there would not have been a reformation in the church, and millions would still be in spiritual darkness. God justifies sinners like myself and I will never have to work for his approval, Jesus took care of that on the cross. We must be willing to stand up for the truth of the Gospel at all cost.