New Ligonier Title: The Beauty of Divine Grace by Gabriel N.E. Fluhrer

beauty-divine-grace-fluhrer-2022When it comes to what we believe about salvation, one word means the difference between eternal life and eternal death. It is the word alone. The medieval Roman Catholic Church, out of which the Reformers emerged, cheerfully affirmed that Scripture reveals that salvation is by grace through faith in Christ to God’s glory. Do you see what’s missing? One simple word.

Rome understood how the word alone changed everything about its understanding of Christianity. Once this word was added by the Reformers, persecution began (and continued long after the death of the first Reformers). People were martyred for believing the five solas. These brave men and women gave their lives for one word.

Although our earthly lives may not be at stake, our eternal destiny is. If we miss this one word, we miss the gospel. Therefore, sola and the destiny of our souls are inseparably linked.

The second theme is that the gospel summarized by the five solas differs categorically from every other religion or worldview. We will return to this observation time and again in this book. It comes back to one word.

To give just a few examples, liberal Christianity gestures at the authority of Scripture but scoffs at Scripture alone as our only standard. Various forms of Eastern spirituality pay homage to Christ, but they would never say that Christ alone is the way to be saved. There is no concept of grace alone as our only hope of salvation in Islam. The list goes on.

Why should we point out tirelessly how the biblical gospel stands in contrast to everything else? First and foremost, because God commands us to proclaim His uniqueness. But also because people are weary from life. We are burdened, exhausted, and frayed. We are looking for anything to give us just a shred of relief. So we catch a glimmer of hope when someone hands us a book promising us the way to true spiritual enlightenment. Or we feel a bit more optimistic when a local guru promises that he or she is a sure guide to wholeness.

But the result is always the same. We end up right where we started. Self-help books fail us. The excitement of a new spiritual
journey fades as we continue down its path. Another guru comes along to replace the outmoded promises of the ones who have come before. Then the cycle starts all over again.

We can find rest from this dreary spiritual treadmill in only one place: Jesus Himself, as He is offered in the gospel. [I’m going to understand this word “offered” here and below in its original and classic sense: “presented” (as also found in the Canons of Dordt).] And only the gospel captured by the five solas presents Him as He is. Not a watered-down Jesus, who is impotent and ineffective. Not a harsh Jesus, who saddles us with one more thing to do. Not a demanding Jesus, whose stern gaze saps whatever strength we have left.

No, the five solas offer us the biblical Jesus. The One who was unswervingly committed to the inerrancy and final authority of the Scriptures ( John 10:35). The One who taught us that grace alone (Matt. 20:1–16), through faith alone ( John 5:24), is the way of salvation. The One who glorified God alone through every minute of His life ( John 17:4) because He knows that we cannot.

This is the Jesus that we need. This is the Jesus that the world needs. We will meet Him only if we embrace the five solas. Because every other world religion and worldview rejects them, the importance of these five truths cannot be overstated.

From a new title from Ligonier Ministries, a copy of which was sent to me by the publisher. Source: The Beauty of Divine Grace: Gabriel N.E. Fluhrer – Hardcover, Book | Ligonier Ministries Store

Published in: on November 27, 2022 at 8:06 AM  Leave a Comment