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Faith Alone…Says Who?

Do you ever get tired of people accusing the Catholic Church of making up rules? How about when non-Catholic Christians state that faith in Christ is all that is needed for salvation and that no works or other requirements are necessary? I don’t usually get into this type of thing, but I can’t pass this one up. While researching another matter, I ran into this quote from the 2nd century:

When we hear, “Your faith have saved you” (Mt 9:22, Mk 5:34, Lk 8:48), we do not understand (The Lord) to say simply that they will be saved who have believed in whatever manner, even if works have not followed. To begin with, it was to the Jews alone that He spoke this phrase, who had lived in accord with the law and blamelessly, and who lacked only faith in The Lord.

- St. Clement of Alexandria (Stromateis; circa. 202 A.D)

Pretty good refutation of Martin Luther’s concept of “sola fide” (faith alone), wouldn’t you say? In other words, the Jews already had the “law” part down and Jesus was emphasizing that they also needed to have faith. Pretty cool, huh? St. Clement wrote this less than 200 years after the death of Christ. Wouldn’t you agree that he had a better idea of Jesus’ teachings than Luther who didn’t come around for another 1300 years?

Just one more reason to read the writings of the early Church fathers!

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