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Wednesday, April 11, 2012
You Can't Have Your Sola Fide Without Baptismal Regeneration and the Real Presence
I just posted on this very topic but I think it's worth repeating. The method of Biblical interpretation that led Martin Luther to confess that we are justified by faith alone is the same method that led him to confess that we are regenerated in baptism and that we receive Christ's actual body and blood in the Lord's Supper. It's not that Luther didn't go far enough or just couldn't abandon the traditions he was surrounded by. Luther's conscience was captive to the Word of God. Paul said we are justified through faith apart from works, therefore we are justified through faith apart from works. The Scriptures say "baptism now saves us" and "baptism is for the remission of sin," therefore baptism now saves us and is for the remission of sins. Jesus said "This is my body" and "This is my blood," therefore the bread is His body and the wine is His blood. If Luther's goal had simply been to teach the opposite of whatever Rome teaches then things would have turned out differently. He may have embraced modalism and taught that the material world is evil. But instead, Luther's conscience was captive to the Word of God and that's why he taught justification through faith alone, baptismal regeneration, and the real presence in the Lord's Supper.