To prove his point Paul includes a quotation from Habakkuk 2:4, "The just shall live by faith." It was this text--quoted by Paul in Romans 1:17--that ultimately shook Martin Luther to the core and brought him to saving faith in Jesus Christ. On this point, I quote from a letter by Dr. Paul Luther, the reformer's youngest son:
In the year 1544, my late dearest father, in the presence of us all, narrated the whole story of his journey to Rome. He acknowledged with great joy that, in that city, through the Spirit of Jesus Christ, he had come into the knowledge of the truth of the everlasting gospel. It happened this way. As he repeated his prayers on the Lateran staircase, the words of the prophet Habakkuk came suddenly to his mind, "The just shall live by faith." Thereupon he ceased his prayers, returned to Wittenberg, and took this as the chief foundation of all his doctrine. (Quoted in A Bunch of Everlastings, by Frank Boreham, pp. 19-20.)
Sola Fide - "by faith alone."
From that unlikely beginning came the Protestant Reformation. And with it the battle-cry sola fide, "by faith alone."
Faith alone! Not by works of the law.
Faith alone! Not by obedience to the Church.
Faith alone! Not by human righteousness.
Faith alone! Not by baptism.
Faith alone! Not by good intentions.
Faith alone! Not by the sacraments.
Faith alone! Not by penance or almsgiving.
Faith alone! Plus nothing and minus nothing!
(Make reference to Hebrews 11, Faith Hall of Fame)
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