Sola Fide was a grand cry of the Reformation. Faith Alone to the Reformers, meant your sins could be taken care of by faith in Christ rather than indulgences and penance.
As much as I agree with their point, I fear Sola Fide has come to mean something else entirely to today’s Christian.
Sola Fide today seems to mean, “Yeah, I believed, now I’m done.”
We’ve sola fide’d ourselves into a one-and-done scenario where you say a prayer and then take it easy the rest of life. Any call to do good or act righteously is viewed as works righteousness, legalism, or at least a waste of time.
The Apostle Peter, among others, would greatly disagree with this notion of salvation. Note his words in 2 Peter 1
giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
Once you believe, you then add things to your faith. Faith is the foundation, the beginning, it is by no means the end.
We are to add good things, knowledge, self-control, patient perseverance, godly conduct, brotherly kindness, and love to our faith.
No one is saved by adding these things, nor is Peter saying these things save you. What Peter is saying is that you need to use diligence–concentrated effort–to make sure you don’t stop with faith alone. Faith needs company!
Faith always ends up acting in love. “Faith works by love” is how Paul puts it. “Faith without works is dead” is how James puts it. The context shows James saying “works” are fulfilling the royal law–love your neighbor as yourself.
We are saved by grace through faith, not by works. Once salvation is ours, then we get busy adding to our faith. Don’t quit. Don’t sit and take it easy. Strive. Fight. Run. Be diligent.
We serve an awesome Savior.