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Faith Alone

The quality of your faith doesn’t save you; it’s the object of your faith that saves you.
This sermon is part of the sermon series "True North". See series.

True North Backstory

One reason I enjoyed preaching the sermons in this series was the contrast between a "head" message and a "heart" message.

The message on Scripture was a head message—didactic. We asked folks for questions about barriers to taking the Bible as authoritative, and there were so many good ones I had to rewrite the sermon on Thursday.

N.T. Wright's notion of the biblical story as a play with five acts was extremely helpful.
This enabled me to demonstrate how the nature of a story carries authority, and what it means to read the Bible literally.

The message on grace alone was aimed at the heart. One question I always try to keep in mind is, What are people talking about this week? That week, people were talking about the deaths of Steve Jobs and Al Davis. So the message was simple: How successful, tough, talented, attractive do you have to be? The stories of high "bar-setters" helped set the stage for grace.


We are finishing a series called True North. We have been looking at core beliefs that define our Christian identity: all glory belongs to God alone; Jesus alone is our Lord and Savior; the Bible alone is the authoritative Word of God; and grace alone is the foundation for our life with God. Today we are looking at faith alone.

In Ephesians 2, Paul says we are saved by grace through faith. We grasp grace by faith alone. That sounds simple and clear, but there have been serious arguments inside the church concerning the nature of faith. There are several important issues we need to understand.

Understanding saving faith

A number of years ago, one group of people said this in response to the idea that salvation comes by grace through ...

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John Ortberg is pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California.

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Sermon Outline:


I. Understanding saving faith

II. Understanding the relation between faith and works

III. Trusting in the object of your faith, not the quality of your faith