Sola Fide teaches that believers are justified or declared righteous by faith alone. I will use the same scripture that I used with Sola Gratia (By Grace Alone)
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
You can see above again that we are saved though faith, and that not of ourselves. It is through our belief in Christ that justification comes. If we believe that we have any part in it, then we are saying that we had to help the atoning work of Christ and that his death was not sufficient.
The CARM website puts it like this:
Roman Catholics often mention that the Bible never says we are saved by faith alone and that the phrase “faith alone” occurs only once in James where it says that we are not saved by faith alone. If this is so, then why do the Protestants say we are justified by faith alone and not by works? Because the Bible teaches that we are justified by faith alone, and not by works.
The following is a list of verses about being saved by faith. Please take note that faith and works are contrasted. In other words, we are saved by faith “not by works” and “apart from works,” etc. The point is that there are only two options. We are saved by faith alone or we are not. Since we have faith and works (both conceptually and in practice), then we are either saved by faith alone or by faith and works. There is no other option.
If we see that the Scriptures exclude works in any form as a means of our salvation, then logically we are saved by faith alone. Let’s take a look at what the Bible says about faith and works. Then, afterwards, we will tackle James’ statement about “faith alone.”
- Rom. 3:28-30, “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. 29Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.”
- Rom. 4:5, “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness.”
- Rom. 5:1, “therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
- Rom. 9:30, “What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith.”
- Rom. 10:4, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”
- Rom. 11:6, “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.”
- Gal. 2:16, “nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified.”
- Gal. 2:21, I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.
- Gal.3:5-6, “Does He then, who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 6Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”
- Gal. 3:24, “Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith.”
- Eph. 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Not by works, lest any man should boast.”
- Phil. 3:9, “and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.”
Again, works/Law is contrasted with faith repeatedly and we are told that we are not justified by works in any way. Therefore, we are made right with God by faith, not by faith and our works; hence, faith alone.