The Difference Between By and Through

I have been reading through the historic Belgic Confession (16th c.) recently (as suggested by my wife, Kristy), and wow, it is gold! For example, Article XXII, makes a helpful distinction between being saved by faith as a meritorious work versus being saved through faith as an instrument. Here is how it reads:

“Therefore we justly say with Paul, that we are justified by faith alone, or by faith apart from works. However, to speak more clearly, we do not mean that faith itself justifies us, for it is only an instrument with which we embrace Christ our righteousness. But Jesus Christ, imputing to us all His merits, and so many holy works which He has done for us and in our stead, is our righteousness. And faith is an instrument that keeps us in communion with Him in all His benefits, which, when they become ours, are more than sufficient to acquit us of our sins.”

So, we are not saved by our faith, as if it is our faith that is redemptive. We are saved by Jesus and receive the benefits of his life, death and resurrection through the means of faith, and faith alone. So when my faith is weak, my salvation is still strong.

Be prepared to read a lot more from this great Confession, in addition to some good stuff from the Canons of Dort. 🙂

SDG

  • That’s a weak answer and really doesn’t answer the difference between by and through. Reread your comment and tell me if you answer that question. That answer is comparable to a democrat’s answer. Perhaps you should study the book of James more and read the Bible more often rather than what your wife recommends. We have a lot of strong women and weak men and reading comments like your answer, to by and through suggests the same. Try starting with James 2:24 and throw out the other books. Let the Bible interpret the Bible instead of the Belgic confession. If you are not playing Christian and really want truth, study the book of Romans and Galations for Justification by faith. If your using and NIV then be prepared to miss so much. NKJV usually captures the truth.

  • Hey Mark,If you read my blog enough, you will find that a lot of my posts are probably lame and need a lot of correction. It is always good to have folks post who share a common love for the truth of Scripture, and especially the glorious, grace-filled doctrine of sola fide. I just can’t get over the wonder of the cross!Much grace to you, brother.McKay