That Little Word "Alone?

 •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 8
In 1540, in the heat of the Reformation controversies, Joachim II, Elector of Brandenburg, sent his ambassadors to a religious council at Worms. As they were leaving he said to them, "See that you bring back that little word 'Alone% do not dare to return without it."
Both parties were prepared to confess that salvation was to be received "through faith in Christ Jesus," but the Reformers added the little word "alone"—
Salvation "through faith in Jesus Christ ALONE."
And so this word became the pivot of the contendings of the Reformation period.
It may be that round this "little word" the conflict between the Spirit and our own self-righteousness is being waged. We are willing, perhaps, to trust Christ if we may add to that reliance a trust in ourselves, in our good works or in our religious emotions. But this cannot be. Christ's merits stand alone. Calvary is God's eternal witness to our ruin, as well as to the only provision of His grace for our salvation.
"To him that worketh NOT, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." Rom. 4:55But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. (Romans 4:5).