At this point, I'd like to talk about this idea of "faith alone," particularly in regards to the position of justification in ordo salutis. As it stands, conversion, which consists of faith and repentance, comes before justification. A question, then, arises: do we have to repentbefore we are justified? If so, we'd have to say that we are justified by faith and repentance. But isn't one of our Reformation sloganssola fide--that we are justified by faith alone? Are we really justified by faith alone or are we justified by faith and repentance?
When the Reformers taught the doctrine of justification by faith alone, they really meant by faith alone--that is, faith alone withoutrepentance: "Faith, thus receiving and resting on Christ and His righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification" (WCF 11:2). This immediately raises an alarm, doesn't it? We can easily imagine a scenario in which a person claims that he believes without changing his life in any way. Can we say he is justified?