June 18, 2023 • Exclusive Particles

As you study and grow in the faith, there is a term in Lutheran Theology that is extremely helpful and useful to know: it’s called Exclusive Particles. An exclusive particle is a phrase the Bible uses for emphasis; it’s a crucial clarification that we are saved by Christ and His work, and never by our own work or effort. One of the most well-known uses of exclusive particles is Ephesians 2:8-9:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith̶and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God̶ not by works, so that no one can boast.

Those clarifications “not from yourselves” and “not by works” are called exclusive particles. The Bible emphasizes — in the strongest possible way — that we are saved by Christ and His work alone and NEVER by anything that we ourselves do.

The Book of Galatians teaches us to turn away from ourselves, and to look only to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.

We know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified. Galatians 2:16


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