What sola fide does and does not mean
Another crystal clear statement from Gerhard. For a while back in the late 1990's it was fashionable in some confessional theological circles to say very provocative things about "sanctification by faith alone"or "sanctification is Christ in action,"etc. Whatever valid points the purveyors of these statements were making, I was always leery of them. Justification is by faith alone and we are purely passive, but in sanctification we are active, though in great weakness, in our will and works. Here is a classic statement of this from Gerhard.
Toward the end of this chapter Bellarmine attributes to us that we claim that “the renewal of man takes place through faith alone,” which is clearly false, because regeneration is one thing and renewal another, although they are very closely connected. Regeneration takes place through faith and indeed through faith alone, but renewal includes many more things, namely, the new spiritual impulses kindled in the heart of a person reborn through the Holy Spirit.