“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
Typically, “if only” is a sign of intense regret. When David, for example, learned of the death of his rebellious son Absalom, he cried out in inconsolable grief, “O my son Absalom—my son, my son Absalom—if only I had died in your place! O Absalom my son, my son!” (2 Samuel 18:33).
“If only” will be a cry of inconsolable grief and sorrow of all those who lived and died without realizing the historical fact that Martin Luther added the word “only” to Romans 5:1 when he translated it. Mr. Luther did so because his desire for the Bible to teach his false doctrine concerning faith only. His desire overwhelmed his honesty of heart and gave birth to the egregious sin of adding to God’s word (Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:5-6; Revelation 22:18).
According to the uninspired Luther and his spiritual offspring, justification by “faith only” is a doctrine full of comfort. According to the inspired penman James, this doctrine is false because “a man is justified by works, and not by faith only” (James 2:24).
Every person who chooses to embrace Luther’s false doctrine of “faith only” will eternally regret their decision and mournfully cry, “If only I had not believed Luther’s lie”.