Sunday, April 22, 2012


The Reformation was founded upon what has become known as "The Five Solas."  The reformers believed that in order to be faithful servants of the Lord, one must proclaim that the Bible is the only revelation of God's Word to man (Sola Scriptura); that salvation is the result of trust in Christ alone (Sola Christus); that salvation is a free gift and man can add nothing (Sola Gratia); that the gift of salvation must be accepted by faith alone (Sola Fide); and that the only One deserving of any glory as the result of one's salvation is God (Sola Deo Gloria). 

The Apostle Paul, in writing Ephesians 4:4-6, was saying there are actually Seven Solas; he wrote, "There is one Body (the Church - Col. 1:18), and one Spirit (the Holy Spirit - Eph. 2:18), even as ye are called in one Hope of your calling (the Hope of the Gospel - Col. 1:23); one Lord (Jesus Christ - 2 Cor. 13:14), one Faith (in Christ - Gal. 3:26), one Baptism (into Christ - 1 Cor. 12:13), one God and Father of all, who is above all (the Father - Rom. 4:11), and through all (the Son - Mk. 16:20), and in you all (the Holy Spirit - Jn. 14:17)."

Today, our Pastor was explaining "Sola Christus," emphasizing that we can do or add nothing to our being born again; Christ has done all that needs to be done.  He used the example of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from Daniel 3:1-30 to illustrate his point.  When they refused to obey Nebuchadnezzar's edict to bow to a golden statue of himself, they were bound and cast into the fiery furnace.  The fire was so hot that the guards who threw them into the furnace were killed by the heat.  Later, when the fire had cooled some, Nebuchadnezzar looked in and saw four men "walking in the midst of the fire."  He even described the Fourth Man as being "like the Son of God."  Amazing, isn't it?  This heathen emperor recognized Jesus as being the Son of God!  It is also interesting that when he called them to come out of the fire, he call the three by name, and said nothing about, or to, the Fourth Man.  Perhaps he feared facing Him.  Or perhaps he felt he had no right to tell Him what to do.  In any case, out of fear, he "promoted them" to be leaders in his empire.

There was only One Son of God in the furnace.  He was not bound, nor was He hurt by the flames.  The three young men had nothing to do with their being protected by the flames, and were not even effected by the smoke.  They did nothing to free themselves.  They did nothing to escape.  It was the Fourth Man who protected them from the flames.  It was the Fourth Man who freed them from their bonds.  It was the Fourth Man who fellowshipped with them as they walked around in the midst of the flames.  They were at His mercy, and He graciously saved them.  They had one faith; "...our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king" (Dan. 3:17).

Your salvation can only come when you place all of your faith in the gracious gift from God, who gave His only begotten Son to die for you!  You cannot free yourself from the penalty of your sin, from the power of sin over you, or from the presence of sin.  Only God can do that, and He offers to do that for "whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord."  If you believe God raised the One who died in your place, all you have to do is thank God for Jesus Christ.  That's it (Rom. 10:9-10; Eph. 2:8-9)!  Living like you believe that is gratitude - not works.

You can do nothing, nor can you add anything, or salvation would not be a gift!

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