Sunday, June 10, 2012


Today, in church, our pastor completed his five part series on the "Five Solas," five Latin phrases which summarize the Reformers' basic theological beliefs in contradistinction to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.  The Latin word sola means "alone" or "only" in English.  The "Five Solas" articulated five fundamental beliefs of the Protestant Reformation, pillars which the Reformers believed to be the basic essentials of the Christian faith.  All five implicitly rejected or countered the teachings of the then-dominant Catholic Church.  They are:  Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone); Solus Christus (Christ alone); Sola Gratia (Grace alone); Sola Fide (Faith alone); and Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God alone).

Scripture alone (Sola Scriptura)
The inerrant Scripture (the Bible) is the sole source of written divine revelation, which alone can bind the conscience. The Bible alone teaches all that is necessary for our salvation from sin, and it is the standard by which all Christian behavior must be measured.  It is denied that any creed, council or individual may bind a Christian’s conscience, that the Holy Spirit speaks independently of or contrary to what is set forth in the Bible, or that personal spiritual experience can ever be a vehicle of revelation.

Christ alone (Solus Christus)
Our salvation is accomplished by the mediatorial work of the historical Christ alone.  His sinless life and substitutionary atonement, are alone, sufficient for our justification and reconciliation to the Father.  It is denied that the Gospel is preached if Christ’s substitutionary work is not declared, and faith in Christ and His work is not solicited.

Grace alone (Sola Gratia)
In salvation we are rescued from God’s wrath by His grace alone.  It is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit that brings us to Christ by releasing us from our bondage to sin and raising us from spiritual death to spiritual life.  It is denied that salvation is in any sense a human work.  Human methods, techniques or strategies, by themselves, cannot accomplish this transformation.  Faith is not produced by our unsaved human nature.

Faith alone (Sola Fide)
Justification is by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone.  In justification, Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us as the only possible satisfaction of God’s perfect justice.  Our justification does not rest on any merit to be found in us, nor upon the grounds of an infusion of Christ’s righteousness in us, nor that an institution claiming to be a church, that denies or condemns Sola Fide, can be recognized as a legitimate church.

Glory to God alone (Soli Deo Gloria)
It is affirmed that because salvation is of God and has been accomplished by God, it is for God’s glory and that we must glorify Him always.  We must live our entire lives before the face of God, under the authority of God and for His glory alone.  It is denied that we can properly glorify God if our worship is confused with entertainment, if we neglect either Law or Gospel in our preaching, or if self-improvement, self-esteem or self-fulfillment are allowed to become alternatives to the gospel.

The Bible reveals Christ, the Spirit gives us faith through the Father's grace.
And it is all done for the glory of God!

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