Our celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation continues with a focus on the Five Solas, which are five Latin phrases that capture the essence of the Protestant Reformation and summarize the essentials of Christianity.
Sola Gratia: Grace Alone
Sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:14
Grace is most easily defined as “unmerited favor.” We cannot earn God's grace through good deeds, hard work, or any other means. Grace is given to us because God is loving and merciful, not because we deserve it. We’re saved by grace alone.
Sola Fide: Faith Alone
By grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Sola fide and sola gratia go hand in hand. We are made right with God through faith in Jesus Christ alone, and not through anything that we do. Even our faith is a gift from God because of his grace to us, not something we muster up ourselves. Just as God's grace is a gift, our faith is a gift. Christianity centers on what God has done, not what we have done.
Solus Christus: Christ Alone
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6
There is no grace without Christ. There is no faith without Christ. There is no Christianity without Christ. Our salvation is only possible because of Christ's death on the cross, which fully paid the penalty that we deserved. The work of Christ alone was enough, and we can add nothing to it.
Sola Scriptura: Scripture Alone
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3: 16-17
The Bible is true, authoritative, reliable, and complete. Scripture is our ultimate authority for understanding God, salvation, and how we are to live our lives.
Soli Deo Gloria: Glory to God Alone
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky proclaims his handiwork. Psalm 19:1
God and God alone is to receive the glory for his wondrous work of creation and of redemption.
Summary: Salvation is by grace through faith in Christ, to the glory of God, and Scripture is our source for understanding this and all other aspects of our faith.