Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Truth of the Five Solas

In their wisdom, the Reformers left us with a rich legacy. The truth that, as Christians, the basis of our relationship with the King of the Universe can be summarized in five solas. From the Latin, the word sola means "only". Let's take a brief look at them:

Sola Scriptura: Scripture alone. We cannot add to it or take away from it. We cannot heap the traditions of men onto it. We cannot mix it with our denominational distinctives. We cannot supplant it with new revelations or prophecies. Scripture alone is all the revelation we need! Psalm 119:105:"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path."

Sola Fide: Faith alone. The Bible says, without faith it is impossible to please God. Faith is believing without seeing. The writer of Hebrews says it is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. It is the the foundation of our relationship with God through Jesus Christ our Savior. Romans 5:1: "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."

Sola Gratia: Grace alone. Unmerited favor. Our salvation is not based upon human effort. It is 100% based upon the grace of God. Jesus Christ died on the cross as a propitation (or satisfaction) for our sins. He rose from the dead for our justification. The penalty for our sin has been paid in full. Eph 2:8-9: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."

Solus Christus: Jesus alone. Jesus Christ is our Savior. It is impossible for us to save ourselves. There is no one else who can save us. No man or woman. No religion or philosophy. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He is our Master and our Lord. Only by believing in Him can we be saved. Acts 4:10-12: "Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other:
for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

Soli Deo Gloria: Glory to God alone. To quote Fanny Crosby: "To God be the glory, great things He hathdone; So loved He the world that He gave us His Son, Who yielded His life, an atonement for sin, And opened the lifegate, that all may go in." Psa 150:6 "Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD."