The Five Solas are five Latin phrases that summarize the theological convictions/essential beliefs in the Christian faith. They originate from the Protestant Reformation that began when former Roman Catholic monk Martin Luther (1483-1546) nailed his 95 Point Theses to the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517. Luther boldly proclaimed salvation to be received by grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ. Luther’s actions and the reformation movement that followed changed the face of Christendom forever.
Five Points/FiveArticles/Five Solas
Many are familiar with the Five Points of Calvinism that define the theological foundation of Reformed Theology. Written in 1619, by followers of French theologian John Calvin (1509-1564), the Five Points of Calvinism (commonly called TULIP) was a response to the Five Articles of the Remonstrance of 1610 (commonly called Arminianism). Both of these theological statements attempt to define and explain God’s work in election and His sovereignty (for more information, read What is Election?). Understand that each of these theological teachings on election has problems and both have become very divisive among Christians.
The Five Theological statements I adhere to, that are biblically based and theologically true, are the Five Solas of the Reformation. They don’t try to define how God elects His children or how He keeps them. Those are God’s works and we should be satisfied with not fully understanding His ways.
Isa 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
The Five Solas of the Reformation offer a prescription to Christians about how to live life, walking in the Spirit as children of God and as Christ’s body the Church. All Christians should understand and commit to the truths of these Five Points.
Sola Scriptura — Scripture Alone
The Bible is God’s Word and it is the final authority over all (including church tradition and interpretations). The Bible is inspired, inerrant and infallible. It is a living Book, preserved by the One who wrote it. It is the only Book that, when you are reading it, the Author is present to teach you.
Sola Fide — Faith Alone
Our justification comes through faith and without any contribution of our good works.
Sola Gratia — Grace Alone
Salvation is a gift of unmerited favor (grace) given by God. Simply put, God gives us by His Divine love and kindness what we do not deserve and have not earned.
Solus Christus — Christ Alone
This could not be more clear. It’s all about Jesus! He lived the life we could not live and He died the death that we should die. He alone mediates between God and man. The penalty for our sins was paid by Christ alone through His substitutionary atonement on the cross. And, by His grace we are forgiven.
Soli Deo Gloria — Glory to God Alone
If we get the first four solas right, the last one follows and God is glorified. Salvation is by Grace Alone, through Faith Alone, in Jesus Christ Alone, who is the Word (Scripture Alone) and from whom all Truth proceeds. Oh, what a magnificent gift of God!
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
We are Justified…
…by grace alone (sola gratia) through faith alone (sola fide) for the sake of Christ alone (solus Christus), a truth revealed to us in Scripture alone (sola Scriptura), for God’s glory alone (sola gloria)
Those are my favorite FIVE POINTS! They help me to stay focused on Jesus and His gifts of grace, faith, and His Holy Spirit.When I do that, the love of God is magnified in my heart and in my soul, and I delight in the joy of my salvation.
Staying focused is not always easy. Perhaps that’s why the Five Solas begin with Sola Scriptura. We are so blessed to have in our possession the Word of God—the Holy Bible. We also have the freedom to read it (pray that it always be so) and to live our lives in obedience to God and His Word (pray that it always be so).
When trials, temptations, and tribulations come our way and tempt us to forget and wander, let us be strengthened by the Five Solas. Always remember, it’s all about Jesus—Genesis to Revelation (Christ Alone!) and His grace is sufficient—2 Corinthians 12:9 (Grace Alone!). We are established in our faith—Colossians 2:7 (Faith Alone! ), and we grow by knowledge of God’s Word—John 17:17 & Ro 10:17 (Scripture Alone!)
Soli Deo Gloria
To God only wise, be glory through
Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.
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- The Most Important Five Points for All Christians
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- Martin Luther on Trial (500th Anniversary of the Reformation)
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- What are the Three Reformation Hymns by Martin Luther?
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