In our Got Questions? column we’ve addressed the question, “What Is Election?” We’ve looked at two five-point theological statements that address the doctrine of election: the Five Articles of the Remonstrance (Arminianism) and the Five Points of Calvinism (TULIP).
In short review, the Five Articles of the Remonstrance(1610)* were teachings from Jacobus Arminius (1560-1609), a Dutch theologian (Arminianism) and the Five Points of Calvinism (TULIP) were written in 1619 by the followers of French theologian John Calvin (1509-1564).
At the end of the Got Questions article, I mentioned that there is another five-point theology that all Christians should know, agree with, and affirm. Here are the five points that will help you grow in faith and prepare you to know, live and share what you believe.
The Most Important Five Points
Another Five Points gained popularity in the 20th century, but find their origin in the teachings of a 16th-century German theologian. A former Roman Catholic monk, Martin Luther (1483-1546) was the revolutionary “father” of the Protestant Reformation. By nailing his 95 Point Theses to the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Germany (October 31, 1517), Luther boldly proclaimed salvation to be gained by grace alone through faith in Christ alone. His actions and the reformation movement that followed changed the face of Christendom.
In the 20th-century, the Five Solas of the Reformation were summarized and articulated from Latin phrases that originated during the Protestant Reformation. These Five Points are very different from the Five Articles of the Remonstrance and the Five Points of Calvinism. While these Five Points do not address the same doctrines as the Five Points of Arminianism and Calvinism, these Five Points do provide a solid, biblical foundation for sound doctrine. All Christians should understand and commit to the truths of these Five Points.
1) Sola Scriptura — Scripture Alone: God’s Word is the final authority over all (including church tradition and interpretations) and the final authority in all matters. 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.
2) Sola Fide — Faith Alone: Our justification comes through faith and without any contribution of our good works.
3) Sola Gratia — Grace Alone: Salvation is a gift of unmerited favor (grace) given by God. Simply put, God gives us what we do not deserve and have not earned by His Divine love and kindness.
4) 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 and the forgiveness of our sins was accomplished by Him alone through His substitutionary death on the cross.
5) Soli Deo Gloria — Glory to God Alone: If we get the first four solas right, the last one follows. God alone 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.
For by grace are ye saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.
Those are my favorite FIVE POINTS! They help me stay focused on Jesus and His gifts of grace, faith, and the Holy Spirit. 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 and to have the freedom to read it and to live our lives in obedience to God and His Word (pray that it alway be so). We are so blessed to have the Holy Spirit who opens the Scripture for us and teaches us God’s will and ways. When we read God’s Word the love of God is magnified in our hearts and souls, and we delight in the joy of our salvation.
When trials, temptations and tribulations come our way and tempt us to forget and wander, let us always remember, it’s all about Jesus (Christ Alone!). He has promised in 2 Corinthians 12:9 that His grace is sufficient (Grace Alone!). We are told in Colossians 2:7 that He strengthens and sanctifies us in our faith (Faith Alone!). And both Jesus (John 17:17) and Paul (Romans 10:17) tell us that our knowledge and understanding is found in His Word (Scripture Alone!).
Soli Deo Gloria
To God only wise, be glory
through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.
Read the Got Questions? article, What Is Election? for an explanaition of the Five Articles of the Remonstrance (Arminianism) and the Five Points of Calvinism (TULIP).
The Great Reformation
- What are the Five Solas of the Reformation?
- A Great Christian Song for Halloween (article and videos)
- The Most Important Five Points for All Christians
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- Reformation Quiz: Discerning Truth and Error
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- What are the Three Reformation Hymns by Martin Luther?
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