What are “the five solas”

The reformers developed language to articulate biblical truth that had been a reality since the beginning. Since each of them use the Latin word “sola” which means “alone” these five theological realities have become known as “The Five Solas.”

  • Sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”): God’s Word (the Bible) alone is our highest authority for knowledge of God and salvation.

  • Sola Fide (“faith alone”): We are saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ, not by works.

  • Sola Gratia (“grace alone”): We are saved by the God’s grace alone, not by any merit of our own.

  • Solus Christus (“Christ alone”): Salvation is in Jesus Christ alone. He is our our Savior and Lord/King.

  • Soli Deo Gloria (“to the glory of God alone”): Our salvation, even our existence is for God’s glory alone, not for any other being’s glory.

The above video is from American Gospel: Christ Alone, a documentary about the gospel. It is well worth your viewing. This video beautifully illustrates “the five solas” in contrast to the Roman Catholic Council of Trent, though there are more groups than just hem teaching theological error as it relates to salvation.

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Faith Alone

One of the misconceptions many Christians have is the false idea that salvation was once by works. Salvation has always been by grace alone through faith alone. The writer of Hebrews takes us through a history of salvation by faith alone in chapter 11. Here is a link to a sermon on salvation by faith alone that highlights the doctrine through Ephesians 2:8-9 and Hebrews 11. The sermon serves the additional purpose of teaching biblical hermeneutics as we see the consistency of God’s saving grace throughout the Old and New testament.

Grace Alone

Just as salvation is by faith and not works, so it is by grace and not merit. There is noting good of ourselves that caused God to save us. He saved us by His goodness, not our own.

The error of salvation by merit commonly manifested in teaching that assumes there was something special about you that God wanted (your willingness to respond to him, your talent, your resources, your kindness, etc.). This error. God doesn’t save/choose us because of our merit. There is nothing worthy about us before He saves us. He adopts us because of His goodness, not ours.

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In Christ Alone

Salvation is in Christ Alone (Sola Christus). The sermon notes for this are coming, but this documentary explains the gospel with great clarity. Check it out. We will get you the sermon recording and notes as soon as possible.

Scripture Alone

The authority of Scripture is the primary authority for Christians. Scripture is God-Breathed (Theopneustos) and sufficient. There is no need for further revelation (contra New Apostolic Reformation) and our experience, emotion, opinions, etc. must bow to the authority of Scripture (not the other way around). In the process, we address the centrality of Christ and His redeeming work as being the focus of Scripture (Creation, Fall, Redemption, Restoration). Notably, if there were to be “new revelation” (there isn’t), it should have the same focus. Sadly, all that is elevated as authoritative outside of the Word of God turns out to focus much more on man than on Christ, a telling reality to the false teachers of our day. In the process of teaching we affirm the verbal, plenary inspiration of Scripture as we teach from 2 Timothy 3 and 2 Peter 1.

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Glory To God Alone

God created everything in His image for His glory. When we give glory to ourselves or any other created thing, we sin. Understanding who God is, why He deserves glory, and responding with repentance and worship is critical.