The Five Sola’s coming out of the Protestant Reformation

Dear hijas,

I am going to do a short series on the differences between Protestants and Catholics within the Christian system of thought. This first post on the five sola’s (sola in Latin means ‘alone’) bears study, for it is within these five sola’s that we see the ‘why’ of the Protestant Reformation and its reaction to the established Roman Catholicism of its time. It is within these sola’s that we see some of the key differences. I’ll list them briefly here and we’ll take a more detailed look in future posts:

1) Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone)

Q. How do we know what we must believe?

A. Scripture alone

‘For in it (the gospel. And where do we find the gospel? In Scripture) the righteousness of God is revealed…'(Rom. 1:17).

‘All Scripture is inspired by God, and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work’ (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

2) Solo Christo or Solus Christus (Christ Alone)

Q. How do we know God?

A. In Christ alone.

‘For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord…'(2 Cor. 4:5)

3) Sola gratia (Grace Alone)

Q. How are we to be reconciled to God, made righteous?

A. By grace alone.

‘…being justified as a gift by His grace…'(Rom. 3:24)

‘For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, that no one should boast’ (Eph. 2:8-9).

4) Sola fide (Faith Alone)

Q. What must I do to be saved?

A. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ by faith alone.

‘For what does the Scripture say? ‘And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. Now to the one who works, his wage is not reckoned as a favor but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness’ (Rom 4:3-5).

5) soli Deo gloria (to the glory of God alone)

Q. What is the grand outcome of God’s plan?

A. To bring glory to God, and to Him alone.

‘…yet, with respect to the promise of God, he (Abraham) did not waver in unbelief, but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God’ (Rom. 4:20).

‘…and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father’ (Phil. 2:11).

(Credit for the questions and answers concerning the five sola’s is taken from Pastor Dan Phillips, sermon preached at Copperfield Bible Church, Houston, TX, Oct. 27, 2012).

With love, I remain,

Dear ol’ Dad

Vaya con Dios mis hijas


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