Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Solas of the Reformation

In the what we believe section of The Voice, point number two is that we (Ryan, Seth, Nic, and I) are all Reformed: "...we stand in the tradition of the 16th Century voices of the Protestant Reformation, who declared that we are saved through faith alone, by grace alone, by Christ alone, for the sake of the glory of God alone, and that we have the Bible alone as our inerrant source of Christian truth." These are precious truths. many men and women have died rather than go back on their stated belief in these principles of basic Christianity.

For your benefit, here are some quick Wikipedia definitions of the Five Solas:

Sola Gratia -
is the teaching that salvation comes by God's grace or "unmerited favor" only — not as something merited by the sinner. This means that salvation is an unearned gift from God for Jesus' sake... this doctrine asserts divine monergism in salvation: God acts alone to save the sinner... Lutheranism holds that this doctrine must not be maintained to the exclusion of gratia universalis (that God seriously wills the salvation of all people).

Sola Fide -
is the teaching that justification (interpreted in Protestant theology as, "being declared right by God", and assumed to mean exactly "salvation"), is received by faith only, without any mixture of or need for good works, though in classical Protestant theology, saving faith is always evidenced, but not determined, by good works.

Solus Christus -
is the teaching that Christ is the only mediator between God and man, and that there is salvation through no other... in this tradition absolution reconciles the penitent with God directly through faith in Christ's forgiveness rather than with the priest and the church as mediating entities between the penitent and God.

Sola Scriptura -
is the teaching that the Bible is the only inspired and authoritative word of God, is the only source for Christian doctrine, and is accessible to all—that is, it is perspicuous and self-interpreting. That the Bible requires no interpretation outside of itself is an idea directly opposed to the teaching of the Roman Catholic tradition, which teaches that the Bible can be authentically interpreted only by Apostolic Tradition, this being for the Roman Catholic tradition embodied in the Magisterium (that is, the teaching authority embodied in Bishops in union with the Pope).

Soli Deo Gloria - is the teaching that all glory is to be due to God alone, since salvation is accomplished solely through His will and action — not only the gift of the all-sufficient atonement of Jesus on the cross but also the gift of faith in that atonement, created in the heart of the believer by the Holy Spirit. The reformers believed that human beings—even saints canonized by the Roman Catholic Church, the popes, and the ecclesiastical hierarchy—are not worthy of the glory that was accorded them. That is that one should not exalt such humans for their good works, but rather praise and give glory to God who is the author and sanctifier of these people and their good works.

For more on the Five Solas you can check out these links:

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