Today marks the 500 year anniversary of the beginning of The Reformation.
A period of time when a man dared to ask dangerous questions, to discover truth in the midst of what had become status quo, and to do whatever it took to stand up for what he believed in, starting with a document, a nail, and a mallet.
“Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times.” – Martin Luther
The actions of one man changed Christianity forever through revelations and truths that impact theology to this day.
Sola Fide. Sola Scriptura. Solus Christus. Sola Gratia. Soli Deo Gloria.
In these statements, we find truths that impact how we relate to God as well as how we understand salvation.
Sola Fide, by faith alone.
We are saved by grace through faith, not by works. This principle lies within the fact that we are unable to achieve salvation on our own by doing enough “good works,” because then salvation would lie entirely upon us. This negates all of the teachings of the Gospel. No person is good enough, sinless enough, or holy enough to “achieve” an eternity in heaven, having faith in our own ability. We must have faith in Jesus Christ alone.
Sola Scriptura, by Scripture alone.
Scripture is the God-breathed, ultimate authority. It is inerrant and we can trust the words within its pages to learn the truths of salvation as well as everything else that we need in order to form our theology.
Solus Christus, through Christ alone.
The mediating act of Christ on the cross was the ultimate sacrifice intended for the sake of the world. It is only because of this act that we have access to the Kingdom and that we no longer need a mediator between us and God. This act broke down every barrier and gave us the ability to walk in relationship with God.
Romans 8:34, Acts 4:12
Sola Gratia, by grace alone.
We are entirely inadequate on our own terms but because of the beautiful gift of grace, we can know Christ. No works, words, or amount of will are enough to do what only grace can do, giving us access to the throne and to an eternity in heaven if we so choose.
Soli Deo Gloria, glory to God alone.
And in the grand finale of the Five Solas, it comes to a fitting end with the subject of the glory of God. In all that we do, with all that we are, we are to bring glory to God alone.
Matthew 5:16, 1 Corinthians 6:10, Philippians 1:9-11
I sincerely hope that we can remember the faith and actions of Martin Luther and follow accordingly in our lifetime. There is such a need for truth in our world today that we cannot afford to ignore. My hope is that these truths would forever guide our actions, our beliefs, and our way of living. Let God and His Word be the only things that reform our way of life and our theology.
What it all comes down to is the belief that we must dare to ask dangerous questions about the things that society finds right, that we must discover truth as we question the status quo, and in turn, stand for what is right.
“I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.” – Martin Luther