The Reformation and the 5 Solas

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On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the church. A sound that was heard all over Europe and changed Christianity for all of history. Here are the 5 Solas of the Reformation

Martin Luther was the man that started the entire reformation by nailing his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. This document listed 95 errors that he discovered were being taught and confessed in the Roman Catholic Church.

Here are the 5 Solas that came about due to the reformation.

1. Sola Scriptura!

By Scripture Alone

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16

The Bible is the inherent, inspired word of God. From which we are to learn all that God desires for us to know. From this word we learn of our sin and the need for salvation. We discover how faithful God is as we study the Old Testament and we discover his mercy as he sends his Son to fulfill the promise of a savior in the New Testament.

2. Sola Fide!

By Faith Alone

For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

It is not a decision for Christ but God sending the Holy Spirit to work faith in our hearts as we hear the gospel that leads us to believe in Christ.  It is hard for us in our sinful nature to realize that there is nothing we can do in and of ourselves to gain forgiveness and eternal life in heaven. It is only through what Christ has done for us that we have the hope that is within us of eternity in heaven.

3. Sola Gratia!

By Grace Alone

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heir according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7

Once again it is by the Grace of God that we have been saved. We cannot do enough good deeds to earn our way into heaven.  In fact no good is found in me apart from Christ Jesus.

4. Sola Christos!

Christ Alone
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

It is only because Jesus came to this earth and lived a perfect life in our place. Suffered and died on the cross at Calvary and rose again on the third day that we are able to be forgiven and the gates of heaven have been thrown open!

5. Sola Deo Gloria!

To God alone be the Glory

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:36

Paul wrote these words and they are the epitome of what the 5 Solas point to. Everything we see is from God alone. And He should be given credit for all that he made. He alone provided a way out from our sin. We did not come up with it on our own.

These 5 Solas are confessed by many Christian bodies today. The Lord prepared Martin Luther to hold stead fast to the truths that was revealed to him through the Holy Scriptures. In fact when he was about to be excommunicated and was asked to recant his theses he responded in this way:

“My conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise. God help me Amen!” – Martin Luther

To learn more about the man Martin Luther I would like to recommend the book Martin Luther A Man Who Changed The World by Maul L Maier.

Martin Luther: A Man Who Changed The WorldMartin Luther: A Man Who Changed The World

In His Service:
Melissa Sutton

Melissa writes at Life With the Suttons.  She is a Home School mom who loves staying at home and teaching her child about the world around him and how God is in everything we say and do.

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  1. I must make one correction to my post. The church that Luther nailed his 95 Theses to was not in Worms but was Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. Thanks to my father for finding this error!

  2. I’m from Germany and my church is holding a special guest meeting for the Reformation. Hopefully many people will come and hear the Gospel!

  3. I must confess to being confused by 5 things that stand alone listed TOGETHER. I’m going to have to revisit this post later this evening when I have more time to ponder it 🙂 I’ll look forward to it. Blessings to you both, Melissa and Rosilind.

  4. Thank you, Lori. Each stands alone because each stands for a different part of the faith – and yet together because together they make up the full foundation of the Christian faith. I hope that helps.

  5. An appropriate post today, remind us to do all for His glory! We are a homeschooling family as well, I will have to look for the book you mentioned. I think we may have read it when we studied the Reformation. We really like Louise Vernon’s biographies as well and Francis Shaeffer’s study was also quite helpful.

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