In 5 days we mark the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther nailed his 95 Thesis to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenburg, Germany. In the 95 Thesis he detailed his grievances with the Roman Catholic Church. These included his disagreement with their sale of indulgences for the forgiveness of sin and his conviction that salvation is by grace through faith. I am thankful for the reformers (Martin Luther, John Calvin and a few others) who stood up for what they believed in, and risked their very lives to defend it! There are 5 “solas”, or slogans, that summarize the theological convictions of the reformers about the essentials of Christianity. They are: scripture alone, faith alone, grace alone, Christ alone, and to the glory of God alone.
Scripture alone means…that the Bible is our ultimate authority and is elevated above even the traditions of the church. It contains all the information we need to be reconciled with the God who created us.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3 :16-17
Faith alone means…we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ alone. A faith that He merited righteousness for us through His death and resurrection. A righteousness that we could never achieve for ourselves.
For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” Romans 1:17
Grace alone means…we can stand before God righteously only because of His graciousness towards us in giving His son, Jesus, as a sacrifice for our sins. Salvation is by God’s grace only…not by our works or efforts.
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Ephesians 2:8
Christ alone means…we are only saved by God’s grace and because of what Jesus did on the cross to bear and finish our sin. His sacrificial death alone can save us.
There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12
To God be the glory alone means…our purpose in this life is to bring glory to God.
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
I am thankful for our rich heritage and for the men who upheld the truth during very difficult times. I pray we never forget these core beliefs and pass them on to our children. Learning history is very important due to the fact that if we do not learn the lessons it teaches, we are sure to repeat past mistakes. Please feel free to use this blog and the scriptures it contains to teach your children or grandchildren. Nothing would make me happier than passing the knowledge of the reformation on to the next generation.