The 5 “solas” of the Reformation:
Grace Alone: (Sola gratia)
This teaches that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) Apart from Christ, all people are spiritually dead in their sins (Ephesians 2:1-3). Therefore, if anyone is to be rescued from this condition, God must graciously save us since none of us can make ourselves presentable to God. God therefore, in grace, reaches down into our sinful condition and cleanses us, forgiving our sins. Salvation is grace from beginning to end.
Faith Alone: (Sola fide)
This teaches that a person is justified (that is, declared by God ‘not guilty’ and ‘righteous’ in His sight) by grace through faith alone. Since we are dead in our sins, God must revive us in order to give us the gift of faith through which we believe and are saved. As the Bible teaches, “It is by grace that you have been saved – through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). No one is made right before God by doing good things, but only by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ and receiving the free of eternal life that is in Christ Jesus. This believing / receiving is what the Bible calls faith. Faith is a gift that God gives.
Christ Alone: (Solus Christus)
This teaches us that salvation is found in Christ alone (Acts 4:12). The Bible from the beginning to the end is the revelation of the mission of God who is determined to bless this world by rescuing it from its curse and redeeming a people for Himself. These acts of redemption are focused in the life and death of Jesus Christ and find their fullest expression when God restores all things in Christ (Acts 3:21). Jesus taught that the whole of the Scriptures speaks of Him (John 5:39; Acts 2:27, Luke 24). Therefore the story of salvation recorded for us in the New Testament cannot be fully understood until we see its beginnings in the Old Testament.
Scripture Alone: (Sola scriptura)
This declares that the Scriptures containing the Old & New Testaments are the authoritative revelation of God. Since these Scriptures, written by human hands, are the inspired words of God (literally, ‘God-breathed’ according to 2 Timothy 3:16), they are to be the final authoritative rule for our faith and life. We believe that the Scriptures are infallible and the original autographs were without error. The Scriptures are given by God to the church. They are to be interpreted in accordance with the faith that was once and for all entrusted to the apostles. (Jude 3).
For the Glory of God Alone: (Soli Deo gloria)
Since salvation is the free gift of God that we receive by faith alone, God gets all the glory. No one has room to boast before God. If God had not planned, accomplished, and applied salvation to His people, no one could be saved. But God has provided salvation to all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 17:3; Acts 16:31). Therefore we dedicate our lives to glorifying God and enjoying Him forever.