Happy Belated Reformation Day, I was unable to blog on reformation day which was such a bummer because I was looking forward to it. But here we are, my theme on the blog this week is the reformation. I remember briefly learning about Martin Luther and the protestant movement in my history class in form 1, I didn’t pay much attention to the class then, but I have come to appreciate Martin Luther and the leaders of the reformation.
Today I would like to look at what some have summarized as the 5 points of the reformation, but first of all why did we need the reformation and why are we always reforming (semper reformanda as the theology nerds would say). In a nutshell, the Roman Catholic Church had (have) a lot of practices that did (do) not align with what scripture says concerning salvation and the Christian faith. 499 years ago on October 31, Martin Luther nailed his 95 point theses on the door of the Wittenberg Castle on what the Roman Catholic Church, needs to improve (reform), this began a movement that we all know as the reformation.
The teachings of the reformers regarding the reformation have been summarized into points that are popularly known as the 5 Solas, and these are what they are:
- Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone)– This is the belief that scripture alone is the final authority and not any human institution (e.g. the pope). 2 Tim 3:16
- Solus Christus (Christ Alone) – Christ alone is the way to the salvation of man, there is no other mediator or saint that can grant us peace with God. Christ is our only mediator, not the pope a priest or Mary. 1 Tim 2:5
- Sola Gratia (Grace Alone) – This is the belief that we are saved by grace alone, as in Ephesians 1:7, 2:8-9. Salvation is the gift of God and we can do nothing to earn it (or lose it).
- Sola fide (Faith Alone)– This sola speaks to faith in Christ’s work being the only means by our justification, our works do not earn us anything but we are saved by faith alone through grace alone. Our works are proof that we have been saved but are not the merits by which we are saved. Romans 5:1.
- Soli Deo Gloria (To the glory of God alone) – All things are for the glory of God alone, not man. 1 Cor 10:31
The 5 Solas were not only relevant in the reformation but also today, as Christians we must strive towards always reforming towards what scripture says. And I believe the 5 Solas are a great foundation to build upon, and scripture is the final authority may we always strive to conform to it.