“Sola” is Latin meaning “alone” or “only”. The Five Solas are the Latin slogans that emerged from the Reformation with the intention to summarize basic theological principles to distinguish the teaching of the Believing Church from the Humanist teachings that weighed down the Church of that day.
The 5 Solas with their scripture references are as follows:
1. Sola Fide, by faith alone.
For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.
Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.
So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
What is faith? It is the very essence of belief, when a person says he has faith in something, it refers to his trust in that same thing. Faith in God is trusting in Him and when you truly believe in something, it shows in the way you go about your life and so says James 2:17. Faith is God given (Romans 12:3) and not all have it because God is Sovereign to the extent that if He does not give something in particular to the person, that person will not even have the desire for that particular thing. Salvation through faith simply means that you know what God has done for you, which He may not have done for many others and so He lets you know and it is because He lets know that you are given the power to believe. So it is through your faith alone that He tells you that you are saved.
2. Sola Scriptura, by Scripture alone.
And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”
But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
The word of God is alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. It cuts all the way through, to where soul and spirit meet, to where joints and marrow come together. It judges the desires and thoughts of the heart.
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
From the scripture of Gal 3, you will notice scripture being spoken of like a person. John 1 and Mat 1:18-20, shows the work of the Spirit, in Christ taking Human form. From Numbers 11:25 we see also that Moses too had the indwelling of the Holy Spirit implying that it was the Holy Spirit in Moses who worked as mediator between God and the Israelites in Exodus 32. Heb 4:12 says that the word of God is alive that is, His Spirit is alive and is God. When the Bible says that faith comes from hearing, it refers to listening to His Spirit. This Spirit Sovereignly works in the whole world but speaks intimately only to the Church, the people called to believe from different tribes and nations.
Many of you will not agree with I am going to say now but I am convinced this is true. The word of God in the Bible is the Holy Spirit given to the Church. The early Church in the first two centuries did not have the Bible as we know it today and so the Spirit edified the Church through the gift of tongues and prophesies with interpretations (1Cor 14:26) but that was a time when the Word of God was not as yet compiled into the Bible. From the time the Church complied all it had received into the Bible, the revelations in tongues or prophesies have ceased for nothing can be added (Rev 22:18-19) nor taken away (Ecc 3:14) from the revelation of the Word, God has given His people in the Bible. Sola Scriptura!
3. Sola Gratia, by grace alone.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
According to “The Economist”, the whole world is in debt, with the third world countries in lesser debt, such as Kenya with a public debt of nearly $ 15 billion (as of June 2012); while developed countries like the US have a public debt of nearly $ 9 trillion (as of June 2012). So the question is, where is all the money in the world going, if everyone is in debt?
Why don’t you give grace a thought, or does the world expect to pay off God in circumstances, where they not only don’t have money but are well over their heads in debt. Why???? Because the world is living off His grace and doesn’t even know it. The reason man can never pay the price of his Salvation is because all that he is and calls his own is not really his but belongs to God, everything a man has, is borrowed, given by the grace of God. Man is held accountable even if he takes his own life because even his own life does not belong to him but belongs to God and this is spoken of beautifully in Psalms 49.
You can therefore come to the conclusion that ‘borrowing man’ can never merit Salvation, be it by prayer, fasting, holy places, charity or whatever. Man goes to heaven seeing only the goodness of God’s grace and not admiring his own delusional merit.
4. Solus Christus, through Christ alone.
Have you heard of the term “Christophany”, these were the manifestation of Christ in the Old Testament. Since the revelation of the invisible God has only been made known through Christ (John 1:18), in the Old Testament the manifestations of Christ were referred to sometimes as the Angel of God and varied in some other in places. I’ll give you two or three that even bears reference to His Deity.
Christ’ Manifestation in the flaming bush; Exodus 3: 2, 4, 6. It is written, the Angel of the Lord that appeared as a flame of fire in the bush, spoke from the bush as the Lord.
The Manifestation of Christ as three people, Abraham bows to them (Gen 18:2-3) and refers to them as Lord. While one remains with Abraham and two of them go to Sodom and Gomorrah, yet the one says that He (Lord) will go down to Sodom and Gomorrah.
The Manifestation of Christ, as the man who wrestles Jacob in Gen 32:24-30 and the words of Jacob in verse 30 are “”For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.”
Through Christ alone, says that Salvation was worked out by the Only Being who is worthy before God and that is God Himself viz. Jesus Christ. Worthy ONLY is the Lamb (Rev 5:11-14).
yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
5. Soli Deo Gloria, glory to God alone.
To you alone, O LORD, to you alone, and not to us, must glory be given because of your constant love and faithfulness.
“I alone am the LORD your God. No other god may share my glory; I will not let idols share my praise.
What I do is done for my own sake— I will not let my name be dishonored or let anyone else share the glory that should be mine and mine alone.”
To the only God, who alone is all-wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever! Amen.
Finally God (Father, Son and Spirit) shares His glory with no other. There is no being as perfect as God and if God were to allow any other being: be it the angles, seraphim or the prophets, who are all imperfect in His sight, to even share His glory, then God would not be truthful and faithful but God loves His own perfection as He delights in Himself (Jeremiah 9:24).