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5 Solas

The 5 Solas: History & Implications For The Church – Introduction

5 Solas
The Reformers did not start with the five solas intending to implement them as time moved on. No, in fact, Martin Luther’s initial concern had to do with the exploitation of the sale of Indulgences. That was it.
 
 
 
Hey, I’m Pastor Joe Griffo of Redeemer Church of South Hills. I want to thank you so much for joining us for our inaugural series, The 5 Solas: History & Implication For The Church.
 
In this first series, we’ll be considering the five solas that arose out of the Protestant Reformation. I know, it’s been done a lot, especially with this year being the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, and there has been some great information regarding these. But I’d like to chime in as well, as we think about these in their historical context, the theological implications and practical application for all of us as Christians.
 
For today, I want to talk briefly on how they came about in the first place. How did we get the five solas? Consisting of:
 
  • Sola Scriptura – Scripture alone
  • Sola Fide – Faith alone
  • Sola Gratia – Grace alone
  • Solus Christus – Christ alone
  • Soli Deo Gloria – to the glory of God alone
 
The Reformers did not start with the five solas intending to implement them as time moved on. No, in fact, Martin Luther’s initial concern had to do with the exploitation of the sale of Indulgences. That was it.
 
But as things progressed and the opposition became more intense, he and others were driven to the Scriptures and as they got back to the Word, they discovered what had been there all along! They did not read these things into Scripture, but simply took what Scripture gave them – what it teaches! What the Bible teaches about itself as the revelation from God, what the Bible teaches regarding the nature of Salvation – that it is by Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone. That God only is to receive all honor and glory. If you read the Bible consistently, prayerfully, thoughtfully – you cannot miss these teachings. They are very evident.
 
Yet, in essence, what the Church at that time was teaching ran counter to what is taught in the Bible. For instance, while the Church held a high view of Scripture, it also taught that tradition is on par with Scripture in terms of authority – huge implications. Also, that, while salvation is by faith, it is not by faith alone; there needs to be more in order to get into heaven.
 
So, as the reformers, beginning with Martin Luther, but including others such as Huldrych Zwingly, Philip Melanchthon, Mertin Bucer, John Calvin, John Knox, and others, dug deeper into Scripture they were confronted with a choice – to take their stand on the Word of God or simply allow the status quo to continue.
 
Thank the Lord that these and many other courageous men took their stand on the Word of God knowing how much it would cost them, yet, at the same time, most likely not knowing just how much of an impact and benefit it would have on Christianity even to this day!
 
Thanks for checking us out – hope you look for us next time as we consider Sola Scriptura.
 
Blessings, in Him, always in Him.

 
Joe Griffo is Pastor of Redeemer Church of South Hills in West Mifflin, PA. Learn more about him here
 
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