Volume. XXXVI, No. 19
Sunday, 07 November 2021

The Five Solas of the Reformation

Protestant and Reformed Bible-believing churches like ours, traditionally set aside the last Lord's Day of October to commemorate the 16th century Reformation.  God used Martin Luther to spearhead the 16th century Reformation. On 31st October 1517, he posted his ninety-five theses on the Church door in Wittenburg, Germany, in which he exposed and denounced the false teachings of the medieval Roman Church. God ignited the Reformation through Luther's work and raised other godly men like Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin, John Hus and John Knox to proclaim the glorious truths of Scripture that had become obscured by the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church. With one voice, they all sounded the battle-cry of the Reformation: Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Sola Christus, Soli Deo Gloria, which means The Word alone, by Grace alone, through Faith alone, through Christ alone and to God alone be the glory!


THE HOLY SCRIPTURES ALONE (Sola Scriptura) "All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (II Timothy 3:16). The Holy Scriptures alone are the inerrant, infallible and authoritative Word of God while the Roman Church taught man-made traditions and a church system that was foreign to the Word of God. Their theology was built on works, purgatory, honouring the Pope, worship of Mary, rosary, indulgences, etc. The Reformation brought us back to the Sole Authority of the Bible as the basis of our Faith and practice. We continue to hold to its Doctrines – the Sovereignty of God, the total depravity of man and vicarious atonement of Christ, the Election of sinners, Salvation by Grace alone and not by works, universal priesthood of believers, and the preaching and obeying of the whole counsel of God's Holy Word alone. The Word of God is inerrant, infallible and authoritative. It alone governs our lives as believers in Christ. Like the reformers, we must be faithful in the discipline of searching the Scriptures and obeying them.  


SALVATION BY GOD'S GRACE ALONE (Sola Gracia) "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9). We are rescued from God's Holy wrath by His Grace alone. We deserve death and hellfire judgement because we are sinners. Our sin separates us from God. It is solely by the Grace of God that a sinner can be made right in the eyes of God.  Salvation is God's gift made possible by the sacrificial death and subsequent resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are saved by God's Grace alone. God works His good work in us by choosing us, calling us to Himself and granting us repentance. Faith justifies us, adopts us as His sons and helps us in our present sanctification and future glorification. All by the Grace of God alone. John 6:44 – "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." Let us respond to God's Grace in the spirit of the Reformers and grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.


BY FAITH ALONE (Sola Fide) Salvation is received through Faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. The Reformation reiterated the teaching of God's Word - "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the Faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the Faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” Galatians 2:16.  Our good works or merits cannot save us. The only way to be saved from sin, the devil and eternal judgement is to put our Faith alone, in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, to be our Saviour. Not putting our trust in our merits, position, money, or material possessions. As we remember the Reformation, let us not only have saving Faith but also grow in our Faith in Christ Jesus.


THROUGH CHRIST ALONE (Sola Christus) Only Jesus Saves. He is the Only Saviour of the world. Christ is the one Mediator between God and man. Our salvation is accomplished only through His death and resurrection. "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;" 1 Timothy 2:5.  No pope or priest or Mary or holy saints can be our mediators. Christ alone is the mediator. Martin Luther also fought for the doctrine of the Priesthood of all believers. - "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light". 1 Peter 2:9.


TO GOD BE THE GLORY (Soli Deo Gloria). God is the centre of the whole creation. He created the world and us for His glory. He redeemed us for His pleasure.– "For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever." Romans 11:36. Our purpose then is to glorify not ourselves but God. Roman Catholics were steeped in glorying in themselves by magnificent buildings, through art, artefacts and religious authority, glorifying popes and clergymen. The Reformers restored the focus of the Church to God's glory.  Every aspect of the Christian life ought to be about the glory of God. "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31


The message of this Protestant Reformation is centred on the Word of God. The reason to stand up for God's Word and to defend the Faith once delivered unto the saints goes back to Church history. The period from the 5th to the 15th century AD is known in Church history as the Dark Ages, but a church that rejects these five Solas and doesn’t stand on the Word of God will deviate again to that of the Dark Ages. The Word of God reminds us that God is the Sovereign King, and He rules over us, His covenant people.  He rules over us through His Word. God's Word is infallible and inerrant and is the final authority in all matters of Faith and conduct. It instructs and governs our lives in all areas of life, even our church life. Our Lord is building us up spiritually through the instruction of His Holy Word.  Our responsibility is to submit to God and obey His Word. "I Will Build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). We have this assurance from our Lord Jesus Christ that He will build His people at Hope BPC.


So let us rejoice and continue to press on in our Faith and obedience to God's Word, for now and until the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Rev Mathews Abraham

More Lively Hope



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Praise & Thanksgiving

  • Current COVID-19 situation in South Australia.



  • Exams for Year 12 students.
  • Healing: for those who are unwell.




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14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041