Tag Archives: 5 solas

Sola Fide (By Faith Alone)

SOLA FIDE

(Hab. 2:4; Heb. 10:38; Eph. 2:5-8)

     By Faith Alone. Grace through Faith. These are contentious statements if ever one was made in the Body of Christ.  This sola is certainly one that requires our most diligent attention. It is in this that we have our theology shaped and our stance challenged. Sola Fide is not a direct quote from the bible as some have supposed, rather it is a slogan that captures what our stance is as Christians. Faith alone in Christ as being our savior from the wrath of God that is come upon the children of disobedience and darkness, that is “The Way” that we walk in. Let it never be said among us that we have anything to boast in.

     Faith itself is a gift from God. No man comes to the Father unless he comes through the Son (John 14:6). But understand that no man comes to the Son unless the Father draw/drag him (John 6:44).  So it is impossible that man should come to God of himself or through himself.  It is only through this gifted faith that a man can come to Christ, yet God bids all men, “COME”.  Who can search out the riches of his knowledge and wisdom? God has chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. Faith alone is such a foolish thing. “By faith were the worlds created…” says the epistle to the Hebrews, and it is this same faith that causes a man to be born again of the spirit of God.

     Faith is not alone, for if it is it is dead. That was the Apostle James’ word on faith. many have supposed that he was an opponent to Paul’s theology which would imply an inconsistency in the scriptures. But, on the contrary, James put more emphasis on a part of faith that Paul taught but not as harshly as James. James wanted to be sure that Believers everywhere understood that faith is not mere credence, but that true faith is alive and active.  James’ position on faith was very simple, it could be summarized like this, “Don’t just hear the word of God, Don’t just say you believe the word of God, But if you truly believe this gospel that I bring to you, Then be a performer of the commands of God as well.”(James 1:22)

     So we see then that faith is an active trust. And it is only through this gift of active trust that we come to be followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Sola Scriptura

SOLA SCRIPTURA   

(Psalm 119:18; Psalm 138:2; II Tim. 3:14-17)

     This sola is the foundation of all the other solas, for from it can all the other solas be excavated.. Literally it means ‘Scripture Alone’, but is more often stated as “By the Scripture only”. It is not to be taken as, “me and my bible alone” as some have taken to a practice of living outside of the community of the church. But these have erred from the truth. Neither is it to be taken as, the scripture is all that there is to our faith. But rather Sola Scriptura means that the scriptures are the ultimate authority which we consult on matters pertaining to true life in God. The scriptures are the Word of God pertaining to this New Life in Christ. All Christian scripture is to be applied as a unit, not to be divided. The entirety of the cannon is the whole picture, take a piece away and we have distorted the truth. And if we have distorted the truth, it is no more truth, but it is altogether false.

     The scriptures can be described as the Supreme Court of the Kingdom of God, where God Almighty is the only Judge. There are lower sources of information to be certain, but these are subject to the judgment of God and His scriptures. Many authors have undertaken the task of applying the scriptures in a way more easily understood, and while these are great resources we must always defer to the scriptures as a filter and for proof of sound doctrine.  Just as in America, we see the courts in every city, but these courts can be appealed. If you don’t like the decision reached by the judge in a state court you can appeal their decision to a higher court. But once you reach the Supreme Court, whatever decision they reach will be final. You cannot appeal the ruling of the Supreme Court. The scriptures are the same, and must be respected as such.

     Interpretation of the scripture is of the utmost importance, and it is interpretation that has led the Body of Christ to the place it is on as of now. Many denominations and sects, cults and heresies of all sorts rule over the mind of many believers due to false interpretation. I will not attempt to ascribe a set of rules to the interpretation of the scripture as such things are outside of my reach, and must be reserved for the Holy Spirit to guide as He chooses. But I will apply a scriptural base for understanding and studying the scriptures.

  1. 1.       The Scriptures can and must Judge themselves. (1 Cor. 2:13)
  2. 2.       Understanding of the Scriptures is limited to those who are spiritually minded. (1 Corinthians 2:14)
  3. 3.       No one can decide what scripture means by their self. They must be in agreement with the body and communal mind of Christ. (2 Peter 1:20, 1 Corinthians 2:16)

     To be sure there are more scriptural proofs, but as I stated I will only be applying a scriptural base to this topic. Build on it as the Spirit leads you.

     The catholic aversion to the entirety of the 5 solas is understandable, but erroneous nevertheless.  In the case of Sola Scriptura they have interrupted the Creator’s design with tradition. They assert that tradition has a place next to the scriptures. They further assert that without tradition scripture cannot be properly interpreted. I make this one concession that some tradition does indeed have a place at times, but never next to the scriptures. If ever any tradition has a place in the body it is behind the scriptures and the Holy Spirits scriptural leadership. Even God has chosen to honor His word by never operating outside of its confines, as broad and wide as those confines may be.

     The protestant world has an unspoken dislike for Sola Scriptura, as many of us are consuming every doctrine that we can stomach.  We have no desire for pure doctrine that resists the pull of the flesh and cares not whether people are fond of it or not. We must be sure to examine the scriptures and utilize them as a guide for our lives. We should be challenged by the things we read, instead of challenging the very Word of God.

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The 5 Sola’s Introduction

     Never forget your history, for it is your history which will inform your future.  That is my view of church history and the doctrines that accompany it. In this era we have seen many modes of the church, and for all of my study I find it increasingly difficult to reconcile the theology of the laity with the doctrines of our spiritual forefathers. Do not mistake my statement to mean that there is no more to be learned, that is not my position.  Neither is my position that the theology and doctrines of old are immovable and totally authoritative, even over the Word of God.  But rather my position is that we cannot throw out the baby with the bath water. We must examine carefully what our history as a community has taught us and we must apply it in our progress.  Eat the meat, and discard the bones.  This is not an attempt to give an in depth dissertation of this topic. I simply wish to rehash a forgotten conversation among the called out of God.

    

       The 5 Solas are 5 Latin slogans that summarize 5 key elements of our faith. New to many modern day Christians, but in reality they were ancient truths lost in the dark ages.

  1. 1.       SOLA SCRIPTURA – By Scripture alone
  2. 2.       SOLA GRATIA – By Grace alone
  3. 3.       SOLA FIDE- By Faith Alone
  4. 4.       SOLA CHRISTUS/CHRISTO – By Christ Alone
  5. 5.       SOLI DEO GLORIA – To God Alone be the Glory

 I was originally going to post these all as one article, but for the sake of being reader friendly I have opted to go with one article at a time. I have attempted to summarize the 5 solas in a manner that is easily understood.  I hope that they have been laid out in a way that makes it easy for you to read and comprehend.

 

Know that no one can have indulged in the Holy Writers sufficiently, unless he has governed churches for a hundred years with the prophets, such as Elijah and Elisha, John the Baptist, Christ and the apostles. Do not assail this divine Aeneid; nay, rather prostrate revere the ground that it treads. We are beggars: this is true-Martin Luther (from his last statement)

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