Monday, November 9, 2009

The 'Five Solas' of the Reformation

Five ‘Solas’ of the Reformation (Lesson review and questions)
Last Sunday: Reformation Day/Sunday (Oct. 31)

Sola’ is the Latin word for ‘alone’
1. Sola scriptura ("by Scripture alone")
2. Sola fide ("by faith alone")
3. Sola gratia ("by grace alone")
4. Solus Christus or Solo Christo ("through Christ alone")
5. Soli Deo gloria ("glory to God alone")
Sola Scriptura functions to protect and preserve all the others.

Roman Catholicism believes in each of the above, but not in the sense given when you add the idea ‘alone’. E.g, re Scripture – they added ‘Tradition’; to faith and grace as the means of salvation they added ‘works and human merit’.

KEY IDEA: The motto/principle that came out of the Reformation: "The Church always/continuously needs to be reformed by the Word of God…"
The Protestant Reformation [of the Catholic/universal] Church was triggered by Martin Luther’s posting of his 95 theses on the door of the university in Wittenberg. Martin Luther wrote his 95 theses in 1517 as a protest against the selling of indulgences. An "indulgence" is 1 : a remission of part or all of the temporal and especially purgatorial punishment that according to Roman Catholicism is due for sins whose eternal punishment has been remitted and whose guilt has been pardoned.

And so the Reformation was begun as a ‘protest’ (à "Protestant") against ministry practices in the Church that did not line up with Scripture and were not consistent with the meaning of the Gospel.
Compare Gal.1 :6-9. In this passage Paul sternly condemns preacher who proclaim any other Gospel than the one he preached.
1. Why is Paul so severe in his condemnation of preachers of ‘another Gospel’?
2. Read Romans 11:5-6. What happens to ‘grace’ if you try to blend ‘works’ with it?
3. Read 2 Chron. 34:14-21, 29-33.
--What had God’s people lost?
--How is it possible for the Word of God to be ‘lost’ in an evangelical, Bible-believing church today?
4. What would it look like to apply the principle of letting the Word of God continually ‘reform’ the church in our own day?
5. What trends and ideas in evangelical Christianity today seem suspect in light of your understanding of God’s Word?

For further study: "Holy Ground – Walking with Jesus as a Former Catholic" by Chris Castaldo (Zondervan)


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Douglas Phillips said...

Hey Landon,

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