As I continue working on my sermon for Sunday–my “Reformation Day” sermon–I thought I would take a ten-minute break to mop the house (seriously) and encourage you. My encourgement is simple: Celebrate God’s amazing work in the Protestant Reformation by attending a church which teaches the famous Solas of the Reformation on Sunday.
Sola Gratia–By Grace Alone! God’s grace! Salvation is a gift, not a reward. It simply cannot be earned. Without a doubt, it cannot be purchased! Indulgences are an abomination to the Lord!
Sola Fide–By Faith Alone! Faith in Christ! This, too, is a gift (Eph. 2:8,9)! The Council of Trent (1545-1564) was the Roman Catholic authoritative and official response to the theology of the Protestant Reformation. Their canon and decrees (decisions) particularly deny that justification (sinners being declared righteous) is the result of faith in Christ, teaching, instead, that justification is the sum of faith + works.
Solo Christo–In Christ Alone! JESUS ALONE is the Redeemer! He is the only acceptable object of saving faith. If “and” follows Jesus, what is being presented is something other than the teaching of the apostles (“and” could refer to works such as baptism, church attendance, the giving of tithes, etc.).
Sola Scriptura–The Bible Alone! The Scriptures are the final authority for life and doctrine. Council decisions, pastors, popes and traditions must all compliment the Word of God, proclaming that which is explicitly revealed in Scripture if they are to have any authority.
“Since then Your Majesty and your lordship desire a simple reply, I will answer without horns and without teeth. Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason–I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other–my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen” (Luther’s words before the Diet of Worms, April, 1521 as rendered in Roland H. Bainton’s Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther, The New American Library, 1950, p.144).
Soli Deo Gloria–To God Alone be the Glory! Salvation–as all of God’s works–is accomplished that God might be glorified! As Jonathan Edwards accurately stated, God’s glory is “the end for which God created the world.”
Have a great 2011 Reformation Day!