Five Solas

The five solas of the Reformation:

  1. Sola Scriptura: the Bible is God’s authoritative and inspired word. Nothing else we have today can compare with it, though God has previously spoken in a variety of ways, such as by prophets and visions. It teaches the way of salvation and provides God’s law. Since there is no other comparable authority, and specifically because all other authorities we have are fallible, it is the supreme authority in the areas it addresses.
  2. Sola Fide: the only instrument of justification is faith. Faith is not the ground of justification, but the means of appropriating justification. Thus, we are saved by trusting in Christ to save us. Faith itself is a gift of God, as is all of salvation.
  3. Sola Gratia: all of salvation is gracious, none is merited by us. Although salvation is merited by Jesus, it is not merited in any way by us. Thus, we are saved by grace alone, not by any preceding, cooperating, or foreseen merit. Instead, the justice by which we are considered just is entirely Christ’s righteousness.
  4. Solus Christus: we are only saved by Christ. There is no other mediator between God and man. Thus, Mary is excluded as being a “co-mediatrix,” and the entire system of priests is excluded.
  5. Soli Deo Gloria: God alone is to receive the glory. Salvation is from first to last His work. Even man’s rebellion works to God’s glory, quite contrary to man’s intentions.