The Five Solas - Sola Gratia
The motto most associated with the 16th century Reformation is the Latin phrase post tenebras lux (“after darkness, light”). The Reformers saw themselves as rediscovering the light of the gospel of Christ that had been lost due to the corruption of the Roman Catholic Church This doctrine has been traditionally summarized under the five solas of the Reformation. One of these solas is sola gratia, or grace alone. For the Reformers, the doctrine of sola gratia was essential to a biblical understanding of salvation in Christ. For example, Martin Luther says,
“But no man can be thoroughly humbled until he knows that his salvation is utterly beyond his own powers, devices, endeavors, will, and works, and depends entirely on the choice, will, and work of another, namely, of God alone . . . then he has come close to grace, and can be saved.”
In fact, for Luther and the other Reformers, if salvation is not by grace alone then human effort is brought into salvation in such a way as to rob God of His glory. It is for this reason that a proper understanding of sola gratia is important for Christians today.
For Christians, sola gratia should be one of the most glorious teachings in all of Scripture. Again, to quote Luther,
“If God works in us, the will is changed, and being gently breathed upon by the Spirit of God, it again wills and acts from pure willingness and inclination and of its own accord, not from compulsion, so that it cannot be turned another way by any opposition, nor be overcome or compelled even by the gates of hell, but it goes on willing and delighting in and loving the good, just as before it willed and delighted in and loved evil.”
How should we respond to such a great salvation? Join us this week as we look at this great Reformation doctrine, sola gratia.