Five Solas of the Reformation

The "Five Solas" are five Latin statements that echo from as far back as the Protestant Reformation, during which the glorious gospel and truths of the Christian faith were recovered. Doctrinally-sound Christians have been teaching and living by these truths ever since.  It is our intention to do the same, as we believe they are at the heart of the Christian faith. The five “Solas of the Reformation” found on our church bulletin and defined below are Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Solo Christo, and Soli Deo Gloria.


  • Sola Scriptura means “by Scripture alone.” God’s inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word is the only and final authority on matters of doctrine, life, and godliness. Therefore, we submit our lives to God’s authority as revealed in his Word. In conjunction with “Sola Scriptura” is “Tota Scriptura” which refers to the truth that we have a full canon and do, in fact, preach and practice from the whole of Scripture.  Together, “Sola” and “Tota Scriptura” separate us from Roman Catholicism, all cults, and a large portion of Protestant Evangelicals who have become liberal and no longer hold to a view of Scripture that affirms Sola Scriptura. We see in the Bible itself that God’s Word is given the place of supreme authority (Deuteronomy 4:5-6, 6:6-9, Psalm 119, 138:2, 2 Timothy 3:14-17, and 4:2).


The next four Solas could be summarized by what the apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:8-10; “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”


  • Sola Gratia means “by grace alone.” Anyone who comes to saving faith in Christ does so supremely and solely by God’s grace—that is, God’s unmerited favor. In our sin, we do not deserve to be saved, but God, in his glorious grace, saves many. This doctrine is clearly taught in the Scriptures (Romans 3:24, Ephesians 1:3-8, and 2:8-10).


  • Sola Fide means “by faith alone.” The Scriptures teach that we are justified (or “saved”) by faith and only by faith in Christ Jesus. Protestants have never denied that good works are a vital expression of faith, but good works do not save. Faith without works is dead faith—it is not true faith.  But true faith will pursue good works for the glory of God. We see this wonderful truth celebrated in Scripture as well (Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 4:5, 10:9-11, Galatians 3:6-11).


  • Solus Christus means “through Christ alone.” The Scriptures teach that we are not saved through the church, or through our works or other religious teachers or religions. If anyone is saved from God’s wrath, they are only saved through the person and work of Jesus Christ. The exclusivity of the Lord Jesus Christ is taught throughout the New Testament (John 14:6, Acts 4:12, 1 Corinthians 8:6, Galatians 3:20, Colossians 1:13-18, 1 Timothy 2:5-6, Hebrews 4:14-16, 8:6, and 9:15).


  • Soli Deo Gloria means “to God alone be the glory.” Because God is the author and finisher of our faith, He alone is worthy of glory and praise. He is worthy of glory not only because He has accomplished salvation in Christ, but also because of His work of creation. Again, this doctrine is taught and affirmed by Scripture (Romans 11:36, Ephesians 3:21, 1 Peter 4:11, Revelation 1:5-6, 4:11). To truly understand salvation is to realize there is only one possible way for any person to be saved and that is entirely by God’s grace. Anything else is an attempt to intrude ourselves upon the glory of God. Therefore, in defining the gospel we must describe it in terms of God’s self-act of glorification as He brings us in as recipients, not participants. Our salvation serves as a means to His end, which is Soli Deo Gloria.