This October marks the 500 year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Many articles have already been posted throughout this year bringing attention to the events that dramatically shaped the New Testament church as we know her today. From the shots John Wycliffe fired in the 14th Century calling for the church to reform, to Martin Luther’s nailing of the Ninety-Five Theses to the chapel door in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517, the Reformation has a rich legacy of faithful followers of Jesus who rested in one primary reality, returning to the Word of God. Through the month of October I wish to shine light on the eternal doctrines found in the Holy Word of God that truly shaped the reformers who lead in the effort to see the Church return to her original nature. There is a long historical narrative explaining the heresy found in the church in the 16th Century. There are incredible stories of faithfulness from those who sought to make Christ and His Word primary in the church. There are tragic stories of death, persecution, and abuse from within the church. And there are five central doctrines, known as the five solas of the Reformation, that shaped the church and brought her into a new era of faithfulness, and those doctrines still matter for the church today.
The Five Solas of the Reformation
1. Sola Scriptura (“scripture alone”), the Bible alone is our highest authority.
2. Sola Fide (“faith alone”), we are saved solely through faith in Christ Jesus.
3. Sola Gratia (“grace alone”), only by grace and not by our works is salvation possible.
4. Solus Christus (“through Christ alone”), Jesus alone has paid the penalty of sin.
5. Soli Deo Gloria (“to God be the glory alone”), our goal in life is to glorify God.
In reality, the call to reform, first to the believer and then to the church, still exists today. The Holy Spirit of God is alive and active using the Holy Word of God to constantly shape us into the image of the Holy Son of God. Reform is necessary because our hearts are sinful, our churches are so often misguided, and our world is searching for truth and hope. I hope that you are enthusiastic about searching the rich truths found in these eternal doctrines that shaped one of the greatest moments in history. My prayer is that we will, in unity, draw close to Christ and His Word during the month of October as we journey through the doctrines of the Reformation.
Soli Deo Gloria!