Happy Reformation Day | Understanding Sola

Happy Reformation Day | Understanding Sola October 31, 2023

Happy Reformation Day | Understanding Sola

  1. Sola Gratia | by grace alone
  2. Sola Fide | through faith alone
  3. Sola Christus | in Christ alone
  4. Sola Scriptura | according to Scripture alone
  5. Sola Deo Gloria | for the glory of God alone

understanding Sola

How do we understand the Solas?

We have a basic English equivalent: “Alone” or “Only.” If Sola means “Only,” it seems logical to say Sola Scriptura means Only Scripture . . . and nothing else.

what about outside sources?

I’m not so sure Sola Scriptura is intended to mean Only Scripture and nothing else.

I’ve read quite a bit of Martin Luther’s writings. He does not appeal only to Scripture. He uses outside sources as well. In fact, some of his documents are filled with quotes by the Church Fathers.

the broader meaning of Sola Scriptura

Hannah Busing | girl wearing floral dress reading bible alone in grass | 04.13.22 | unsplash

So what does Sola Scriptura mean, if it does not mean Only Scripture?

Sola can mean the Primary thing, or the best thing, or the main thing.

Therefore, the 5 Solas exalt Scripture and the work of God. The Solas exalt Scripture and the work of God in us. The Reformers exalt the 5 Solas above all else, as the best things, the main things.

Martin Luther’s intent

Martin Luther would probably not say Scripture, and nothing else.

After all, Luther’s documents include quotes from Church Fathers and Tradition. Sola Scriptura takes Scripture and elevates it above Tradition. In this context, Tradition mainly means Church History and writings.

The Reformers are not necessarily saying that all Christian writings are bad. You’d be surprised how often the Reformers quote from Classic Christianity.

The Reformers simply elevate Scripture back to its proper place, above other writings. The 5 Solas are the measuring stick, the plumb, the standard.

If our truths today don’t measure up to the 5 Solasmaybe we should rethink our truths. In an age when truth is relative (Relativism) the 5 Solas are a rallying point for Protestants.

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