The five solas are five Latin phrases that emerged during the Protestant Reformation and summarize the Reformers’ basic theological beliefs in contradistinction to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church of the day. The Latin word sola means “alone” or “only” in English.
The five solas articulate five fundamental beliefs Reformation, pillars which we believe to be essentials of Christian life and practice.
Sola scriptura (“by Scripture alone”)
The Bible is the inspired word of God and is the primary way in which we can learn about our creator and Father.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Sola fide (“by faith alone”)
Faith is what is needed to be saved: as Paul and Silas testify in Acts 16, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Good works can never make us right with God – because we are inherently sinful, nothing we do is pleasing to God without His help.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Sola gratia (“by grace alone”)
God chooses His people, works faith in their hearts, and ensures that His perfect plan is carried out. It is by His grace alone that we are saved!
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” Ephesians 2:8
Solus Christus or Solo Christo (“Christ alone” or “through Christ alone”)
Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, is the only way to salvation – not through anyone else.
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
Soli Deo gloria (“glory to God alone”)
God alone deserves our prayers and glory!
“For from him and through him and to him are all things, to him be the glory forever!” Romans 11:36