River City Church is a Protestant, Christian church. (More specifically, I would describe us Evangelicals who are Reformed Baptists, but you can read about those distinctions in other posts.) Even though there are similarities between Catholics and Protestants, there are also vast differences. Since Reformation Day (October 31) is less than a week away, it seems appropriate to reiterate what exactly Protestants have been protesting since 1563 in response to the Catholic Church’s teaching. Here are the 5 Solas of the Reformation which are so important, that like our Christian forefathers, we would die for. By the way, I took these explanations from the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals website. The link is at the bottom if you want to read more.
1. Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone)
We reaffirm the inerrant Scripture to be the sole source of written divine revelation, which alone can bind the conscience. The Bible alone teaches all that is necessary for our salvation from sin and is the standard by which all Christian behavior must be measured.
We deny that any creed, council or individual may bind a Christian’s conscience, that the Holy Spirit speaks independently of or contrary to what is set forth in the Bible, or that personal spiritual experience can ever be a vehicle of revelation.
2. Sola Christus (Christ alone)
We reaffirm that our salvation is accomplished by the mediatorial work of the historical Christ alone. His sinless life and substitutionary atonement alone are sufficient for our justification and reconciliation to the Father.
We deny that the gospel is preached if Christ’s substitutionary work is not declared and faith in Christ and his work is not solicited.
3. Sola Gratia (Grace alone)
We reaffirm that in salvation we are rescued from God’s wrath by his grace alone. It is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit that brings us to Christ by releasing us from our bondage to sin and raising us from spiritual death to spiritual life.
We deny that salvation is in any sense a human work. Human methods, techniques or strategies by themselves cannot accomplish this transformation. Faith is not produced by our unregenerated human nature.
4. Sola Fide (Faith alone)
We reaffirm that justification is by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone. In justification Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us as the only possible satisfaction of God’s perfect justice.
We deny that justification rests on any merit to be found in us, or upon the grounds of an infusion of Christ’s righteousness in us, or that an institution claiming to be a church that denies or condemns sola fide can be recognized as a legitimate church.
5. Soli Deo Gloria (For the glory of God alone)
We reaffirm that because salvation is of God and has been accomplished by God, it is for God’s glory and that we must glorify him always. We must live our entire lives before the face of God, under the authority of God, and for his glory alone.
We deny that we can properly glorify God if our worship is confused with entertainment, if we neglect either Law or Gospel in our preaching, or if self-improvement, self-esteem or self-fulfillment are allowed to become alternatives to the gospel.