The 5 Solas of the Protestant Reformation

Sola scriptura: “Scripture alone”
Sola fide: “faith alone”
Sola gratia: “grace alone”
Solo Christo: “Christ alone”
Soli Deo gloria: “to the glory of God alone”

Sola scriptura: “Scripture alone”

Sola scriptura emphasizes the Bible alone as the source of authority for Christians.
By saying, “Scripture alone,” the Reformers rejected both the divine authority of the Roman
Catholic Pope and confidence in sacred tradition. Only the Bible was “inspired by God”
(2 Peter 1:20-21) and “God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Anything taught by the Pope or in tradition that contradicted the Bible was to be rejected. Sola scriptura also fueled the translation
of the Bible into German, French, English, and other languages, and prompted Bible teaching
in the common languages of the day, rather than in Latin.

Psalm 119:105
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

Sola fide: “faith alone”

Sola fide emphasizes salvation as a free gift.
The Roman Catholic Church of the time emphasized the use of indulgences
(donating money) to buy status with God.
Good works, including baptism, were seen as required for salvation.
Sola fide stated that salvation is a free gift to all who accept it by faith (John 3:16).
Salvation is not based on human effort or good deeds (Ephesians 2:9).

Ephesians 2:8-9
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves,
it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.

Sola gratia: “grace alone”

Sola gratia emphasizes grace as the reason for our salvation.
In other words, salvation comes from what God has done rather than what we do.

Ephesians 2:8-9 teaches, “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.”

Solo Christo: “Christ alone”

Solo Christo (sometimes listed as Solus Christus, “through Christ alone”)
emphasizes the role of Jesus in salvation. The Roman Catholic tradition had placed
church leaders such as priests in the role of intercessor between the laity and God.
Reformers emphasized Jesus’ role as our “high priest” who intercedes on our behalf
before the Father.

Hebrews 4:15 teaches, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

Jesus is the One who offers access to God, not a human spiritual leader.

1 Timothy 2:5
For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,

Soli Deo gloria: “to the glory of God alone”

Soli Deo gloria emphasizes the glory of God as the goal of life.
Rather than striving to please church leaders, keep a list of rules, or guard our own interests,
our goal is to glorify the Lord. The idea of soli Deo gloria is found in
1 Corinthians 10:31:
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

Psalm 115:1
Not to us, Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.