The Five Solas of the Protestant Reformation-Sola Fide

This week we are going to explore the forth main motto of the Protestant Reformation: Sola Fide – Faith Alone.

This is core to our understanding of what drove the reformers to be … well … reformers. The issue at stake in the 16th century was this: “How can sinful people be made right and acceptable before God?” We are justified (declared righteous) by faith alone (sola fide), in Christ alone (Solus Christus), the Protestant Reformers answered. To such a fundamental subject the question of “Does Sound Doctrine Matter?” has a clear affirmative answer. Absolutely YES!

The doctrine I am referring to is the doctrine of justification by faith alone. John Calvin described the doctrine of justification by faith alone as ‘the principle hinge by which religion is supported’, and Luther described it as the articulus stantis vel cadentis, ‘the article by which the church stands or falls’. Sola fide or faith alone is a key point of difference between not only Protestants and Catholics but between biblical Christianity and almost all other religions and teachings. The teaching that we are declared righteous by God (justified) on the basis of our faith alone and not by works is a key doctrine of the Bible and a line that divides most cults from biblical Christianity.

I will again allow James Montgomery Boice to articulate it so well:

The Reformers never tired of saying that justification is by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone. When put into theological shorthand the doctrine was expressed as justification by faith alone, the article by which the church stands or falls, according to Martin Luther. The Reformers called justification by faith Christianity’s material principle, because it involves the very matter or substance of what a person must understand and believe to be saved. Justification is a declaration of God based on the work of Christ. It flows from Gods grace and it comes to the individual not by anything he or she might do but by faith alone (sola fide). We may state the full doctrine as: Justification is the act of God by which he declares sinners to be righteous because of Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone.

THIS IS THE GOSPEL and our only basis of hope:

Romans 1:16–17  – For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

See You Sunday,

Pastor Byron