500 Years ago, the Protestant Reformation set in motion a movement that would change Christianity forever. The Reformation was a response to the abuses and corruption which many believed were eroding the moral moorings of the Roman Catholic church in the 16th century. Amid the turmoil, leaders arose with a vision for refocusing the heart of the church, Reformers like Martin Luther and John Calvin, whose efforts lead to the creation of today’s Protestant denominations.
Reformation leaders believed that the church had drifted away from the core teachings of Christianity – particularly the focus on salvation through faith in Christ, whose death and resurrection provided forgiveness from sin for mankind. The Reformation intended to refocus the church on the original message of Jesus and the important facets of the early church.
The Five Solas are latin slogans which the Reformers used to summarize their theological convictions about the core focus of Christianity.
The Five Solas:
- Sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”): The Bible alone is our highest authority.
- Sola Fide (“faith alone”): We are saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
- Sola Gratia (“grace alone”): We are saved by the grace of God alone.
- Solus Christus (“Christ alone”): Jesus Christ alone is our Lord, Savior, and King.
- Soli Deo Gloria (“to the glory of God alone”): We live for the glory of God alone.
We encourage you to take some time during this 500th anniversary to reflect on how the church has changed in the last 500 years and imagine how it might change in the next 500 years.