The word “Sola” is a Latin word which literally means “alone”. The Five Solas represents a summary of key doctrines which were the result of the Protestant Reformation. This list articulates key areas where the Protestants differed from the Catholic church.
Sola Scriptura (“Scripture Alone”): Scripture must supersede tradition
Many of our practices today are the result of tradition rather than the word of God. We ought to constantly compare the scripture with our life, worship and witness.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16 - 17
Sola Fide (“Faith Alone”): Faith over works
The word of God teaches that our works or efforts cannot earn the favor of God. The process of becoming “just” or “right” in God’s sight happens through faith. Many consider faith something that man can exercise or muster on his/her own. However, the Word of God clearly defines faith as a fruit of the Holy Spirit “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith…” Galatians 5:22. God must implant His faith in the heart of a person.
Sola Gratia (“Grace Alone”): Grace not merit
The word of God teaches that man is saved by Grace and not by merit. No work that we can do will earn salvation. The altar call, “praying the prayer” or “making a decision” does not guarantee entrance into heaven. It is God who elects His people according to his will.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
Solus Christus (“Christ Alone”): Christ is the mediator
This doctrine says that salvation is only bestowed through Christ. By nature we are at odds with God the Father. We need one to mediate or reconcile these serious differences. The mediator is not a Priest, Pastor or Pope but Christ.
“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” 1 Timothy 2:5
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
Soli Deo Gloria (“Glory of God Alone”): God’s Glory over all
In many religious traditions worship is given to Mary the Mother of Jesus, saints and/or angels. The word of God teaches that God alone should get all the glory. We should not devote glory to man for good works but praise God for moving sinful men to that end.
“To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” Jude 1:25