The five solas articulated five fundamental beliefs of the Protestant Reformation, pillars which the Reformers believed to be essentials of the Christian life and practice.
ONLY SCRIPTURE—Sola scriptura—is the teaching that the Bible is the only inspired and authoritative word of God and is sufficient for faith and practice.
• “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16, 17.
• For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
ONLY FAITH—Sola fide—is the teaching that justification—being declared just by God—is received by faith only, though saving faith is always evidenced by good works.
• For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
• For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. Romans 1:16
• Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:1,2
ONLY GRACE—Sola gratia—is the teaching that salvation comes by divine grace or “unmerited favor” only, not as something merited by the sinner. This means that salvation is an unearned gift from God for Jesus’ sake.
• For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
• God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
ONLY CHRIST—Solus Christus—is the teaching that Jesus Christ is God, with the Holy Spirit and the only mediator between God and humans, and that there is salvation through no other.
• Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12
• Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14: 6
ONLY FOR THE GLORY OF GOD—Soli Deo gloria—is the teaching that all glory is to be due to God alone, since salvation is accomplished solely through His will and action — not only the gift of the all-sufficient atonement of Jesus on the cross but also the gift of faith in that atonement, created in the heart of the believer by the Holy Spirit.
• I am Jehovah, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images. Isaiah 42:8
• So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:3
• If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:11