This Saturday St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Leitersburg, Maryland is going to have a workshop on the Five Solas that came out of the Reformation. I’m really glad about this because I have to let you know that I haven’t had a lot of teaching on these subjects. I’ve had teachings on the topics of the Solas, but not the Five Solas all together and how they fit together. Here are the Solas:
- Sola Fide, by faith alone.
- Sola Scriptura, by Scripture alone.
- Solus Christus, through Christ alone.
- Sola Gratia, by grace alone.
- Soli Deo Gloria, glory to God alone.
Earlier this year I couldn’t tell you all of the Solas off the top of my head, but now they are not only getting into my head they are starting to work down in my heart.
Only by faith are we saved by Grace (that would be Grace Alone, but that’s next!). So, what is faith? We all have faith. It goes hand in hand with trust. We have faith that the sun will rise in the morning, that we will wake up, that most people will follow the driving laws. We have trust in our banks, our schools, our government… at least until that trust is broken.
Sometimes I struggle with this. Faith and works, works and faith. I’m not saved by what I do. I can be the best person I can be and still, I am a sinner. All have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God. (Romans 3:23) I can do works all the time, you know the stuff… feeding the poor, helping the homeless, but if I do it out of a sense that I have to do this to be a good person, then I’m doing it for the wrong reason. Right thing; Wrong Reason. People will say “Oh, what a good person you are…”. That is not the right way to go about it.
If I put my faith in God First and then I feel compelled to serve others (and you should) then that is the Right Thing; Right Reason. We don’t go out to do works so everyone will say “You’re so good, let me pat you on the back!”. In fact, we shouldn’t let anyone know of our works. “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.” (2 Corinthians 10:17-18)
My struggle? Just writing this blog is a struggle. I don’t want people to pat me on the back because I have the “confidence” or “skill” to write on the internet where anyone and everyone can see it. It’s not me. I don’t write because I want praise. I write because I feel compelled to help others understand. I don’t go to church so others will see me there, I go to church for me. I need church more than the church needs me. I don’t do the things I do for praise. I do them for the Lord. Only by Faith Alone am I saved….