This Sunday I am beginning a sermon series on the five solae of the Reformation. These are often called the “doctrines of grace,” and serve as a summary of the central doctrines of Reformed Theology. The five solae are as follows:
- Sola Scriptura – Scripture alone
- Sola Fide – through faith alone
- Sola Gratia – by grace alone
- Solus Christus – by Christ alone
- Soli Deo Gloria – The glory be to God alone
Last fall, Reformed churches worldwide celebrated the five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation, which was a pivotal moment in the history of both the Church and the world. Rather than give one “token” sermon in response to this celebration, I felt a more thorough treatment was in order, so I planned this series for after the holidays.
The first “sola” we are considering this Sunday is “sola scriptura,” by scripture alone. For Reformed Christians, the scriptures are to be the measure of what is preached and taught by preachers and teachers, they are the yardstick for the confessions of the Church, they are the measure for the actions of a local congregation. They are the standard to which all Christians should
strive to live by. This is why we study the Bible.
This coming week, the Wednesday night Bible study will begin studying the Gospel of John. This gospel speaks very clearly to the idea of sola scriptura, for it begins with these words:
“In the beginning was the Word…”
I love the gospel of John! Some of the most-quoted sayings of Jesus come from the gospel of John:
For God so loved the world…
I am the good shepherd…
My father’s house has many rooms…
I am the vine…
John has both a tender way of comforting me, and an unexpected way of challenging me. When I want to connect to Christ through the Scriptures, I turn to John first.
I think of the four gospels, this is the one that has made the biggest difference in my faith journey. And so, I am very excited to teach this wonderful gospel! Wednesday night Bible study meets in the parlor at 7:15pm.
I hope the sermon series on the five solae is a blessing to you, and I hope to see many of you at the Bible study on the gospel of John which begins this Wednesday.