Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Five Solas

The Five Solas ( or more properly, The Five Solae) are five Latin phrases that emerged during the Protestant Reformation and summarize not only the reformer's basic beliefs but ours as Christians as well. "Sola" is a Latin word that means "alone" or "only". The Five Solas are the essential original teachings of Chirstianity, especially in regard to salvation. In essence, when it comes to God, the 5 Solas are all you need.

Sola Scriptura - the Scripture Alone is the standard. The Bible is the word of God, it's a divinely inspired unified work of literature, it's Jesus' autobiography, and contains everything you need to know to get into heaven. Every word of the 66 books of the bible is inspired by God's Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit also helps us understand the scripture. The bible does not contain all the knowledge that God holds, there's not enough paper for that. What the bible does contain is what God needs us to know to reach him and receive his grace. 2 Tim 3:16-17 tells us that "All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." and Proverbs 30:6 tells us "Do not add to His words or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar." Additions include catechisms, traditions, watchtower magazines and books like the Pearl of Great Wisdom.

Sola Gratia - salvation by Grace Alone. the teaching that God pardons believers without any merit of their own based solely on the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross. We can only stand before God by his grace and he mercifully attributes to us the righteousness of Jesus because God attributed to Jesus the consequences of our sins. Jesus' life of perfect righteousness is counted as our and God expunges our record of sin and failure, these were attributed to Jesus when He died on the cross. There's nothing we can do, nothing at all that would enhance our salvation - no good works, no penance, no sacraments, no indulgences paid to the pope, only through the free gift of grace from God will we be saved. Don't believe me? Believe God Eph 2:8-10, Phil 2:12-13

Sola Fide - justification by Faith Alone. Sola Fide is the teaching that faith alone saves a person when he places his faith and trust in the sacrificial work of Christ. All humans are born into a condition of sin, and there's nothing we can do to elevate ourselves up out of that condition other than putting our faith in Jesus Christ. His blood is the only power that can forgive man's sins. Acts such as baptism is not essential to salvation, but it is essential to obedience because Christ commanded it. As we are known by our works, our works do not save us, but they instead show the world we are saved. Romans 5:1-2 probably describes the blessing of faith best.

Solo Christo - by Christ's work Alone we are saved. Jesus Christ is the sole mediator between God and man, no one else. Not your pastor, not your priest, and not a dead person that has been venerated over the ages. Because God is Holy and we humans are sinful to the core we need a Savior that can mediate between us and God. No religious rituals, nor works, nor bribes can  connect us to God, only Jesus can intercede on our behalf, and we need no one to intercede for us to Jesus, for when we are adopted into God's family, Jesus is our brother! Acts 4:12

Soli Deo Gloria - For the Glory of God Alone. God's glory is the central motivation for salvation, in other words, it's not about you - it's about God. All glory for everything should be given to the creator of everything; God. Johan Sebastian Back wrote the initials "S.D.G." at the beginning and end of all his church composition and put it on many of his secular works giving credit to God for the composition. As the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, "What is the chief end of man? Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever."

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