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The Five Solas: Solus Christus

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name (the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth) under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.  
Acts 4:12

 Ladies, a curious set of five has come my way this past year: the Five Solas. At least, these five were curious to me, never having crossed my radar in concert. This week let us measure together the enduring quality of the basics of the Reformation.

First, are you ready to enlarge your theological vistas? Good. We begin with a Latin lesson: Sola simply means alone, or only. As Luther and Calvin and other Reformers pulled away from the Roman Church in the sixteenth century, it was important they state the foundation of their belief system succinctly. I think you will agree their Five Solas are not only foundational, but enduring.

To begin with, the church in Rome had put the saints on a pedestal, level with Jesus. You could pray to the saints and get a pass into God’s presence. Hence the first Sola, Solus Christus, Only Christ. There is no way to the Father but by the Son. Jesus leaves no wiggle room: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

In essence, Only Christ defines the Christian faith. Christ and the cross are the crux of Christianity. If we cannot agree on that point, how can we be called Christians (little Christs)? Even more basic, the Son presupposes the Father, the only true God (John 17:3). As the apostle Paul argued over and over again, the gods of the Gentiles were frivolous. It was “the God who made the world and everything in it (who was) the Lord of heaven and earth. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being’” (Acts 17:24,28). The argument persists with the philosophical who flat out deny God and heaven and hell, expecting life to end in oblivion.     

Today, sadly, many affirm Christ as a good man, a charismatic teacher, a caring person, and in the next breath drop Son of God from His resume’. Yet somehow they seem certain they will one day join God in heaven.  

Never fear ladies—fundamental doctrine is sound: there is one true God, and a heaven, and only one way to heaven. Only Christ cannot be circumvented: For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men (1Timothy 2:5-6).

Nancy P

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