What is the Five Solas?

Author:  We Are Reformed
Date: October 28, 2021

The Five Solas (solus or sola is Latin for "alone" or "only") is the summation of the biblical gospel presented through historical Reformed church teachings as declared in their confessions. The five solas are crucial to protecting biblical truth from compromise that would be deadly to the church and Christians.

  1. Sola Scriptura ("by Scripture alone").
    The Holy Scriptures are our supreme and only rule of faith and life. It is scripture, not our tradition and reasoning, that determine our faith and command our obedience. (1)
  2. Sola gratia ("by grace alone").
    It is by God's grace alone, not our goodness/efforts/works, that sinners are saved. Salvation belongs to God alone as we are unable to save ourselves, and it is His raising us up from the death of sin that brings about our new life of faith, hope, and love. (2)
  3. Solus Christus ("by Christ alone").
    It is Christ alone, not us, the saints, the angels, the church, or our good works, that acts as our Mediator, Redeemer, or Savior. Only Jesus as mediator can be our prophet to teach us, our Priest to reconcile us to friendship with the holy God, and our King to deliver us from our enemies and rule us by his Word and Spirit. (3) In Christ alone we are made complete. (4)
  4. Sola fide ("by faith alone").
    Faith alone, not by our works or even faith combined with works, is what delivers us from sin and into justification. (5) No amount of sincere acts, deeds, devotion, or intention can atone for our sins and make us righteous before God. (6)
  5. Soli Deo gloria ("to God alone be the glory")
    Glory is to be given to God, and God alone, for our creation and salvation. (7) In doing so, we must also reject any credit for our salvation and know that any good we possess is solely by the grace of God who has given it to us through Jesus Christ. (8)

Further Resources

The Cambridge Declaration - 1996 (PDF)

  1. 1 Thess. 2:13, 2 Timothy 3:16-17 []
  2. Romans 3:10-12, Romans 8:7-8, Ephesians 2: 4-5, Ephesians 2: 8 []
  3. 1 Timothy 2:5, John 14:6 []
  4. Col 2:10[]
  5. Gal 2:16 []
  6. Romans 4:4-5 []
  7. Ephesians 1:6 []
  8. 1 Cor 4:7, Gal 6:14, Romans 11:36 []
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