Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | December 14, 2008

The Five Solas of the Reformation

Some of my best spiritual moments come, as I will describe figuratively, as an awakening from a dream.  It is like I come out of a fog of blindness and distractions and anxieties.  It is like Christ comes to me and awakens me and says:  “Here I am!”.  It is like Scripture comes to me and awakens me and says:  “Here I am!”  It is like Grace comes to me and awakens me and says:  “Here I am!”  It is like Faith comes to me and awakens me and says:  “Here I am!” 
 
I awaken from the dream.  The fog is lifted.  I can see clearly.  I feel peace and joy and thankfulness.
 
I don’t deserve this blessing.  I got lost whether by intentional sin or by negligent sin or by distractions.  Let us just call it what it is:  sin.  Nevertheless, God pulls me out of the darkness and anxieties and misery of the fog into the light and clarity and peacefulness of the day.
 
My reactions include some initial disgust at myself for not getting out of it myself and not getting out sooner, because it seems so simple as if I could just walk into the light or even turn on the light.  Why did I not get out of this mess before?!  But, the peace and joy and thankfulness quickly and powerfully overwhelm that reaction.
 
What is so simple?  Christ alone.  Scripture alone.  Grace alone.  Faith alone.
 
We have the Reformation and over 400 years of Reformed Doctrine being built on that five solas foundation, and yet we still get lost.  More than that, we have nearly 2,000 years of Scripture, and yet we still get lost.  
 
Rev. Rodney Kleyn of Trinity Protestant Reformed Church wrote an article The Five Solas of the Reformation.  It is a permanent “tag” at the top of my web site.  To continue the figurative language, “The Five Solas of the Reformation” is like a lighthouse to which we can look to keep our bearing or to regain our bearing.  However, we learn to not trust ourselves, but to trust God, because we often forget about the lighthouse and get lost in the fog.  But, God is gracious and will awaken us and pull us out of the fog and show us the lighthouse.       
 
 
The following Scripture of Galatians 2:16-21 reminds me of “Christ alone”, “Scripture alone”, “Grace alone”, and “Faith alone” even though you will notice that this Scripture does not contain the word “alone”. 
                                                                      
nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.  This speaks to me of “Faith alone”.
 
“But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be!  “For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor.  “For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God.  
 
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.  This speaks to me of “Christ alone”.  
 
“I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”  This speaks to me of “Grace alone”.  
 
This seems too good to be true.  This seems too simple to be true.  But, it is true.    “Scripture alone” can convince me of the truths therein.  Galatians 2:16-21 cuts through the fog and brings me to the light again and again . 
 
To God alone, be the glory!

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