We commenorate the reformation in its 500th anniversary by considering the five solas of the reformation; sola Scriptura, sola gratia, sola fide, solus Christus, and soli Deo gloria. The Word of God reveals that we are justified by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone.
Previously we saw the authority for the reformation in sola Scriptura; that Martin Luther and other reformers stood on the Word of God alone as their only authority and in fact the only binding authority on all Christians.Then we considered how sola Scriptura mandates sola fide and sola gratia.
We further our commenoration of the 500th anniversary of the reformation looking at how the doctrine of sola Christus is a standard of the reformed church.
Galatians 6:14: But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Colossians 2:14: ...by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
Certainly Martin Luther took his stand on sola Scriptura where he found the doctrines of sola fide and sola gratia but it was the doctrine of sola Christus that truly reformed the church. When called upon to share his theology with his fellow Augustinians, Luther said, “The cross alone is our theology.” (WA 5.176.32-3) Luther and other reformers stood with the Apostle Paul who proclaimed to the Church in Corinth, For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (1 Cor. 2:2)
We can neither add to nor take away from that which Jesus Christ has done to accomplish our salvation. The reformation was necessary because the Roman Catholic Church had that all wrong. They added to the work of Christ requirements of religious ritual and the authority of man. In so doing taking away the sufficiency of the cross of Jesus Christ. An insult to His person and work. Such was intolerble to those who had come under the burden of sola Scriptura, by sola fide, through sola gratia.
The Apostle Peter standing before a tribunal of the most powerful men in his world affirmed,
by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead . . . there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:10-12
Dr. Keith Mathison writes in his article on solus Christus;
“In our own day, another issue has arisen that is directly related to the idea of solus Christus, namely the exclusivity of Christ as the only way of salvation. In our pluralistic world, this article of Christian faith has come under constant attack. The book, Is Jesus the Only Savior? by Ron Nash, is a defense of the exclusivity of Christ as the only way of salvation. In it he deals with the pluralistic and inclusivistic views of men such as John Hick, for whom Jesus is merely one way of salvation among many.
Affirmed in all the confessions of the reformed church, solus Christus is a pillar of Sovereign Grace Church as stated in article 4 of our Statement of Faith.
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace, through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God; who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon him our nature, yet without sin; honored the divine law by his personal obedience, and by his death made a full atonement for our sins; that having risen from the death, he is now enthroned in heaven; and uniting in his wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, he is every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all- sufficient Savior. (SGC Statement of Faith)